A Broker Wants to Retire

Dear Coach:

I have been a Real Estate Broker for over 30 years. I am ready to start winding down my business and not having to deal with this crazy market. The constant, multiple offers with buyers, is wearing on me. Thankfully, I have a fairly steady stream of referrals from past clients. It would even be a steadier stream if I called them once in a while. Suggestions?

Signed, Winding Down

Dear Winding Down:

It sounds like you would like to work mostly, or exclusively, with sellers, and avoid working with buyers. In addition, begin formulating an exit strategy. Here are some options to consider:

  • The number one suggestion is to form a team. Find a younger Broker who relates to their clients like you relate to yours. This Broker should enjoy working with buyers and be compatible with your personality and temperament. Other important characteristics of a good team mate are trust, flexibility, emotional maturity, and collaboration. A good place to start looking is in your office. Ask your Managing Broker for suggestions of Brokers who they think would work well with you. One way to determine if a Broker will make a good team mate is to co-list a couple properties. If this works well, create a written agreement around compensation. Then, have your new team member begin working with your buyers. An added benefit of having a trusted team mate is to have someone who can cover you when on vacation.
  • It’s not too early to begin preparation for exiting your RE Business. Find a class or mentor that will show you how to sell your book of business. You have built relationships, over the years, with clients who know, like and trust you. Those relationships are valuable and worth something. A likely buyer is your team mate.
  • Meet with your financial planner to review your financial position to determine how much money you need to be earning now, and when you might be able to retire. This will give you a realistic view of how and when you can dial back your business.
  • Finally, overcoming your reluctance to contact your Sphere will get you more leads and referrals that will turn into business for your team. Your past clients enjoy hearing from you and appreciate that you are thinking of them.

Thanks to Al Johnson, a Seattle Broker, for contributing to this article.