Keeping your agents motivated is key to maximizing your business; in the following interview, Jen Dollar, Broker/Owner of Realty Executives Orlando in Central Florida and Seminole, lets us know what it takes to stay on top.
Years in real estate: 10
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: Over 100
Region served: Seminole and Orange counties
Best advice for creating work/life balance: Hire a great assistant. You can’t do it all and if you try to, you’re going to fail. Focus on what you’re good at.
Why did you choose the Realty Executives International franchise?
We interviewed pretty much all of the major franchise companies and we found that Realty Executives Intl. gave us the flexibility to run our own business, whereas the other franchises were restrictive and there was a lot we wouldn’t have control over. We felt that if we were going to invest the money and time to build a business, the last thing we wanted was someone in another state to be making decisions for us.
Describe current market conditions.
The market is definitely challenged. We service highly desirable areas and there’s a major lack of inventory, so it’s very competitive and there’s a bit of a multiple-offer situation. We still have a good number of bank-owned properties and short sales, but there are many more traditional sales being listed today. The market is evening back up.
How are you guiding agents through the challenges of a low-inventory market?
The best thing agents can do is educate their clients and make sure they’re aware of the challenges they’re going to face. People can’t say, “Let’s go out and find a house this weekend.” In this market, it may take three or four months. If we have a client in a short-term rental or one who needs to find a home quickly, our agents educate them on the current market situation right from the start. Additionally, we’re making sure that our agents are very well-versed in CMAs and how the market is trending in terms of price so they can be competitive when submitting offers.
On the listing side, we have to let sellers know that there’s a little bit of a premium they can expect because of the lack of inventory, but we don’t want to inflate the seller’s perception of the market either. It’s not like the last boom where people so often paid well over value; buyers are still hesitant.
What are the trends in your area?
We’re working with a lot of international buyers, and we’re seeing a lot of activity with new homes. We have an influx of Brazilian and Canadian buyers, which means a high amount of cash deals.
How do you motivate your agents?
All of our agents, for the most part, are very experienced and very busy and don’t need me to motivate them. However, we do have a quarterly MVP program where we pick a Most Valuable Player—whether because of production, or for volunteering, or for doing something really nice for another agent. We take the MVP to dinner at a high-end restaurant with the managers and owners. This allows us to reward our Executives for their dedication.
How do you recruit new agents?
I would say that we take a low-pressure, relational approach to recruiting. We rely a lot on word of mouth and referrals from our current agents.
For more information, visit www.realtyexecutivesfl.com.