“People want to work with agents they know they can trust,” says David Stark of Stark Company REALTORS® in Madison, Wis. Read on for more of Stark’s sage words of wisdom.
Stark Company REALTORS®
Region served: Madison and South Central Wisconsin
Years in real estate: 37
Number of offices: 6
Number of agents: 200
Favorite way to connect with clients: Face-to-face interactions
What’s your No. 1 tip for new-to-the-field agents?
When someone is brand new, I suggest they focus on building a database of people who think of them as their go-to real estate person. People want to work with agents they know they can trust. By adding as many people as possible to your sphere of influence, people who look to you for insight in all things real estate, you will have all the business you can handle. Also, believe in yourself and be patient with yourself. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
How do you keep your agents motivated?
We don’t keep our agents motivated as much as we tap into the motivation they already have. We see ourselves as a high-performance company, so we’re interested in people who want to find what their potential is. If we can agree on what that is and show people how they can make progress along the way, that’s great. For us, success is all about seeing yourself making progress and staying engaged. That’s where motivation comes from. We also talk quite a bit about culture building. We have all our new agents (and many of our veterans) attend our Mastery Academy. At the Academy, we cover not just sales techniques, but what our purpose is—what’s our reason for being, what do we want to accomplish, and what’s the difference we want to make in the world. That’s very motivating to people.
In your opinion, what’s the winning recipe for real estate success?
Connecting face-to-face. If you’re talking to enough people, the rest will come. You also have to have a growth mindset and believe that if you work at it, you will get better. Many agents think you must have natural talent to succeed. The key is to believe you can become a better agent through hard work. It’s more a matter of grit and perseverance than magic fairy dust.
What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
Tight inventory. If you go back five years, we had so much inventory it was almost impossible to motivate buyers. Today, we have well under three months of inventory in some markets, with others under two months. To solve this, we need to see more expansion and new construction.
How do you integrate technology into your business plan?
We see technology as a tool to further relationships and offer better service. For instance, Facebook is not a strategy to sell houses, but a way to connect with our customers, to let them know what’s going on, and how we can be of service to them. All the different tech tools we use are a way to make it more convenient for our agents to interact with clients, but they aren’t a substitute for human interaction.
For more information, visit www.starkhomes.com/.