The antagonist in a famous 1980s movie is known for popularizing the phrase, “greed is good.” I don’t know about that, but what I do know is that in business, ‘growth is good.’
Since we founded our real estate brokerage in 2009, my partners George Morris, Rob Ockey and I have sought to create the most dynamic and growth-oriented real estate brokerage in the United States. When we started in June 2009, we truly started at zero. We had no affiliated agents and no production. Today, we have nearly 500 independent sales professionals and 40,000 square feet of class-A space. By the end of 2009, we had closed a total of 65 sides. This year, with the CENTURY 21® System and its iconic brand behind us, we will close nearly 5,000 transaction sides.
How is it possible to go from no agents and zero production to 500 agents and 5,000 closings in six years? Based upon our experience, it comes down to one inescapable answer: know your job and do it well.
Because of our success, we have the opportunity and privilege to interact with real estate brokers and agents from around the world who are curious to know our “secret.” Well, the secret is there is no secret. Simply put, you cannot do your job unless you properly identify what it is.
As a broker who has experienced significant growth, these are three action items that I recommend be placed at the top of your daily activities list:
1. Proactive Recruiting. Social media is terrific, but nothing replaces picking up the phone and talking to agents. Sending an email or posting on a social media thread is not proactive, and is far less efficient than building rapport and creating person-to-person value. Of course, many will still try to recruit agents through methods other than the phone or face-to-face prospecting, but they simply have less of a chance of being effective. It’s no different than the results earned by sales associates who pick up the phone or knock on doors to start conversations with buyers or sellers rather than waiting for business to come to them.
2. Teach Communication Skills. The No. 1 skill for a real estate professional is their interpersonal communications skills. As independent brokers, it is our charge to train our affiliated agents daily on delivering a great listing or buyer-broker presentation that builds a sense of like, trust, respect and value. Effective interpersonal communication that reduces risk and persuades people to take action has no equal.
3. Coach. Successful, growth-oriented independent brokers coach their sales associates on a weekly basis. As brokers, it is our job to eliminate distractions that keep sales professionals from prospecting, and run interference between the people, products, and activities that waste their time and money. Of course, we should consistently encourage them, but be willing to express the truth and hold them accountable to activities and a schedule that will allow them to grow their business.
Effective brokers grow their business regardless of the market. They understand and recognize that their job consists of the three things mentioned above, and they work hard every day to do them better than their competition.
The growth we have earned at CENTURY 21 Everest Realty Group is no accident. We grew via two big acquisitions, and about 80 percent of the sales associates we have recruited since the inception of our company have joined us through one-by-one recruiting.
Go out and work your job, and I guarantee you will see growth that your competition thinks impossible.
John R. Ciet is broker/owner, CENTURY 21 Everest Realty Group.