By Barbara Pronin
Sometimes, two is better than one. In the following interview, RE/MAX Select’s Paul and Debi Raymond talk about how they work together to drive the company forward.
Paul, how did the team come about, and how have you been able to grow?
Paul Raymond: I started with RE/MAX in 1996 and soon became part of a two-person team. At the time, REOs were rare in Michigan, but I realized that the foreclosure market was heating up. I found Debi, who was a specialist in REOs and foreclosures, and we decided it was the right time to fill what was clearly a growing need.
How would you measure your success?
PR: We now have a team of 10 that is made up of eight licensed agents and a two-person support unit. Between 2010 and 2012, we were closing some 1,000 transaction sides each year, with a heavy emphasis on REO. In 2012, we added on buyer’s agents and expanded into a full-service team.
Is the team concept the new model?
PR: Within RE/MAX, teams are commonplace. Team members can focus on improving production because of the added administrative support, and there’s always someone to step in for you if you’re on vacation or have other obligations.
Debi Raymond: Working as a team is a great way to ensure nothing falls through the cracks. While Paul and I focus on listings, primarily from referrals and past clients, the other six agents who are part of the team work on the buyer’s side.
How do you attract new members?
DR: Primarily by offering agent assistance beyond the norm. Each of our team members has at least 10 years of real estate experience and truly knows what it means to work together to benefit the team and the client.
PR: We operate like a good attorney’s office, with specialists available for every situation. Busy, successful agents want a compatible, non-competitive and supportive working atmosphere where they can do their best work and even have a little fun.
How do you generate leads for your team? And what’s your view on Internet leads?
PR: Apart from referrals, websites and ads, we drive a lot of business through Internet lead generators. When it comes to Internet leads, it’s important that we get good leads and fresh, current listings. We like realtor.com®, and we’re big fans of Top Producer 8i, with all its mobile features, to manage and distribute leads.
How do you keep up with incoming leads?
PR: When a lead comes in, it’s assigned to an agent by email or text, and the agent makes contact within minutes. Then Top Producer helps us track, incubate and manage every lead in a way that helps us establish relationships, stay in touch, and build trust and rapport. No matter how long the process takes, Top Producer helps us track and incubate leads from inquiry to closing.
For more information, visit www.realtor.com/success.