In the following interview, Marianne Drenik, broker/owner/agent, and Greg Pernus, owner/manager/agent of HomeSmart Real Estate Momentum in Mentor, Ohio, discuss growing the HomeSmart model in their state.
Region Served: Northern Ohio
Years in Real Estate: Marianne 18; Greg 25
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 105
What made the two of you decide to partner as co-owners of HomeSmart Real Estate Momentum?
Marianne Drenik: We realized that the traditional brokerage models are declining through the evolution of technology, so we needed to align ourselves with a forward-thinking and proven business model. Therefore, we decided we would be the first to offer the HomeSmart real estate model to Ohio real estate agents because they deserve all of their commissions. We had struggled with the broker split, high monthly and annual fees, franchise fees, tech fees, extra marketing costs, transaction fees and commission caps from other traditional brokerages—but until now, real estate agents had no other options in our state.
Describe the most important thing you did to manage the incredible growth your company has experienced since opening.
Greg Pernus: Not only did we work seven days a week, but we also kept our heads down and stayed on track. And we cut out all the noise, as well, which further motivated us to focus and succeed. You’d be surprised how much more you can accomplish when you stop listening to the naysayers and those who don’t believe you can succeed. We’ve kept a positive attitude and have enjoyed the process—and profits—along the way.
Why do you believe the HomeSmart way of doing business is instrumental when it comes to recruiting agents?
MD: Because agents are tired of doing all the work and sharing their commission with a broker and still paying all the extra and ancillary costs tied to traditional brokerages. And in our own experience, it’s often without adequate training, administrative or technical support.
How have the tech tools and/or training you provide your agents played a role in their retention and individual success?
GP: While we’ve found that everyone learns differently and operates their business differently, the tools and support system we have access to through HomeSmart allow our agents to do things their way and at their own pace. The agents like the training because of the convenience of learning on their own schedule in a variety of ways, including live professional development experiences, as well as on-demand and individual online training.
What is your best time management tip?
MD: Time-block in advance, keep a disciplined schedule and make appointments for yourself for time off and breaks.
What is the most effective way to motivate agents?
GP: Paying our agents 100-percent commission under our HomeSmart model. This allows them to invest a portion of their commissions to grow their sphere to create a repeat and referral business.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.
John Voket is a contributing editor to RISMedia.