Inman is profiling office managers. Here’s Andy Kachaylo, broker-owner at Re/Max Hometown Choice.
Walk us through a day in your life. What’s the first thing you do when you get to the office and the last thing you do before you leave? What happens in between?
I get up at 6:30 a.m. –– view emails, texts and balance checkbook … Send emails for day, leave messages to get calls back and leave for office.
In the office, I provide agent support (sometimes go on appointments with agents, solve tough issues, help save or secure tough sellers, work on office-level branding, ideas, events — training on technology-related programs, business building and thinking ahead. I love a tough problem!
What’s your favorite part of your day?
Waking up breathing :) … Then getting my hands dirty in the deals and finding something to learn for the day.
What’s your least favorite part?
What does lunchtime look like for you — do you leave the office for lunch or eat a brown-bag at your desk?
Lunch is a fresh pot of coffee — maybe on the way to an appointment or to view a property.
How do you support agents after hours and on weekends?
I am available via phone or text and email most of the time … texting is as good as sliced bread! It has changed my life.
Would you recommend this career to someone else? Why or why not?
I would absolutely recommend — this is the best career anyone can have! I haven’t seen the same day twice in 20 years! It is always interesting, and the freedom it gives is amazing. I have never worked a day in my life.
Have you ever managed an office outside the real estate industry?
A 10-office mortgage banker and consumer real estate finance office.
How did you make the transition to real estate?
I have always been in real estate; I have an AAS in banking and real estate and worked at the mortgage company office simultaneously.
How many agents work out of the office you manage?
Sixteen in two offices.
How many brokers?
I am chief, cook and bottle washer (broker/owner) — it’s a small firm.
How many listings does your office manage at any given time?
150 to 175.
Describe your office. What is the floor plan like? What is the decor like?
We have two offices — an open area for in/out agents, meeting rooms and private offices. Decor is neutral-basic in one and historic building in other one.
What CRM does your office use?
We are a franchise and we have an internal CRM; some agents use Top Producer and Agent Office (a few use pen and notepad).
What email system does your office use?
The system our website host provides.
Do you have a live person answer your phones, a messaging service or some other way to manage phone calls?
We always have a live person, except after hours.
Do you have any office manager assistants, or are you doing it all yourself? If so, how many and how do they support you?
I have one full-time administrator and one part-time administrator in the second office. They help with paperwork, contract processing management, listing input, follow-up, advertising placement, billing and “other duties as assigned” to keep agents out of the office and working on new business.
Are you involved in the social media strategy? How so? If not, who manages social media for your brokerage?
We have Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Social media is not a real strong spot — we need improvement (we need a 12-year-old to manage it for us!).
Have you ever sold real estate? If not, do you have any interest in selling real estate yourself?
I do sell some — but I spend most of my time supporting my team.
What has been the biggest change to your job over the past year?
Moving agents into the technology-based/paperless world and overcoming the fear and resistance (many of my agents are 60-plus), using emerging technology to work with broader range of clients and provide solid service.
What sets your brokerage apart? How do you differentiate yourself?
We are small but very productive. I think that we are a business- and client-focused office and spend time building relationships rather than transactions … repeat and referral is probably 80 percent of the company generation.
If you were forced to work in any industry other than real estate, which would it be and why?
I can’t even imagine it, but teaching is probably a similar satisfaction. My greatest happiness comes when someone else succeeds.
Are you involved in any technology investment decisions?
Yes, 100 percent.
Do agents rely too much on you to handle things?
No. They ask for advice and counseling on issues and situations, but they do the work to resolve it. I teach them to fish rather than feed them a fish sandwich.
To what extent do you help with closings?
We look at contract close dates and work to make sure we’ve done everything possible to avoid someone else letting us down … but issues arise, and I handle as necessary.
What broker or agent habits drive you crazy?
Not responding immediately to a need (lead), not following up and losing to another firm for no reason! (Self-inflicted wounds.)
If you had a magic wand that would grant one wish related to your job, what would it be?
I would wish that everyone was more organized, disciplined and efficient and would love the business for all it has to offer.
Are you an office manager who’d like to participate in our profile series? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.