Retaining top-producing agents is a necessity for any successful real estate company. Below, Rich Cosner, co-owner and president or Prudential California Realty gives us his secrets for excellent retention, technology know-how, and overall success in the real estate business.
Barbara Pronin: How would you characterize your company’s positioning in your marketplace?
Rich Cosner: We are a dominant force in the North Orange County real estate market, and we are the No. 1 firm in northwest Riverside County. We have a significant presence in San Bernardino County, and throughout the rest of the Inland Empire, with a total of about 600 agents in six offices. What I’m most proud of, though, is not our size, but the reputation we’ve earned—and work hard to maintain—as a premier company with the best and most professional agents anywhere and customer service excellence far above the expected.
BP: How has the company changed to adapt to today’s market conditions?
RC: The marketplace has changed dramatically over the years, not just in terms of technology and how we use it, but in the very nature of the business. Buyers and sellers are more knowledgeable and more in control than ever in the history of real estate. We make timely investments in new programs and systems and we do what it takes to provide our agents with everything they need.
BP: What makes your company stand apart from the competition?
RC: Our sales professionals are the best. Every firm says this, but we can and do demonstrate it every day. Quite simply, customers come to us because we are highly rated in the communities we serve, and we are known for having top quality agents.
BP: What is your particular market strength?
RC: While we serve all segments of the market, we are focused on, and highly attuned to, the high end of the market. We sell more homes valued at $800,000 or higher than our next two competitors combined in north Orange County, and that’s because our agents are sophisticated and able to work comfortably with the most discriminating buyers and sellers.
BP: How are you retaining your top-producing agents?
RC: This is something I never take for granted. We work in service of our agents and their clients. For example, most firms take Internet leads and leads from REALTOR.com®, Trulia and Zillow and push them to a call center and then send them to agents along with a hefty referral fee. Instead, we direct leads like these, with no fee, directly to the listing agent. My partner and I value our sales professionals and do everything we can to be sure they have the best technology and the best support systems available. We also have a top-flight management team ready to pitch in as necessary.
BP: How has your technology evolved to stay current?
RC: Our digital capabilities are second to none within our market area. We can demonstrate to our customers in compelling video exactly what we do for them and how it will help them get the highest possible price for their property. We focus our technology usage on what is going to help our agents win more listings. Needless to say, we are all over social media sites, as well. That being said, we still believe some of the old-fashioned customer communication skills are among the best tools we have.
BP: In your opinion, what’s the best way for an agent to succeed in today’s market?
RC: First, be sure you are an expert in your market, knowledgeable and able to outperform the competition in terms of helping customers meet their needs. Second, run your business like a business, because that is exactly what it is. Be confident in your ability to earn a six-figure income or multiple six-figure incomes, because you can if you plan and execute every aspect of your business with care. Third, work for a company that values your professionalism, respects you and your customers and provides the kind of tools and support—both personal and logistical—that makes it easier and more pleasurable to do your job.
For more information, please visit www.prudentialcaliforniarealty.com.