What do you lose when you keep everything to yourself?
We know of brokers who are protective of their data as well as their relationships, and of some teams that are so competitive they’ll steal leads right out from under each other.
And in a way, we get that instinct to turn inward. It can feel like you’re laying all your cards on the table when you share hard-earned intel with people who may not understand what it took for you to get it in the first place—and who may run off with it the moment your back is turned.
But at the same time that some brokers are turning inward, others are turning that thinking right on its head. They’re discovering that when they open up and work together, they’re able to attract even more success for themselves, their team, and ultimately their business.
One team that does this really well is NAI Partners, Houston’s 5th largest commercial brokerage. They’ve used Apto to build up a fully transparent, shared database that everyone on the team uses to get a big-picture view of the firm’s relationships in real time. Making all that information available, in context, helps everyone from senior brokers to junior employees serve as more trusted advisors to the clients they work with.
If you still haven’t made the leap towards full transparency, consider the impact it can have on your team’s overall success. It may feel risky, but it can lead to unexpected benefits that far outweigh any fears you may have.
Whether you work on a small or large broker team, here’s how sharing data can make you all even stronger:
1. Serve your clients better.
In the end, everything comes down to this simple question: how well are you serving your clients? You know how valuable relationships are, and how difficult they can be to build. Why not give your team access to the big picture—the deals, relationships, and opportunities around town—so that each of you can use what the other knows to serve everyone’s clients better? You’re only as good as the information you have available in that moment, and sharing it can make each team member exponentially better.
2. Give associate and junior brokers the best shot at success.
Yes, those young newcomers are trying to build a name for themselves, but at the end of the day, they’re also trying to make deals happen for you by assisting on your larger deals. Give them all the tools they need to be able to do their job well and perform at their peak, because at this stage in the game, each of their small wins ultimately contributes to your larger success. Share your data with them, as well as your insights: you might be surprised by the connections they see, or the connections they’re able to build as a result.
3. Set your team up for growth.
You may have started out on your own, but chances are that as your successes have grown, so has your team. The most robust broker teams don’t only have associate, junior, and senior brokers, they have an entire operations team that makes deals happen. All of these people—from the research manager and analyst to the marketing director and transaction coordinator—depend on good data to do their jobs well. The more information they have, and the better organized and more accessible it is, the better they can serve your business. If your team is growing and you know you’ll soon be bringing more operations people onboard, this is a great time to look at how you collect, organize, and share data, and make sure that it’s working for everyone who’s working for you.
4. Get more done while doing less.
Take some of the load off. More people sharing data means that you don’t have to double up on work that someone else has already done: you can work together to fill in gaps in your knowledge and keep what you know in a pool shared by all. Use technology to keep all of that information streamlined in an easy to access format, so that nobody has to go back to their individual computers, pull up their own private spreadsheets, and compare notes any time something needs to be updated or checked. More people contributing to—and double-checking—the same information means you can cover more ground, eliminate inconsistencies, and get more of your time back to focus on the important stuff.
Ultimately, we do this because we believe that organized data drives action. And a lot of that action happens when teams are willing to work together so they can win together.