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Katy Martinelli
Managing Owner
John Martinelli
Managing Broker
RE/MAX 1st Choice
Coral Springs, Florida

Region served: Southeast Florida
Years in real estate: Katy: 17; John: 43
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 23

You recently converted your brokerage to RE/MAX. How did you decide to affiliate with the brand?

John Martinelli: We were with another franchise that was not ideal for us, so when we decided to switch, we took an entire year to look at many different franchises. I did not want to commit until I knew it was the right thing, so we put them through the wringer. Today, I can honestly say that we are excited to be part of this organization. We are totally engaged with RE/MAX. They under promised and over delivered.

Katy Martinelli: We knew RE/MAX had incredible brand recognition. We wanted to be with a bigger brand—and one of the best. After converting, we were so impressed to find that RE/MAX goes over and above to support us. Not only do we have our own business development coach who we meet with regularly, but we also have our own tech consultant who trains us on the latest RE/MAX technology. We pass along that insight by meeting with our agents once a week to help them grow their business.

What type of culture do you work to maintain at your brokerage?

KM: Collaboration is key. We try to stay positive and motivated, as those are the types of people we want working with us. Our agents are not just looking for their next commission; the customer’s needs should always come first.

JM: We have a great culture of hard-working, ethical and relationship-focused agents who all strive to help one another succeed. When we interview an agent, we look for those same characteristics, and if we don’t feel that they are a good fit, we won’t hire them.

Where do you stand when it comes to training and education?

JM: We are all about Brian Buffini and are very big on both training and education. We have high standards of ethics, which is why we want our agents to know contracts inside and out, as well as any new legal issues. We also help them stay on top of the latest technology.

KM: John and I both train our agents personally. When we hire someone new, we get them up to speed by consulting with them one-on-one to figure out what their training needs are.

What is your best advice for hiring and retaining agents?

KM: Support your agents and take care of them. When an agent does a good job, make sure they know you appreciate their hard work.

JM: Everybody is trying to recruit, but what good is trying to recruit if you can’t retain? We focus first on our current agents and helping them build their business and supporting them in any way they need. If you take care of your current agents, any new agents who come in will see your passion and want to be a part of it.

Is there a specific motto/work philosophy that you live by?

KM: We encourage all of our agents to use the best tools and materials. Everything that goes out is a reflection of us, so we want it to be the best. For example, we don’t charge for color copies in the office because we want to ensure that our agents are using the best when it comes to quality. We encourage all of our agents to use beautiful photography so everything they do looks professional.

JM: You have to come to work every day. Everybody’s competing for the same customer by doing the same thing, so you have to do it better than everybody else.

How has your brokerage fared in terms of the pandemic?

KM: We had to change the way we did things, but we made it work. Since we couldn’t meet with our agents in person, we turned to Zoom to connect with them on a weekly basis in order to keep them motivated and let them know we’re still here to offer support. We used the time while we were shut down to introduce additional training to adapt to this new “way of life.”

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Lesley Grand is a contributing editor to RISMedia.