The Idea Exchange Council for Brokers is think-tank style forum which fosters an environment to encourage open and honest exchange of ideas and to facilitate a broad-based sharing of ideas by brokers of all company sizes and geographic locations. This group of brokers generates conversation on the many real estate issues and management challenges that face the real estate community, especially real estate brokers daily. The objective is for participants to gain new approaches, solutions and perhaps to embrace new methods to implement within their own brokerages.
During the most recent Idea Exchange Council for Brokers the following topics were discussed:
- Retention, Recruiting, Agent Onboarding, Mentoring to Help New Agents Thrive and Survive
- Virtual Brokerages
- Independent Contractor Classification and Risk Management
RETENTION, RECRUITING, AGENT MENTORING
David Tina, Broker/Owner of Urban Nest Realty in Las Vegas discussed how he was able to grow his current brokerage into one of the largest brokerages in Las Vegas to date. A few takeaways as a broker/owner myself were in order to grow a brokerage where the culture is persevered long term is to take care of your agents providing them the tools needed to be the best professionals they can be and in return the agents will spread the word luring in other agents who desire the same culture. He did state, “one mistake I made at a previous company was to compensate agents to help with recruiting efforts.” Today, the agents recruit because they want other like minded professionals working within our firm not because they being compensated.” Several times during his segment he stated choose quality over quantity and always think of your reputation being the #1 thing to consider when growing your brokerage.
Joe Pryor, Broker/Owner of The Virtual Real Estate Team in Oklahoma City started off my saying, “virtual brokerage isn’t a one size fits all, but a virtual brokerage has the ability to pass you up.” Joe chose the virtual brokerage option because of pain or friction points in the industry and realizing that he could outsource many of his daily tasks freeing himself to work with his clientele and agents. He utilizing a virtual assistant via Upwork and doesn’t mind peeking across the pond to find the least expensive option to complete a task and not having a traditional brick and mortar offices doesn’t hinder his ability to lure in both local and international clients. Joe stated that any business owner, whether virtual or not, should ask themselves this one question, “are you the driver or are you being driven?”
INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR CLASSIFICATION and RISK MANAGEMENT
Katie Johnson, General Counsel with the National Association of REALTORS® dove right into the topics of independent contractor classifications and risk management. With the looming media coverage on Uber and Lyft of are they employees or independent contracts, she stated real estate professionals meet the definition of an independent contractor because they meet the Independent Contractor IRS Test. For real estate, that is the professional holds an active license, has signed a written independent contract agreement and is paid by commission. Since all of these conditions exist, a real estate professional is considered an independent contractor. For any questions or concerns, search independent contract on realtor.org and you’ll find an array of content to peruse, even a white paper offering a state by state break down.
As cyber threats continue to spiral out of control, wire fraud has been and is becoming a HUGE issue. Scammers are hacking email accounts and patiently waiting for an email indicating a client needs to send wire funds, then scammers are generating second email that closely resembles the original email asking the client to wire the funds to another account. Sadly, millions of dollars are lost due this issue and if not retracted with the 48 hours after the wire is sent, the funds could be forever gone. UGH… right? NAR has produced a one minute video targeted to consumers about wire fraud. It can be found by searching wire fraud realtor.org. Katie hinted that several brokerages have taken it further by providing additional disclosures to their clients to ensure they are fully aware of this ongoing issue.