Read on as Ron Roe, President/CEO of Russell & Jeffcoat Real Estate, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® in Columbia, S.C., chats about increasing agent production.
Region served: Midlands of South Carolina (70-mile radius of Columbia, S.C.)
Years in business: 30
Number of offices: 12
Number of agents: 465
Best IT investment: Hiring a VP of IT and reducing outsourcing, which has saved us over $150,000 annually. Shifting most of our computers to Google Chromebooks has resulted in significant savings as well.
Best tip for dealing with difficult clients: A proper attitude can quickly diffuse an angry client, so always start off with, “How may I help you?” From there, it’s important to listen.
Key to getting buyers and sellers to successfully work together: Remain professional, and ensure all parties that your intentions are to be fair and ethical.
Your company recently launched a Boot Camp. Can you explain what this new initiative is all about?
We have significantly improved our training by creating the Russell & Jeffcoat Academy, which includes our Boot Camp for new agents. Designed by one of our top agents—a previous PhD college professor—the all-encompassing program has a strong emphasis on business planning and accountability. Since implementing the program, new agents have been able to quickly acquire listings and buyers, resulting in less turnover and an increase in retention. Our access to online training courses through Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® has also had a direct influence on increasing our agents’ production.
In addition to the newly launched Boot Camp, Russell & Jeffcoat created the position of VP of Tech and Outsource. What’s the scope of this position?
The young man who has filled this role has developed individual websites for many agents within the company, shifted the company to Google apps, developed a new company website and improved our overall IT system.
What are the top two factors driving the firm’s increase in year-to-date sales?
Not only are our year-to-date numbers up, but also they’re the best we’ve seen since 2005. While I attribute some of this to the economy, I think the most important factor that’s driving these numbers is our focus on improving our training and Web marketing, which includes Facebook, email and e-commerce.
Is there any particular initiative at your office that’s helping keep Russell & Jeffcoat top of mind with prospective clients, existing clients and in the communities you serve?
I truly believe that a real estate company has both external clients (buyers and sellers) and internal clients (agents). Not only does our business model center on providing the absolute best service to buyers, sellers and agents, but also, we’re very fortunate that all of our managers and staff embrace this philosophy. In addition to keeping Russell & Jeffcoat top of mind via email and Facebook contests, our managers and staff are very active within the community.