When David Kurz got out of the Marine Corps in 2004, he jumped into real estate at the behest of his cousin, who worked in mortgages.
Suffice to say, without rehashing the tumultuous years of the housing crisis, the next few years were quite a learning experience for him.
After nine years serving in the military, Kurz started working at Corpac Steel Products before earning his real estate license. He then went on to work with Keller Williams and Douglas Elliman Real Estate Miami.
Kurz survived his first years in real estate through short sales and bank-owned properties, but has since up and on.
Taking cues from the tech industry
In Kurz’s eyes, the real estate industry is shifting, which promotes a shift in the broker’s business model. But even there he sees a change.
“First, we don’t call them business plans. We call them ‘attack plans,'” he said.
Kurz is aiming for new real estate agents — perhaps before the burden of experience sets in — so that he can shape them and mold them to become entrepreneurs themselves.
The Kurz Real Estate Corp office is an open floor plan, an idea he credited coming from Facebook and Google offices. After working in a cubicle and realizing “it was becoming my coffin,” he figured the open plan promotes teamwork and collaboration much better.
But technology companies and real estate companies are different. Whereas his vision for teamwork is necessary for a healthy work environment, he wants to instill the drive it takes to succeed in real estate by working one-on-one with new agents to develop self-driven success.
“I make the time to sit with every new agent we have. I sit with them and tell them, ‘If I tell you that running around the building will get you a new listing,’ I want you to ask me, ‘How many laps?'” he said.
What the new real estate agent needs to understand
If your agent isn’t on social media, or doesn’t have a verifiable online footprint, he/she had better be established. Kurz sees social media as the new billboard.
If there is nothing to back it up, then what’s the point in using it?
Kurz outlined how social media and technology are just tools for the modern agent, but certainly not the master keys to success.
“The online footprint is more and more important than it’s ever been,” he said.
“That way when you knock on someone’s door, they can say “Hey, I’ve seen your billboard.”
What he is most excited about, though, is the opportunity to work directly with new agents. As such, he has implemented a 60/90 rule to help push them to success.
This office rule basically says to set goals for the first 60 days, and if those goals aren’t met by the 90th day, then it’s a simple and understood “goodbye.”
The idea is to not look at agent onboarding as a numerical goal to reach, but to ensure new agents don’t get lost in the purgatorial post-training doldrums.
“This is about attitude,” he said.
“‘You know, I got my license, so what do I do now?’ is often the question I get asked. Now is the time to build your business.”
A changing Miami
Kurz wants to play with the changing Miami landscape as it relates to his real estate team. Whereas he acknowledges the “blueprint” laid out by past successful agents, he sees it as just that, a blueprint.
But there are new ways of marketing. There are new ways of communicating. There are new ways to reach clients.
In the past, Kurz hosted a real estate segment for Miami In Style TV. He hosts the Kurz Real Estate Radio Show on Miami 880AM. He publishes a quarterly real estate magazine. And he’s currently working on a book.
He wants his agents to utilize all of them to be as successful as possible.
Kurz opens the doors
“I think the reality hit when the DBPR [Florida Downtown Business and Professional Regulation] approved me and I was able to open doors. I was, like, ‘Oh shit, this is about to go down,” he said.
The past month has been crazy in the new office. He’s already signed on 23 agents with plans to expand to 200 by the end of the year.
But the goal isn’t to have a percentage of those 200 agents being successful. He sets the goal even higher.
Kurz wants to be the first brokerage to break $1 billion in sales in the first year, and he plans on doing that with his agents.
He hired Kendra Decker as the vice president of operational development. She is in charge of recruiting, retention and the training systems.
“That’s one of the first things we weren’t afraid to do…was understand that I can’t do everything, and bring someone in to help me,” he said.
When Decker brings them on, Kurz sits down with them to develop attack plans.
“There are companies pitching amazing technology and engineers in offices who are creating new ways for real estate,” he said.
“Real estate is a personal business, a brasstacks business — the rest is a bonus. The rest helps you brand yourself better.”