Scott Newman is broker-owner of Newman Realty, a family-run brokerage in Chicago focusing on short sales, foreclosures, and buyer representation. He has been a top-producing real estate agent in Chicago since 2008, is vice chair of the education sub-committee for the Chicago Association of REALTORS®, and is an original member of the Chicago Young Professionals Network. For more information, visit www.newmanknowschicago.com or follow him on Twitter at @newmanrealty and @newmanknowschi.
To Delegate or Not to Delegate
Outsourcing certain tasks to outside professionals and firms will help free up your time to do with you do best – give your clients superior service and grow your business.
October 1, 2012
I think Jay-Z put it best when he said, “I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” He understands, as do all the top-producing real estate professionals out there, that in order to be a success in any professional endeavor you need to run your business like a business. That means controlling your empire from the top down in a well-defined and well-managed hierarchy.
Why is this important? Simple. In order to continue to grow your business and thus your earning potential, you need to make decisions on how your organization will function—which means making some tough decisions on what tasks to handle and what tasks to delegate or outsource.
I am going to break down some of the tasks and responsibilities that have many agents struggling to decide whether to delegate or outsource in an effort to make best use of time for the long-term health of your business.
With so many of our buyers turning to the Internet to search for properties, having a great Web site is no longer a luxury—it’s a must-have.
I constantly come across Web sites that are nothing more than a template thrown up on a domain, and that is a recipe for disaster. Those types of sites have absolutely no SEO value whatsoever, and are seen as cheap and unhelpful by consumers.
Instead, I strongly urge you to consider outsourcing the design, programming, and ongoing management of your Web site to a professional. Yes, it’s expensive, but at the end of the day a good Web site can help you grow your business exponentially faster. And the better your site, the better the ROI will be.
Keep in mind the level of technical expertise—not to mention patience—that’s required to effectively build your own quality site is well above the level of understanding most real estate professionals have when it comes to Web development. So bite the bullet and spend the money to have it done correctly. Also make sure you also account for money in your monthly budget to hire a Web manager who can help you update content and solve any problems that might arise with the site in a timely manner.
Think back to all those times you’ve sat in your living room on a Sunday afternoon stuffing envelopes for mailers or taking the time to design your own flyer.
No offense, but the bottom line is there is someone out there who can do a better job doing your marketing than you. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a hand in how your business reaches out to the general public, but the actual labor and design work involved in the marketing process should absolutely be something you consider outsourcing.
There are many companies that can not only design great marketing pieces for you but also physically make sure those pieces are delivered appropriately, whether it’s via mail, e-mail, or another Internet route.
Another advantage to outsourcing your marketing is that it allows you to create consistency. For example, I send a monthly e-mail blast with a video I do each month on the status of the real estate market in Chicago. This has become very popular among my sphere. Unfortunately, creating that video and e-mail is not an A-level task when showings, closings, and clients must come first. As a result, those the e-mail blasts were not going out at the same time and date each month as planned; thus, it was not having maximum impact. By outsourcing that marketing task, I now know that on the 15th day of each month at 9 p.m., that e-mail blast will go out and it will be done perfectly, whether I’m busy or not.
The last one is the big one everyone is talking about—your blog.
Let me be clear: If you don’t believe in the power of blogging enough to write your own blog, don’t do one. There is nothing worse than a blog with boring, canned content you bought from someone or posts that you syndicate from somewhere other Web site. The general public, and more importantly, Google’s algorithm sees right through pilfered content, which provides you no SEO benefit whatsoever.
Blogging is about showcasing your personality and letting your clients see your passion and expertise. If you plan ahead, it should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes to write a quality blog piece. There is no excuse for not being able to fit that small amount of time into your schedule on a weekly basis.
Being a great REALTOR® means being the CEO of a business in an extremely dynamic and complex industry. You need to stay ahead of the curve and make sure you are constantly evaluating the best use of your time. By thoughtfully evaluating what tasks need your personal attention and which can be delegated or outsourced, you give yourself the maximum amount of free time to grow your business and reach your full potential.