- If you do the right things for the right reasons, success will follow.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks when they’re strategic and have big potential.
- Create a company culture that allows agents to focus on the most important things: working with sellers, working with buyers and prospecting for each.
I learned all I know about real estate from my dad. And his lesson was very simple: If you do the right things for the right reasons, success will follow.
That was 38 years ago, when social media was meeting people in church — but it has proved timeless.
I worked alongside my dad for 12 years, and when he passed away in 1990, I was proud to take the helm. My first challenge as the owner of the company was to decide how to recruit a cultural fit for the firm and teach our new agents the knowledge I received from my father. In just six months, we had grown both in agent count and productivity.
What have I learned from this ongoing journey? More than I could have imagined, but here are a handful of the most imperative insights and advice that I hope will ring true for your businesses as well as you work to grow and bring in the new generation of real estate agents.
1. Evolve with the consumer
We’re constantly reinventing the company to align with the ever-evolving consumer, which is a key component of sustained success.
This year marks the fifth time our company has been recognized as one of the top all-around companies in the ERA Real Estate system. With five offices and 125 agents, our growth goal for 2016 and beyond is opening a few more offices in key locations that will not only expand our service area but also provide access to active markets and different consumers for our agents.
2. Push past your comfort zone
Don’t be afraid to take risks when they’re strategic and have big potential. When I developed the company’s renewed recruitment strategy, I thought we had the best of both worlds: I was still selling, and we had grown.
It would have been easy to stay there, but I pushed past my comfort zone and decided to quit selling and become an agent support company — it was a big risk, but ultimately, the best decision I could have made.
3. Create a company culture that allows agents to focus on the most important things
For us, this approach not only maximizes our agents’ productivity, but it also sells homes faster and allows our agents to command a higher commission rate in the marketplace.
Can’t fully step away from selling? Try an iteration of this strategy by bringing in a strong business manager.
4. Keep your recruiting pitch simple
For example, mine is: let’s be partners and make money together. I’ve found that it works, but it requires agents to look past the split, and some agents aren’t able to do that.
My approach works for my team and me; it doesn’t work for everyone. Run it by some of your key team members before using it with new recruits to get their thoughts on how it fits with your culture.
5. Stay young
As we look to the future, we are focused on getting younger. In my observations, most every company that fails does so because it stays at status quo.
For my wife Anna and me, part of staying young meant turning over some of our responsibility to the next generation of managers.
As a graduate of Realogy’s executive leadership program, Ascend, our son Josh is applying what he has learned to keep our company current and competitive.
My advice to fellow brokers is to recognize that growth for growth’s sake isn’t always the way to go. For me, it has never been our plan to be the biggest, just the best.
And with a focus on being the best, we’ve learned that growth comes from the inside out — for the right reasons.