Coordinating inspections. Managing paperwork. Scheduling showings. For countless REALTORS®, the ability to delegate is a necessity.
For Kyle Alfriend, delegation is the secret to his success.
As an agent in Central Ohio, Alfriend began delegating early on, complementing his skillsets with the strengths of his team, The Alfriend Group, affiliated with RE/MAX Achievers. The Alfriend Group encompasses two (soon to be three) buyer’s agents and an operations manager, who Alfriend credits as the day-to-day overseer of the team.
“I learned very quickly that there were two or three things in this business that I was extremely good at, and about 50 things that I was really bad at,” Alfriend explains. “Rather than working incredibly hard to be mediocre at those things, I decided to simply hire people that were good at those things. [Now] I do exclusively what I am good at.”
Alfriend’s expertise is generating leads and negotiating transactions—and, in a growing mission, advocating for causes in the community. With the backing of the team, Alfriend is focused intensely on philanthropy, and is expanding into public speaking. (At press time, Alfriend was gearing up for the Marine Corps Marathon, to benefit The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.)
As for his not-so-strong suits?
“I do as close to zero of everything else as possible,” he says. “That is my definition of success and my definition of wealth: to have fun, and to have the lifestyle to do what you wish.”
Here, Alfriend discusses his team, and their emphasis on giving to the local market.
Suzanne De Vita: Kyle, you’ve been an Ohio resident for 28 years. What makes your market so special?
Kyle Alfriend: I got started in real estate in Washington, D.C.—in Northern Virginia—and I started buying houses when I was 19. I got my real estate license and started working with other clients and investors. After about seven years in the business, I moved to Ohio. It’s a good family area. We have good schools, good parks and a good lifestyle.
SD: How did you come to form your team?
KA: I learned very quickly that there were two or three things in this business that I was extremely good at, and about 50 things that I was really bad at—so, rather than working incredibly hard to be mediocre at those things, I decided to simply hire people that were good at those things. I am by no stretch a micro-manager. I do exclusively what I am good at. I use the same principle for my staff. I first hired an administrative assistant; she is the one who convinced me to start hiring more people. I discovered that I was very good at leading the team, and very bad at managing the team. It took me a long time to understand the difference between those two.
SD: What are the benefits to your clients?
KA: Nobody is great at everything, and for most people, a home is the most expensive product that they’re ever going to buy. They deserve great service, great marketing on social media, great staging, great email marketing and direct mail marketing, great showings, great open houses and great open house promotions to drive in prospective buyers. They deserve great negotiation, they deserve great advice, they deserve regular, constant communication of what’s going on and they deserve great hand-holding through all the emotional aspects of it. I’m not the hand-holder; I’m “Let’s get the job done, and get you the return that you’re looking for.” With my team, there’s other people that do the hand-holding.
SD: Your approach to business is centered on philanthropy. Can you describe your philosophy?
KA: The importance of having the team is to free up time—it is not about just making money. One of our slogans here is, “Money is very good because of all the good that it can do.” Do they want to remember us as top salespeople, or do they want to remember us for the impact that we have made? That gets people working harder, because if I’m doing something that gives to my family or gives to the community in a way that I am passionate about, it becomes a life driving force. My definition of success is that there is no distinction between work and play. They are all intertwined.
SD: You’re active in your community, and established a foundation…
KA: The focus of my foundation is specifically on pediatric cancer, and we do fundraisers for local children, and their families, impacted by cancer. We involve everybody on the team. They’re welcome to stand up and present any type of philanthropic cause that they would like to support. Last month, I rappelled off the 30-story Chase Bank tower downtown, and that was for a fundraiser for the juvenile sex trade in Central Ohio. We blasted out emails and promotions, we had the Columbus Dispatch there, and had about a six-week window where we had a website up for it, and anybody who donated to the organization—Gracehaven—my business would match 100 percent of every donation. I’m always looking for opportunities to get a better return on investment. That’s what the rappelling was—I could have just written a $15,000 check.
SD: With charitable initiatives in mind, what are your goals for your team this year?
KA: We are really trying to expand more on our brand so that it is an illustration of my values and what I think is important. I am working to remove myself less and less; on the lead generation I’ll be heavily involved, but on the negotiation side, I’m working on training people so that they can do more and more of that. I am spending more of my time in more public ways. I speak at a lot of events, and while that’s how I drive a lot of revenue and a lot of leads, I’m also using that as an opportunity to spread a message about the importance of philanthropy and the importance of giving back.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.