In the following interview, Kevin Markarian, founder/CEO of Marker Real Estate in San Francisco, Calif., discusses the benefits of masterminding and networking, and how he’s built a business designed for growth.
Region Served: San Francisco, Orange County, Los Angeles and Southern California
Years in Real Estate: 17
Number of Offices: 4
Number of Agents: 60
I imagine you’re incredibly busy with your business growth, yet you take time to speak at meetings and on panels. Why is this important in your overall business strategy?
One thing I’ve learned about real estate is that you really never know it all. And the more you learn, the more you realize that you don’t know anything. So, by being around people operating their business at a high level, you realize how much more you could be doing. I went right from high school to being a real estate agent, and I’ve learned so much from masterminding. My business has really excelled because of the relationships I’ve built at the events I attend.
Do you think the most successful real estate pros focus on continuing education?
Absolutely. The most successful people I know are constantly learning. If you’re not learning, you’re not moving forward, and if you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backwards. And, when you reach a high level of success, you can begin to feel alone or even stuck. Going to these events allows you to connect with other people doing things at a high level in a different area with a different perspective, which can help you connect and learn.
What are some of the venues you frequent?
I’ve been focusing on private mastermind events, especially one called Deep Dive that myself and a few others help run. Recently, we rented a luxury property, invited 40 real estate professionals and really broke down the specific struggles in their businesses. We also attend Closing Tables, LCA One and LCA Live, in addition to the realtor.com® summit, although we’re focusing on smaller events.
Why the focus on smaller sessions?
Most of the big conferences can feel surface-level, and often, people leave feeling overwhelmed or scattered. So, I like to focus on the smaller mastermind events that are more intimate and much more valuable to the participants, who have direct access to the people leading the event.
It’s also important to note that you don’t necessarily need to go to a physical event to gain access. I’m part of a Facebook group called Real Closers, where industry experts share best practices, and anyone who is in real estate can join. In fact, we have highly influential people participating there. The industry is moving in the direction of transparency and an abundance mindset, instead of a scarcity mindset like we had five to 10 years ago.
Can you give me an example of something you learned in an educational session that you actually used to close more business?
We’re always learning about lead conversion, and since we’re spending money on marketing with realtor.com, it’s important to understand how to generate leads, but more importantly, how to close and convert.
You’re growing at a rapid pace. How are you attracting talent?
Agents come to us because of our lead success stories, which are a big attraction. Having a steady supply of quality leads that agents can engage with in our new market areas has been a big part of our growth.
What is driving the growth of your teams and brokers?
Our growth is being driven by leveraging the tools and technology that allow us to provide value to our agents in the form of lead systems, mentorship support and coaching. I was an individual agent for almost 13 years, so I know what it feels like. I know what the challenges are, so I built our company around those challenges.
Have your top challenges changed since you started in real estate?
At any given time, our biggest challenge is determining where the leads are coming from. We’ve been using realtor.com for many years and have built our business around the platform and a few other sources. We’ve gotten better over the years in regard to conversion and teaching agents how to convert and close more transactions.
There’s always change occurring when it comes to technology, as well as ways to improve, so staying on top of the latest idea and things that are happening is important. To do this, we host our own events and attend lots of other events to stay connected and on the cutting edge.
What can you do now in your business that you couldn’t do five years ago?
We’re not confined to local proximity anymore. We can now build teams nationwide by leveraging leads we purchase through realtor.com to find agents and provide them opportunities to work with clients all over the country.
For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.
Zoe Eisenberg is RISMedia’s senior content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.