By Maria Patterson
After a successful career as a regional director and owner at a Canadian real estate firm, Arthur Darmanin felt there was a better way to succeed in the real estate franchise business. Consequently, he relocated to Florida to launch the Fort Meyers-based Sellstate Realty in 2002, along with his partner Neil Cresswell.
“I felt the approach to the real estate business was kind of archaic,” Darmanin explains. “The first thing we did was set up a centralized process so that we could process commissions electronically.” Traditionally an administrative headache for brokers and managers, it became a cornerstone of Sellstate, allowing them to focus on building the business and supporting their agents.
“We view our agents as our greatest asset,” explains Darmanin. “We strive to help our agents close more deals and become better at what they do through training, and especially in today’s world, by utilizing the right tools.”
Following up on the simple, yet innovative idea to supply agents with the necessary tools, Darmanin and Cresswell decided to make a major investment in order to dramatically augment productivity.
“To succeed in today’s market you need several things,” says Darmanin, “such as a website with IDX, a CRM, a listing presentation, a buyer presentation, social media, listing integration, enhanced listings on the major sites, just to name a few. When we surveyed our top producers, we discovered that their biggest issue was not having all these components in one place. Our goal was to get a package that accommodates all these critical elements and our research clearly revealed that the industry’s best solution was Homes.com’s Homes Connect marketing platform.”
Darmanin and Cresswell partnered with Homes.com to create a custom-branded version of the Homes Connect marketing platform known as the Sellstate Power Suite. This custom-branded platform provides the firm’s agents with one-stop technology with a single log-in, and a single information input, allowing agents to create a comprehensive package for clients. Agents can also use Power Suite to generate and manage leads, and as their online CRM.
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