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By Lesley Geary

RISMEDIA, Oct. 4, 2008-In addition to agent education, real estate knowledge and training, successful real estate teams are focusing on branding-as a way to assure their services are known in their community.

Kathy Koehler
The Koehler/Bortnick Team
Reece & Nichols Real Estate

Years in real estate: 26
Years as an agent team: I formed my team about 12 years ago when buyer agency came into being.
Number of team members: We have a team of 20, not including myself, and a support staff of six.
Region served: The Kansas City Metropolitan area.

I formed an agent team…so that I could do listings only and have many buyer’s agents doing only buyer transactions. My buyer’s agents specialize in everything from foreclosure/repos to upper bracket sales. We closed $177 million in sales in 2007.

How would you describe your team’s brand?
Our motto is, “our clients come first” so they are number one with us. When you are working with clients, their biggest complaints are a lack of communication and honesty. Many Realtors struggle with giving bad news. Many times, I am the second agent in because the first agent just couldn’t deliver the bad news. So I am a firm believer that bad news delivered in a timely manner is a good thing.

How does your brand set you apart?
We are branded in several ways. We have a webmaster who took us to a new level. I had my first mentor when I had been in the business for eight years. Branding is very important. Education, knowledge and training. We have our own logo. It pops up everywhere you look. We buy metatags online.

How do you market your brand?
We have phone booths in our office and we make phone calls. We dial for dollars. We can make 100 phone calls in an hour. We ask for business. The way we get our brand out is by making calls all the time. When I first got into the business, I had a trainer who had me make 85 phone calls a day and I had to turn in sheets verifying those calls; I did it and continue to do it. Because we get out and ask for business we are number one in the market.

How do you brand the team while also capitalizing on your brokerage brand?
Every team brand ad that we run has the brokerage name logo as well as our team brand logo.

Does branding your team seem to have an impact on consumers?
One hundred percent, yes. Ninety-seven percent of my business is from my brand because we are number one, so we get the most calls. We are tops on the Web and buyers see our signs everywhere. Eighty percent of our business comes from the Web.

Team Talk – How Do You Reward Team Members?

Dean Moss
Dean’s Team Chicago
Keller Williams Fox Realty

“This is an all-commission business so their business is their own reward. That said, I offer a shoulder to cry on…and once a month, get-togethers. I also provide an objection-handling techniques conference call once a week.”

Kathy Toth
The Kathy Toth Team Seashore Real Estate One
Ann Arbor, Michigan

“I reward each person on the team with what they like individually. Recently, I took the entire team to the MGM Casino and gave them cash. One buyer’s agent won $2,000 on a slot machine. We have fun. We do lots of things like this. Rewarding the team helps keep them positive.”

Ronnie Matthews
The Ronnie and Cathy Matthews Team
RE/MAX Legends
Greater Houston area

“I reward them by treating them with respect and paying them appropriately. We also have a lot of office get-togethers and give Christmas bonuses. And you certainly can’t discount the fact that I take care of them like family.”