So what else was Monica Breckenridge, vivacious chief executive of Pink Realty, to do in 2018, but rapidly expand?
Since the beginning of the year, her company has opened two Pink Realty franchises in Georgia — in Atlanta and Augusta — and a third in Southern Colorado, where she controls a personal portfolio of approximately 100 properties in Colorado Springs.
Breckenridge told Inman she wants no fewer than 10 franchises by the end of the year, including, potentially, in New York state and Minnesota, where she has recently made inroads through real estate contacts on social media.
“I want to be everywhere all across the nation, the more spread out the better, so the name gets out nationwide,” said Breckenridge, speaking to Inman recently from her base in Colorado, where her operation is comprised of 15 team agents in Denver and Colorado Springs. “My goal is to not be big like Re/Max, but to stay small and focus on a team-style model.”
But not too small. Each franchisee business, she said, would be required to close a minimum of 100 transactions a year, a modest undertaking compared to the 504 transactions, totaling $133 million in sales, that her Colorado offices inked in 2017. “I’m trying to stay boutique and small, but I want to be big as far as the volume of transactions,” she added.
To succeed, Breckenridge is offering new franchisees rigorous training, including on how best to work with investor clients. In fact, mentoring and coaching are included with the $10,000 price of a Pink Realty franchise, for which she also receives a 5 percent royalty on each transaction.
The businesswoman, who began her career in real estate after running a successful investment business with her husband, also said she urges agents to keep in contact with clients outside of ongoing transactions and deals.
Clients, she said, are contacted monthly and sent birthday and wedding anniversary wishes annually — all tracked through a customized Customer Relationship Management platform available to each new franchisee. Breckenridge has even enlisted her mother to visit clients in Colorado Springs on a regular basis in an effort to keep the company top-of-mind.
“Most realtors just close and don’t talk to the client again,” said Breckenridge, who estimated that more than 70 percent of her team’s business consists of repeat referrals. “That is not a way that you run a business.”
“You have to know how to work with your sphere of influence and stay in contact. They have to become your friends,” added Breckenridge, who herself loathes cold calling. “You get more results from somebody who knows you than somebody that has never heard of you.”
For Breckenridge, who claims to incorporate a little pink in her wardrobe each day, much of the company’s recent success can be directly attributed to brilliant branding, she said. But she didn’t choose the color at random. As a cancer survivor who beat back a diagnosis of skin cancer as a teenager, finding a cure for breast cancer has been a guiding light for decades.
“People associate [the pink branding] with breast cancer awareness, and we donate to that, but each franchise owner can choose their own charity,” said Breckenridge, who has donated $100,000 to breast cancer organizations over the years.
“Our brand is our name,” she added. “Pink is the name, the website and the trademark. That’s all you have to remember.”
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