In the following interview, Bonnie Mays, principal broker, Lexington, and broker/CEO, Louisville, of United Real Estate Lexington and Louisville in Kentucky, discusses the advantages of the brand, the local market, philanthropy and more.
Region Served: Central Kentucky
Years in Real Estate: 30
Number of Offices: 3
Number of Agents: 340
Top Tip for Staying Organized: I’m a huge fan of Mel Robbins, author of “The 5 Second Rule,” through which I’ve learned how to prioritize what I have to do today versus what I have to do to grow my business versus what I’m doing that’s a complete waste of time.
Favorite Part of Your Job: Seeing agents grow by perfecting their skills and becoming stronger.
Must-Have Technology Tool: A CRM.
Please describe a current trend you’re seeing in your market.
Because we’re in a low-inventory market, there’s a lot of pressure on the various parties involved in any given real estate transaction. In fact, I recently heard a statistic related to this being the first time that there have been more agents than listings, so when you’re representing a buyer and showing them multiple properties, it’s not uncommon for many of their offers to be rejected because they weren’t the highest bidder. While this trend isn’t necessarily different, it’s not one that I’ve experienced before.
What attracted you to United Real Estate and its unique model?
While the model itself initially attracted me, I can’t say enough about the technology United Real Estate provides, in addition to the compensation plan, which is a big draw for agents. Agents pay a nominal fee for a robust technology system that includes a website, CRM, cloud document storage, online education and more. I took a big leap of faith in introducing the United Real Estate model to the Lexington/Louisville markets, as I didn’t know the type of response I’d receive, but it didn’t take long for top producers to come knocking. In fact, since joining United Real Estate, my agent count has expanded from 25 to 340. I’m constantly telling my agents that while I’ll act as their support system, I want them to be the CEO of their own business—and I have the tools they need to successfully manage their business.
Which tools/systems provided by United Real Estate are producing the best results for your company?
The marketing portal we have access to is excellent, as it includes a vendor for postcards and virtual marketing. Agents also have access to training in key areas such as social media marketing, which is critical, as this is where the real estate industry is today. Everything is done on social media, whether it’s marketing your services to connecting with your sphere of influence so that they know who you are and what you offer. Training is a big part of United University, and this is a part of what we do in each office.
What philanthropic initiatives do you take part in that help keep your firm top of mind in the communities you serve?
At United Real Estate, our national cause is Autism Speaks, which we heavily participate in. In fact, last year, our Lexington office raised $10,000 through agents contributing $10-$20 from each closing. As of press time, our Louisville office has raised $1,275 in the month of April alone. Our agents absolutely buy into the philosophy of giving back, and it’s a huge part of the United Real Estate culture.
How are you preparing your agents for the future?
During last year’s REALTORS® Conference & Expo, we were told that the inventory shortage we’re currently experiencing was coming, and that it would stick around for a few years. In addition to providing reasons as to why, we learned how to prepare agents for a low-inventory market, which set us on the path to doing things differently. In addition to holding Saturday morning door-knocking parties so that we can meet more people who might be thinking of selling their home, we also schedule open houses on different days and go out of our way to turn them into neighborhood parties. In the end, it’s all about going out and finding listings, while accentuating what you offer and how it’s different.
For more information, please visit www.unitedrealestate.com.