In the following interview, Randy Rector, CEO of HomeSmart Evergreen Realty in Irvine, Calif., discusses HomeSmart’s flat-fee model.
Region Served: Orange County and San Bernardino
Years in Real Estate: Since 2005
Number of Offices: 7
Number of Agents: 1,100
Twenty years ago, your mother, Tina Rector, opened Evergreen Realty, a flat-fee model brokerage. What was the impetus behind this revolutionary move?
My mother was a successful broker, but she didn’t like the idea of giving a broker 50 percent of her commission, so she went to Arizona where HomeSmart is based and brought the flat-fee model to California. Because of the brokerage’s flat-fee structure, it’s an entirely different mentality, and the hierarchy is gone. While we have everything that the big national brands have, including better compensation, adjusting to the flat-fee structure was a true paradigm shift—one that almost left us bankrupt in the beginning. But my mother was passionate about making it work, and we eventually took off. And we’ve grown from 15 agents our first year to 1,100 agents today.
Why HomeSmart? And, by extension, which of HomeSmart’s systems do you find most beneficial?
To succeed with a flat-fee structure like ours, you have to be efficient, and HomeSmart’s proprietary back-office system is not only revolutionary, but it allows us to do everything in one place. With HomeSmart systems in place, we’re able to run seamlessly using only 21 back office admin employees, whereas traditional brokerages typically use many more people. In addition, all of our transactions are paperless, which allows for huge savings and efficiencies. And, most importantly, the HomeSmart executives are a great group of people to work with.
How do you stay ahead of the competition?
Being a HomeSmart franchise allows us to stay ahead of the competition because the model is set up so that we can truly concentrate on our agents. While our agents enjoy HomeSmart’s fee structure, support and education top the list when it comes to why our agents are so happy here. Agents love our culture, and we all believe that anyone can succeed if they have the desire to learn and grow. Our mission is to help make that happen.
What would your agents say is the best thing you do for them?
It has to be the level of support we provide as an agent-centric brokerage. At the end of the day, everyone knows how stressful all ends of a real estate transaction can be. Brokers can be completely frazzled, as can clients, and they look to us to provide that calm voice of reason. They know we’ll be here for them no matter when they call.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.
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