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Whitney_Finn_LaCostaIn the following interview, Whitney Finn LaCosta, Branch Manager of Coach REALTORS®, discusses growth, success, and how to appeal to millennials.

Nick Caruso: What stands to shake up the market in the year ahead?
Whitney Finn LaCosta: The outcome of the presidential election and the very real possibility of an increase in gas prices could have a profound effect on real estate financing.

NC: What are some of your biggest concerns?
WFL: The biggest concern is maintaining profitability while faced with a considerable increase in the cost of doing business, along with agent demands for higher splits. We’re reevaluating all the services we provide our agents in order to determine if they find them valuable to their business.

The other thing we’re doing is retraining our management team to understand the economics of the brokerage business so that we can transition them from transactional coaches to being business-minded and focused on the profitability of their branch.

NC: What is your company’s approach to growth?
WFL: Our approach to growth is very simple, as it involves three things: retention, recruiting and acquisitions. When it comes to retention, we continue to build a strong culture that fosters agent success. As far as recruiting, we’re purposefully and consistently recruiting and selecting agents to join the firm. In terms of acquisitions, with the challenges to keep profitable, it’s that much harder for smaller companies. Our leadership team is always looking for opportunities for acquisition in our current markets, as well as opening branches in new markets.

NC: How does your company help agents succeed?
WFL: We’re very focused on education at Coach. We have one-on-one coaching—a Career Coach who works with agents individually on business planning and career development. We also have small group and company-wide live training, as well as an online university training platform where agents can hone their skills and receive advanced designations.

NC: How are you appealing to the needs/wants of millennials?
WFL: In their desire to work when and where they want, we’ve provided high-end technology that frees them from the office desk. In addition to freedom, however, millennials also want to be part of a like-minded group, and that group must have high ethical standards. The high ethical standards part is easy because that’s always been part of the Coach REALTORS® culture. To help millennials become part of a group, we’ve developed a Young Professionals Network within our company.

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