Laura Balas is RE/MAX. And RE/MAX is Laura Balas. Every morning, Balas, a team leader with RE/MAX Ocean Properties in northern Palm Beach County, Fla., spends a few minutes soaking up productivity tips via a “DarrenDaily” email from Success magazine publisher Darren Hardy. The routine reflects the mindset she’s had throughout her 27-year real estate career: “I can always improve, no matter how successful I’ve become.”
Balas, a RE/MAX Lifetime Achievement Award winner whose 2014 achievements place her among the top 1 to 2 percent of REALTORS® in the country, understands the power of that mindset.
“When I go into the office, the energy is contagious. I’m surrounded by confident, capable professionals who are always learning new things, sharing ideas and helping each other,” says Balas, who joined RE/MAX in 1996. “I try to lead my team members that same way, and there’s nothing better than seeing them succeed. Great results drive us to go even further for our clients.”
Daniel Thomas is RE/MAX, too. And RE/MAX is Daniel Thomas.“RE/MAX is helping my career rise to new heights,” says the “30 Under 30” sales associate with RE/MAX Right Choice in Bridgeport, Conn., who joined the network in 2011 and is on pace to close $10 million in sales this year. “Being around some of the top agents in the world gives you a different perspective about where your career can go. You wake up wanting greatness—and you know it’s possible if you put in the effort. I’m looking forward to the day I hang a RE/MAX Hall of Fame plaque in my office.”
Culture of Achievement
The power of attitude, high achievement and constant improvement is woven into the culture at RE/MAX. The result is an attractive proposition for productivity-minded professionals who want to be part of a thriving global network. RE/MAX currently stands at over 100,000 agents in nearly 100 countries.
Fueled by the addition of industry veterans as well as newer agents with a drive to excel, RE/MAX growth has been constant for the past three years. Steady growth brings more yard signs, more marketshare and more brand visibility, benefiting every member of the network. It also brings opportunity.
“We’re in a very strong position right now,” says RE/MAX CEO, Chairman and Co-Founder Dave Liniger. “We have the best brokers and most productive agents in the business. Because of their success, we’re able to explore new ways to serve them and help them build their business even more. Big things are happening at RE/MAX.”
President Geoff Lewis and the team at RE/MAX World Headquarters in Denver are charging ahead aggressively, with major initiatives under way in technology, education, marketing and other services.
“We have an energized team at headquarters, with a mandate to be as innovative as possible,” says Lewis, who became the seventh RE/MAX president earlier this year (see interview on page 40). “Everything we’re doing is aimed at creating or refining competitive advantages for our brokers and agents. We want them to have every possible edge.”
Sharper Focus, Better Results
One major new edge is Momentum, a transformative business development program unique to RE/MAX. Its premise is simple: brokers providing value that helps agents improve and achieve their goals.
“Momentum is changing the way our brokers view their business,” says Amy Somerville, RE/MAX vice president, Education & Training. “It sharpens their focus on vital everyday activities, and it helps them define the ‘why’ behind their choices. Most importantly, it gives them a system for supporting their agents at a much higher level.”
Carl SanFilippo, broker/owner of RE/MAX First Realty in East Brunswick, N.J., went through Momentum and then met individually with his agents to review their goals, identify obstacles and create plans of action.
“The key was working together on what they needed to improve,” says SanFilippo, who joined RE/MAX in 2013. “It’s great to go back to your agents and say, ‘do you realize you’re up 40 percent from last year?’ The smiles on their faces make me happy. I’ve had agents tell me I changed their lives. What could be better than that?”
Adapted from a successful regional program, Momentum debuted on a larger scale last fall. Although it’s a completely optional offering, it has spread like wildfire through the network. The curriculum, delivered to brokers in three parts, has been modified to work in Australia, Brazil, New Zealand and other parts of the world. More than 1,500 brokers and managers have been through it. Many have turned into raving fans and advocates.
“Momentum has been extremely valuable for us,” says Ed Evans of RE/MAX All Estates in Visalia, Calif. “It’s really helped us understand who we are and what we stand for.”
The material, Somerville notes, is rooted in proven, successful concepts culled from classic business books. But it explores these ideas in a way that creates action.
“Momentum isn’t really about learning those principles; it’s about mastering them, committing to change and building habits that generate value for your agents,” she says. “To be honest, it can get uncomfortable for the participants. But most of them see that as a very positive thing.”
David Holden, broker/manager of RE/MAX Preferred in O’Fallon, Ill., puts it like this: “Momentum forces you to evaluate what you’re doing and how you’re doing it. It helps you identify areas you can improve. That’s powerful. And it’s important.”
Being a Resource
Providing value is also a major focus within the RE/MAX marketing department. RE/MAX has long been one of the industry’s most recognized brands, with a national and international visibility that serves every agent. An innovative, fresh approach is making that advantage even stronger.
“People already know the brand; we want them to experience it, too,” says Adam Contos, RE/MAX senior vice president, Marketing. “When someone interacts with a local
RE/MAX agent, an emotional connection develops—and it leads to referrals, recommendations and repeat business. On the national and regional levels, we can drive business to our agents and set the stage for those connections.”