CENTURY 21 Selling Paradise
Cape Coral, Fla.
Region served: Southwest Florida, including the greater Cape Coral/Fort Myers/Naples area
Years in real estate: 42
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 140
The market, before and since the pandemic: Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, our market was very strong. Now (at press time), it is slowing. As the stay-at-home orders continue, we will continue to see a decline, but I fully expect a strong recovery once America returns to normal.
On stress: Stress always comes from fear. If you don’t want to be stressed out, don’t be attached to the outcome you expect, and quit needing to be right. Everything you want in life is on the other side of fear.
Motivation source: I was born with the gift of being happy. I’m part of a mastermind group with some of the top brokers in the nation, and I’ve been coached by Mike Ferry for 15 years.
Most valuable daily routine: Every year for Christmas, my children buy me a blank book. Every morning, without fail, I write down what I’m grateful for on one side of the page, and on the other side, I write my intentions.
How have you been strategizing to keep business going during the COVID-19 crisis?
We’re sending out a lot of positive messaging, which begins with agents getting a daily call from me at 7:45 a.m. We’re doing everything we’ve always done, but now we’re doing it 100-percent remotely. We have 43 live training classes per month now hosted via Zoom. We also have a large meeting every Monday that’s done virtually. We’re teaching agents how they can do a listing presentation with Zoom after emailing potential clients a pre-listing package. Contracts are being signed by e-signature. Agents are showing their listings by putting the buyer’s agent on the phone and walking them through with video.
What has been the biggest factor in the growth of your business over the years?
The No. 1 factor is culture. We have a strong family culture where every affiliated agent helps every other sales professional. Prior to the social distancing orders, we would do monthly appreciation events that brought our team together in a casual atmosphere where they could get to know each other without the pressure of training or vendors. Having this built into our monthly schedule allows us to also welcome new merger agents who are then able to meet their colleagues.
How have mergers played a key role in your business strategies?
Mergers have the benefit of bringing a quantity of experienced agents into our company at one time. The biggest challenge is to get them engaged in our culture as quickly as possible. We have a great system set up to do that. As these are experienced agents, you must have business ready to go once the merger happens—listings up and running, business cards and materials for them to start marketing right away. We have a team of managers and support staff in place that gets all these things rolling, plus training on our systems right from the start. We also offer coaching to identify their strengths and opportunities and help them improve their business.
How are you addressing the needs and concerns of clients?
My clients are my agents. As a brokerage, we must go above and beyond to help our affiliated agents with uplifting material, videos and messages from those who have inspired and motivated us for years in this business.
Then we’re telling our agents that they need to be a ray of light for all their clients—to reach out to them in an empathetic way to find out how they’re doing and how they’re family is doing, especially during these difficult times. Showing our clients that we can take care of business now, in whatever fashion is necessary, will carry them into the future.
How are you preparing agents to navigate the current market…and future challenges?
Every market has its opportunities. We are constantly giving agents ideas and ways to do business differently today—virtual showings, virtual listings, tons of video. And as we move forward, those skills will be something else they can add to their arsenal for better ways to serve customers. We must realize that now is the time to work on the future of our business.
What do you believe will be the lasting effects of the coronavirus crisis?
We will be stronger because of what we’ve been through together, as people, as a company and as a community.
For more information, please visit www.century21.com.
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.