In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
When R New York President Stefani Berkin talks about supporting agent success, she means it. Besides the company’s 100 percent commission model, she has spearheaded the development of a real estate curriculum taught by industry leaders and specialists to maximize agent growth during her tenure.
In addition, Berkin works with developers to ensure a steady stream of new listings for her high-energy team. Find out how she first got into real estate and what she’s planning next.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the real estate business for 11 years. I first got my license while I was in college and immediately began working, gaining experience at commercial, rental and boutique residential firms. Upon graduating, I was asked to join the team of a high-producing agent who was starting his own business.
During this time, I became hooked on compiling market research and investigating what makes a real estate model successful. In 2014, I brought this experience and knowledge with me to R New York (formerly Charles Rutenberg). The rest is history.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself continuing to run and grow [our brokerage], with the company on its way to becoming a household name. Today, we are currently the fifth-largest brokerage in New York City, with additional operations in New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida.
In five years, I want to continue expanding the business, bringing our innovative model, which ensures brokers receive 100 percent commission, to cities across the country and beyond.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate? How did you learn it?
We truly support what it means to be an independent contractor. We understand that agents must build their brands to be successful, and we provide them with the tools they need to do so. This is why our agent retention rate has reached 96 percent. It’s also why we continue to attract top talent.
I learned the importance of prioritizing individual agents not only by conducting thorough market research but also by listening directly to agents’ wants and needs.
For example, when I’m interviewing agents, it’s clear that they want to work for a company that supports and values them.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Learn everything you can about the business. In real estate, knowledge and data are power. I recommend picking a niche — for example, a specific neighborhood — and fully immersing yourself in it. I also recommend finding a good mentor. Finally, make sure you tell everyone you are in the business — relationships are key.
Editor’s note: This interview was for style, grammar and clarity.
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Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant and the owner of Writing Real Estate. She is also the creator of the online course Crafting the Property Description: The Step-by-Step Formula for Reluctant Real Estate Writers. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.