The broker-owner blueprint: This RE/MAX leader’s secrets (Part 2)

Broker-owner Mark Butterfield has 100 agents who raked in $565M in sales this past year, here’s part 2 of how he does it

Check out part 1 of this series.  

Mark Butterfield has owned his franchise of RE/MAX since 1992, keeping the brokerage running smoothly with his own systems in place. He does this through supporting his agents in many aspects of the real estate business.

The difference between high performers and the rest of the pack

Anyone can work but a small percentage of the population brings in more results than the rest. According to Butterfield, there are many traits that separate a high performer from the pack: work ethic, personalities, commitment to efficient systems.

Butterfield believes the top performers are the agents who acknowledge that they are building a business within a business.

“The ones that are the best at it within my own company regularly work their sphere of influence and their past clients,” he said. “They’re generally doing 15 touches a year, and it makes a huge difference in their referral base.”

A great hack for supporting agents and their clients

Butterfield supports his agents and their clients by hosting office-wide client appreciation nights. He said it takes the pressure off the agents who are worried their clients might not come because the no one can tell which clients belong to which agents.

It provides an opportunity for agents to network with past clients without a lot of extra work on their end; all the agents need to do is send out invitations.

“At the end of the day, that is their best source of business is past clients,” he said.

Managing agents’ egos and their finances

There can be competition between agents making them feel as though they need to sell more houses than their coworkers. Butterfield keeps his brokerage ego-free by focusing on profitability instead of sales numbers.

An agent may feel the need to sell more homes, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything when it comes to income.

Butterfield also keeps his agents’ egos in check by mentoring how they spend money on marketing and other expenses. He has noticed many career coaches encouraging agents to go bigger and better in marketing and finding clients, when sometimes it’s the little touches that go further.

Butterfield encourages his agents to cut back on print advertising and focus on net dollars because he believes they will see the same outcome.

To sell or not to sell (the brokerage, that is)

Butterfield enjoys what he’s doing and doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon, but he still stays focus on keeping his brokerage clean and sellable. This way, when it does come time for him to sell, the brokerage is ready to be sold at will.

Keep your business sellable so you don’t need to scramble when you decide to retire from real estate.

Email Mark Butterfield.

Chris Haddon is an entrepreneur based in Washington, D.C., a partner at Hard Money Bankers and a co-founder of REI360.net.