Sandra Sanders is the broker-owner of Re/Max Estate Properties, the largest and most productive company in sales and service in the South Bay region of Los Angeles, with 16 residential real estate offices from San Pedro to Beverly Hills and two commercial real estate offices. Sanders is a member of the Re/Max International Hall of Fame and has been repeatedly been listed among the monthly top 100 sales associates in the nation.
She’ll be speaking at Inman Connect San Francisco in August; we caught up with Sandra to ask her three questions about her real estate and business philosophy.
What’s your No. 1 tip for building out a network of valuable connections?
I know that my network with my own agents is very valuable. If they are satisfied with the service and environment they have at our company, they will sing praises to other agents. The owners, the Sanders family, keep in constant contact with our 650 agents. Just as top agents keep in contact with their clients.
We have three sales meeting a week in a different convenient location so the agents can attend, if they desire. An owner is always attending.
We have fun special events often and we give our agents educational training presented by our general counsel. A Sanders is in charge of our advanced informational technology department and gives frequent training.
What’s the one issue that everyone in the real estate industry should be paying attention to in the coming year?
We should prepare for a possible downturn again in the years to come. We should not be afraid to take advantage of opportunities that come our way; however, at the same time, we should pay off debt, consider buying the buildings we occupy, but at the same time scrutinize our budgets.
I think we have to have balance by spending money on the necessary things and not on the unnecessary. A good source of revenue for the real estate broker is ownership in settlement services, such as escrow and title. Having the most capable service providers is key to having the agents use these services. Of course, we are going to have another downturn and we should prepare in the good times.
What connection have you made that changed the course of your life?
Twice my connections have changed my life. First, in 1989, I was an active agent and broker-owner and had connections with the community of Realtors. I had a nice office that was not very occupied.
Luckily, an independent large real estate firm sold to a large national real estate company. The commission structure of each firm was very different and so was the management. I benefited by hiring about 50 of the agents immediately.
Second, in 2010, I was put in a situation to take advantage of my large competitor going out of business and telling her agents to join our firm. We got 200 agents from that lucky venture.
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