Thanks to a decrease in short sales, a higher number of regular home sales, and move-up sales coming from new construction, available inventory in Northern Illinois reached 8 percent in 2015. And although prices flatlined in 2015 compared to the prior year, niche areas were up slightly by 3.5 percent.
“Our agents are really going back to the basics of our business: farming, daily prospecting, and referrals, all wrapped up in outstanding service to their clients and prospects,” says Piero Orsi, president and CEO of RE/MAX Showcase, which has been a sales leader in the area for 28 years. “One of the main attributes that sets us apart from the competition is that our agents each close, on average, 22.1 transaction sides per year.”
Orsi expects to increase the RE/MAX Showcase workforce to over 100 agents in 2016, but he will be very selective.
“The days are gone when you just brought people on for higher agent count, hoping they would deliver at some point in the future,” says Orsi. “Recruiting younger agents to replace the retiring agents is an ongoing matter. Salespeople from outside real estate seem to be the best option.”
The way to attract top agents, Orsi notes, is to “be their broker before they join you.
“Provide them with information about all facets of the industry. Be involved in the industry and give them the changes before they are announced and made public,” he says. “Listen to their unmet needs and wants in their current office and assure them that you will take great care of them. Then deliver on your promises.”
For retaining top producers, it’s more of the same. “Be open-minded and make them feel that they truly are important, but not indispensable,” he says. “Don’t brag about being the best company; show them why you are the best company for them.”
At RE/MAX Showcase, success is measured by strong customer service, testimonials and prompt responses to inquiries. The firm provides ongoing education via its in-house training, which is comprised of one-on-one and small classes on a weekly basis.
“Our top producers share their tools and secrets with our agents via regularly scheduled classes in our training center,” explains Orsi. “A four-page ‘Monday’s Memo’ from me keeps them well-informed on our industry and much more. Quarterly sales rallies bring agents together for more networking and socializing.”
As he readies his team for 2016 and beyond, Orsi stresses the importance of communication with clients.
“Today’s consumer has no patience and will not wait; it’s up to us to respond quickly and be more knowledgeable than they are,” he explains. “Put their home on the market and stay in touch. Contact them weekly or more at a pre-set time and date. The Internet has given the consumer tons of information; however, we are the ones to sort it all out for them.”
For more information, visit www.remax.com.