Building a successful brokerage is all about being agent-centric according to Ken Crowley, Broker/Owner of RE/MAX Realty Group and RE/MAX 100 in Gaithersburg, Md. RISMedia recently caught up with Ken to talk about his company’s latest acquisition and the tech tools that help his agents be most productive.
Region served: Washington D.C. and the Baltimore Metropolitan area
Years in real estate: 32
Number of offices: 8
Number of agents: 400
Top tip for remaining productive: Be able to adapt to changing markets.
How do you keep your agents motivated? By coaching them, by being available and by providing them with the services they need and want.
Most real estate companies grow slowly, but your purchase of RE/MAX 100 has meant a faster growth pace for you. Are things different in the way you approach the business today?
I’ve gone between two and three offices for 28 years. Last year, the mouse ate the elephant and I tripled my company size. Even though we’re bigger now, I don’t approach business any differently. I still bring the same personal, agent-centric attention to the company.
What does it take to encourage someone to join a brokerage today? Is there an expectation that you’ll be bringing business to them?
The plain truth is that lead generation is primarily the responsibility of the agent. Having said that, agents also look to their brokers to generate and provide leads. That’s what I’m doing—bringing the leads to them. Agents ask about that. Not only do they want it, they expect it.
What are the biggest impact areas you have to-date with technology? What has been brought up-to-date/improved?
In addition to using Homesnap, we’re also in the process of designing a new website. These are things that needed to be done, so we’re taking the time to do them. We’re also keeping our eyes open and our ears to the ground to see if anything new surfaces. I love technology and being able to provide my agents with new tools, so when something comes along that’s interesting or innovative, I check it out. And if it’s relevant, we’ll use it.
How do you think you can help the agents and managers that have joined you? Are you able to offer them more than what they had before the merger?
It’s interesting because before the merger, they had the backing of a very large, very successful publicly owned company who in many ways was doing a great job. The first thing I did when I acquired RE/MAX 100 was update the technology. They had a lot of good programs, but they also had some that needed to be refreshed. I’m also adding systems and programs that will truly benefit agents in their everyday life. For example, I’ve been able to incorporate realtor.com® Showcase Listings into the mix, as well as Top Producer and FiveStreet, which I offer to all my agents.
What technology will help your agents close more transactions?
There’s no question that Top Producer is the gold standard of CRM management software. It will absolutely help my agents close more transactions. Taking this one step further, when it’s paired with Showcase Listings, the results will be amazing. We’re also going to be introducing a transaction coordinator, which many companies already have, but we do not. This will help take the burden of paperwork off the agents’ shoulders. Also, my original company, RE/MAX Realty Group, is totally paperless, and I’ll be working to turn RE/MAX 100 into a paperless company as well.
When an agent or manager is asked to evaluate their experience after joining your firm, what do you hope they’ll say after you’ve completed the first round of your vision and your new systems are in place?
I’m hoping they’ll say we’re a company that truly cares about its agents and gives them the tools they need to be successful. Along with that, I hope they can see that we’re technologically second to none. I think we’ll achieve all of these things by the end of the first year I’ve owned the company, which falls in April.
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