RISMEDIA, August 3, 2010—Filling your office with motivated agents who will work hard to get the job done is a crucial factor in finding success in today’s real estate market. Here, Stanley Bishop, Broker/Owner of Exit Real Estate Gallery in Jacksonville, Florida shares his tips for recruiting successful agents.
Years in real estate: 9. I bought my first real estate property at 22 and then started buying investment properties a year later.
Before real estate: I worked in the digital graphics industry, leading million-dollar marketing and advertising campaigns for HP and others.
Number of offices: 4, with plans to add two more in the next three years. As you may know, Jacksonville is the largest land-mass city in the U.S., so it was a challenge as a brokerage to be able to serve the entire city properly. We decided to open our offices in the areas of Jacksonville that we felt had the highest concentration of sales.
Number of agents: Close to 180
On choosing EXIT: Our company is focused 100% on our agents. When I was looking at different franchises, I studied all of them. With the company’s residual program and everything else they offer, EXIT was the best choice I could make…for myself and our agents.
Congratulations on your recent #4 real estate brokerage ranking by the Jacksonville Business Journal. For a fairly new company, that’s impressive.
Thanks. We’re very happy to be included in that list. We’ve set high goals, but they are very much achievable. Our goal for 2010 is total sales of $150 million and so far, we are almost halfway there at $65 million—so we are seeing steady growth and are happy about it.
To what do you attribute your success in such a competitive market?
We’re doing the right thing. As a company and broker, we have made a conscious decision to make decisions as if we were one of our agents. How does this best help the agent? It’s more of a bottom-up approach, which you don’t see often.
What type of marketing/advertising strategy do you employ?
Every listing an agent gets—no matter the price—is listed in print magazines such as The Real Estate Book and Homes and Land; we list it on more than 100 websites, such as Google, the Wall Street Journal and MSN; we create a visual tour and we design print ads and postcards. It’s turnkey and all provided by the company. That’s where my experience in marketing and advertising comes in.
What we’re saying is that you have to market to people the way they want to be marketed to. Some people read print; some surf the Web; some like direct mail. If you want effective marketing, you have to reach people in the way in which they want to be communicated with.
To what do you attribute your company’s quick success?
Four things: lead generation; marketing for our agents; ongoing training; and our new agent training class. It doesn’t matter if you are new at real estate or not—each agent who is new with us has to take this class. They have to do everything from cost analysis and lead generation to short-sale paperwork.
Plus, our lead generation is very big for us. Approximately 30-35% of our business comes from lead generation.
How are your agents bringing buyers off the fence?
Right now, we are focusing on where buyers want to buy. We are educating them on the value they are getting. We always run a rent vs. purchase analysis, showing them that in the long run, they will see tremendous benefits to buying. We are showing consumers that even with the tax credit gone, it still makes sense to buy and they are still getting a great deal.
People say that a picture is worth a thousand words. We say, “a picture is worth a thousand dollars.” Don’t tell your buyers something you can show them.