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Michael Patterson
Timonium, Md. 

Region served: Baltimore Metropolitan area
Years in real estate: 28
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 10
Work philosophy/motto that you live by: I want to make sure that I treat everyone the way I would want them to treat my mother.

You recently converted your team from Keller Williams to RE/MAX, opening your own office as part of the transition. Please describe the experience. 
I was a team leader at Keller Williams and wanted to own my own brokerage, so I investigated several other large brokerages and found RE/MAX to be the best fit for me because they let me operate the way I like to run the brokerage while still giving me large company support.

Talk about this transition to RE/MAX during the pandemic. 
RE/MAX did an excellent job with the conversion. We found them to be fully supportive, supplying us with a tech coordinator to walk us through any and all technical issues, as well as an entire onboarding team to ensure a smooth transition. They have also been very responsive, getting back to me immediately with the answers I need. Given the timing, I anticipated some hiccups, but that has not been the case. In fact, we have added business during this conversion because we are now RE/MAX.

What is your best advice for hiring and retaining top brokers and agents? 
It goes back to the basic reality that we have two separate sets of customers: the clients who buy and sell their homes and the agents who work with us. We understand what their needs are, and we offer our agents everything from the field service person who installs and removes signs and lockboxes to marketing support to technology. But the biggest factor is that I understand that, as an owner, I have to be available to the agents 24/7. I make sure to offer agents great value, and I reduce any possible friction in their real estate lives. I believe that if you don’t make it hard for agents to be in business with you, they will stay with you.

Time management in real estate can be difficult, so what is your best advice when it comes to successfully managing your time? 
Time-block. I teach agents to lay out their entire week’s schedule every Sunday evening, as well as the importance of building in at least two hours every day for lead generation. I encourage agents to add those two hours to their calendars so that they know they have to spend time finding business every day.

What is the most profound change you have seen during the pandemic? 
I am somewhat amazed, but real estate brokerages have adapted to online/Zoom-style marketing and selling very quickly. And believe it or not, this is unusual. The real estate industry has generally been slow moving, but during the pandemic, we have adapted very quickly, making our move to a virtual environment very positive.

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Lesley Grand is a contributing editor to RISMedia.