Principals: Kurt & Darla Buehler
Team: The Buehlers and Associates of Keller Williams
Brokerage: Keller Williams
Area Served: Northwest Dallas suburbs
Team age: 20
Years in real estate: 20
Team members: 14: 9 licensed agents, 5 Administrative
Why was the team formed? Kurt: We worked separately for 1 year until Darla figured out that I wasn't good with follow up. Darla: No. Kurt is great out in front but behind the scenes he stinks. So we joined up after that first year and grew the team from our husband and wife team over the last 20 years.
What are the biggest benefits of having a team?
Both: You have a life. Darla: And early on we also realized that people have strengths and weaknesses. Me personally I do not enjoy being out in front and that aspect of the business. I like being behind the scenes. I like to follow through with what Kurt promised.
Best advertising for the dollar spent?
Kurt: The internet. 94 percent of our clients come from the internet. Our present website is outdated but we have just made a huge investment in it. We spend zero dollars on newspaper ads. Even though sellers like to see their houses advertised in the newspaper, today the newspaper is basically useless. Only 5.7 percent of all buyers look for houses today in the paper.
What do you tell people on listing appointments about the value of hiring your team versus hiring a solo agent? Kurt: When you have a single agent it's very tough to reach that agent at all times. I have a staff of 14 and someone will always get back with the client. When I go out on a listing I say if you ever need me call the office and tell them what you need. And someone will take care of them. Darla: We are always touching our clients. We give them constant communication. Probably the number one complaint in real estate is that they can't get in touch with their agents.
Looking in depth at managing, what are the things you find invaluable to lead a team? Darla: Accountability. Everyone has to know what their job descriptions are. Then you hold them all accountable to their jobs. Everyone also has to know that we have to get 21 listings a month. So we hold everyone accountable to our goals too. Everyone is pushing very hard to hit our targets. Kurt: The second thing is finding the right person to fit. We really try to match the individual to the team. What has made our lives so much better is that we have hired the correct people for the correct jobs. And also very important to managing and leading a team is to make sure that everyone who wants their lives to be as big as our lives can do it. So we do what's right. The team members see how much money is coming in. They see that we live a very good life and we have to find them opportunities to build their lives too. You are always going to have turnover on the team. So to make sure that you hold on to the core team members you have to give them opportunity to make their lives as big as ours. When you have a talented core to your team the level of service a client gets is much more than they ever thought possible. Kurt: We also give team members the proper training. And if they are not fitting in with the team we let them self discover that then let them de-hire themselves. But you have to let them discover that they are not a good fit.
What's your best tip for getting a listing at the right price?
Kurt: Educating the seller so that the seller can self discover what the price should be. Darla: Kurt prepares a very detailed presentation so that he goes to the listing with the best script possible and is on their side completely and then educates them to the correct price.
What's your best idea for holding effective team meetings?
Kurt: Make ‘em quick and make ‘em energetic. If they are coming to a meeting just to come to a meeting that is useless. Darla: You have to hit the points of relevance quickly. Kurt: Negative conversations need to take place outside of the general meeting.
What works best in generating online leads?
Darla: Kurt works very hard on positioning us on the website. Online leads have to be touched in 15 minutes. It is the speed of getting back to them. The faster you get back to them the better the result. Each hit goes to a Treo. And that online lead is hopped on on average of fifteen minutes.
What's the most creative thing you've ever done to sell a home?
Kurt: We did the very first interactive kiosk at the local mall back in 1995. It worked really well.
On life in real estate: Both: We have failed our way to success. We have made our share of mistakes all the way through it. We have always done well at taking care of our clients. We have tried all kinds of marketing things. To us you have to try things that are outside of your comfort zone to make change. When we think about the silly flyers we sent out 20 years ago. You do get your share of failures. But to get truly great at anything it takes 10 years. Along the way you have to have failed. If you are not failing you are not trying.#
- Lesley Geary
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