2-minute read Published on October 4, 2023

Real estate is no stranger to the out-of-the-ordinary, and 2024 looks like it’s going to be a doozy. In some ways, we’ve found a new “normal”: shrinking broker margins, rising costs, inflationary pressure, and scarce seller leads. In others, like interest rates, inventory, and pricing, things feel more uncertain than ever.

We’re heading for uncharted waters. As the captain of your ship, you can take two different tacks. Which will you choose?

Businessman in boat with umbrella against stormy sea with lighthouse

Tack #1: The Short Course

There’s no sense sugarcoating it: business is tough right now. We were spoiled during the pandemic, and the next 12 months are looking a little less rosy. When the wind is out of your sails (and sales are down), you might look to lighten your load. That means ditching the dead weight and tossing things overboard to weather the storm: cutting technology budgets, staff, and overhead costs.

Tack #2: The Long Course

Don’t get me wrong, optimizing expenses is always a good idea. But when it comes at the expense of resilience and future growth, it doesn’t do you any favors.

Skippers who are on a long course don’t jettison everything—they batten down the hatches, rebalance the ship, and look to recoup their costs by making strategic investments. Their goal is to increase opportunities, streamline processes, decrease overall expenses, and improve efficiency over the long term.

Which course are you taking?

How to plan for a weird year

My biggest tip: take the long course! Here are three things you can start doing today to chart out your business for the next year and reach your revenue goals.

More opportunities

Leads are limited right now. Instead of trying to convert more, work to broaden your funnel. How? Tap into your entire brokerage’s sphere of influence. This means investing in top-of-funnel solutions, like social media marketing tools and strategy, where a relatively small investment could start paying returns right away. You can also leverage online ad strategies, with the caveat that a robust social media presence can provide similar exposure for a fraction of the cost.

New revenue streams

Many brokers have found ways to add new lines to their income statements. These include monetizing their websites, developing strategic partnerships with ancillary service providers like mortgage and title, and dipping into the rental market. We know that the only constant is change, so finding new niches where you can thrive is always a winning strategy.

A bigger team

Lean times are a great time to grow your team. Sounds counterintuitive? It’s simple math: if you can provide support to new agents without dramatically increasing your overhead, they will expand your sphere of influence significantly (and usually at a lower commission tier), meaning better reach, more opportunities, and higher commission income.

Sailboat seen from Key West, Florida.

Full speed ahead

With uncertainty on the horizon, don’t be dramatic, be pragmatic! Optimize your spending, streamline your business, and set yourself up so that when the wind picks up again, you’re ready to sail into the sunset.

Tom Demos, Director of Enterprise Sales, Constellation1 helps teams identify opportunities by evaluating their current tech stack, customer journey, and business processes to create strategies that drive value at every level of their business. 

As originally published on RISMedia.com.