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Broker Spotlight: Tech-Savvy and Taking Charge

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By Stephanie Andre

RISMEDIA, March 30, 2011—In today’s broker spotlight from Real Estate magazine, Robb Spearman, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts talks about what it takes to support today’s top-producing agents.

Stephanie Andre: Please describe how your career path led you to RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts.
Robb Spearman: I founded my real estate company as an independent business. When I started, I worked out of a house I rented; it was just me, a desk and a computer. I was previously a mortgage broker in the early 1990s, and in the mid ’90s, I started selling real estate. I loved to sell but didn’t care for a lot of the corporate-brokerage systems. I am more of an entrepreneur. After seven months, I moved into an office and started hiring a staff. In 2004, I realized that I needed a brand. I researched all the brands and chose RE/MAX. We made the switch in June 2004. At the time, it was me, three staff members and a buyer’s agent. Now, we have six office locations and 100 agents.

SA: How are you retaining top-producing agents?
RS: Part of it is how the business is run and the environment we have. When I joined RE/MAX, I made the decision to move out of listing and selling and move into the real estate agent service business. I know about an agent’s hard work and struggles; this is my way to give back. My thought was that I wanted to provide premier features to agents—both with tools and services.

Also, about six years ago, we made a significant move on the Web…before many others in our area. While others are concerned with the Sunday paper, we have multiple websites and we’re concentrating on promoting our agents and their listings on the Web.

We also train our agents on the latest technology and trends. We are extreme about social media—we have a branded YouTube page, and we’re very active on Facebook and Twitter. Our training has given our agents quite strength in those areas.

Also, we have six offices positioned throughout our community. The idea is that an agent can do business from anywhere; the same key fits into the lock at every office. Our agents love this.

We have what I call our “In and Out Rooms.” They’re 4×7 rooms, equipped with computers and a phone in which our agents can show up and use the space to make calls and get work done; this way, they’re not chained to a desk. There are also conference rooms to meet with consumers. This is something different that no one else offers.

SA: Is there a type of agent you look for?
RS: We concentrate on looking for agents that fit our ideal customer base. We turn down more than we accept. Other agents see how our business is run and see this environment as an opportunity. Looking in from the outside, they see the enthusiasm and excitement in our company.

We have a young agent base—that’s why our environment is so positive; they see the opportunities ahead. They’re not looking back at the past or complaining about what’s different. That’s refreshing.

SA: How has your technology evolved to meet the demands of agents and consumers?
RS: As far as our agents go, we’re an extremely tech-savvy company and that starts with me. I’ve built websites from the ground up, using html, etc. We’ve also done some SEO marketing. We want to take our agent information and build.

We also set our agents up with profile pages all over the Web. The reason is that years ago, buyers would drive by a sign and call the number. Now they Google the property address and/or agent’s name. We want our agents to be found quickly and easily. Because of this, we want as much exposure on the Web for our agents; we index all of our listing addresses so that they’ll come up in a Web search.

Plus, as I mentioned earlier, we are very big on video. If you visit webcastonelive.com, you’ll see our advertising there. It’s a webcasting company that has live shows, like talk radio. We have tremendous marketing potential there. We have our own branding—the RE/MAX Real Estate Concepts Studio. Every show that comes on in our local area mentions our company.

SA: What are your plans for continuing to grow the company?
RS: Our goal for 2011 is to get to 125 agents who each average 20 transactions per year. We want to keep the average income at over $50,000 for each of our agents. We also want to be completely paperless by the second quarter.

We’re also going to continue to work on our videos and video marketing. We’re going to continue creating videos on our listings but also add agent profiles so that buyers and sellers can get a feel for what our agents are about.

For more information, please visit www.homeconnectusa.com.

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