By Stephanie Andre
Editor’s Note: The RREIN Broker Spotlight Series offers industry insights from members of RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN), an elite network of leading real estate companies united behind the belief that Information Share Equals Market Share. In this interview, featured in the November 2010 issue of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine, RE/MAX Alliance Brokers/Owners Chuck and Chad Ochsner, share their insights on adapting and succeeding in a changing marketplace.
Chuck and Chad Ochsner
Stephanie Andre: RE/MAX Alliance has been around since the late 1970s. How have you grown the brokerage to what it is today?
Chuck Ochsner: I’ve been in Colorado all of my life and started this business myself in 1978; we were called Woodside Realty. Even back then, we knew we needed to lay a solid foundation for growth. We have always focused on four main principles: mutual respect, trust, customer service and quality. These core principles have served us well as the business has become more sophisticated.
In 1984, we made the decision to acquire two offices and joined the RE/MAX family, calling ourselves RE/MAX West. We have been with them ever since. These days, the business is focused on the Front Range area, along the mountains through Northern Colorado and to Metro Denver and south. We now have more than 20 offices, including some in Northern Colorado.
SA: How would you describe current market conditions?
Chad Ochsner: Obviously, the past two-and-a-half years have not been easy, but we have gotten through it by having the best managers in the area, having strong strategic partnerships with our mortgage and insurance, and by being smart about expansion and mergers and acquisitions. Where a lot of firms have cut back and not reinvested in their companies, we have. As the Colorado market continues to improve and we come out of this recession, we’ll show everyone that it’s made us stronger. We will see growth for years into the near future.
SA: How do your sales associates serve today’s consumers?
Chad Ochsner: With RE/MAX’s investment in training—both with RE/MAX University and what we do in-house—we make sure our agents are up-to-speed on timely and important issues and education. For example, we’ve made sure our agents are current and educated about the CDPE certification for distressed properties.
SA: How has your technology evolved to meet the demands of agents and consumers?
Chad Ochsner: We’ve done a number of things. We’ve re-indexed our website and we’ve also chosen to outsource our showing appointments through Centralized Showing Service. Plus, we offer paperless transactions and have our complete texting solution.
Moving forward, we will be incorporating video on our website and will be getting more involved in YouTube, blogging and social media. Plus, we have our listings syndicated through Listhub, which goes out to more than 40 different websites.
Chuck Ochsner: Certainly what we’re doing with RISMedia’s Real Estate Information Network® (RREIN) is a great example of our dedication toward content and the cutting edge. We understand consumers’ needs and wants; it’s about information.
SA: How are you helping your top-producing agents stay at a high level?
Chuck Ochsner: Our position as brokers is similar to the change we’ve seen with our agents—moving from sales associate to consultant. We’re now consulting them. Sometimes it’s on personal issues, but it usually focuses more on the business—“how can we help you reinvent yourself?” or maybe additional training.
SA: In your opinion, what do today’s agents need to focus on to succeed?
Chad Ochsner: It sounds cliché, but they really need to get back to basics. They need to get back to making calls on expireds and FSBOs. They need to use the systems we have in place to contact their spheres of influence and stay front of mind. They also need to look at geographic farming; we’re now coaching them on that.
Chuck Ochsner: We’ve had a big push within our brand to be able to communicate with the next wave of buyers: Gen Y. Their preferred form of communication is different than we’ve seen in years past, from texting to e-mail to even social media. A lot of their future success depends on adapting to generational trends.
For more information, visit www.homesincolorado.com.