RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

MAR 2019

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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94 March 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Tamara O'Connor Broker/Owner Amanda Laughlin Managing Broker Premier Living Properties, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® St. Charles, Ill. www.getoconnor.com Region served: Northwest suburbs of Chicago Years in real estate: Tamara: 31; Amanda: 15 Number of offices: 2 Number of agents: 19 Your boutique brokerage with only 19 agents is outperforming a mar - ket that includes brokerages with up to 90 agents. What does it take to find this type of success? Tamara O'Connor: My daughter Amanda and I have what we consider to be the perfect setup as a mother- daughter team. Amanda, with a background in marketing, is in the office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day and handles everything that comes up for our agents. I, on the other hand, am up and working at 4:30 in the morning, so everyone knows they can reach me from 4:30 a.m. until 8:00 a.m. with anything. Also, you can't imagine how much I get done beginning my work day at 4:30 a.m. That being said, it all boils down to the fact that we have great systems, we know what we have to do every day, and we do it. What is the most unusual part of your success? TO: Since our entire business is built on referrals, we've never had to pay for leads. Addi - tionally, we make sure our clients get excellent service in everything we do. While other brokerages are running around trying one lead generation system or another, we do real estate the old-fashioned way—and love what we're doing. In what ways do you go the extra mile for your clients? TO: We have a $1,000 "wow" budget for anyone needing to take things up a notch for a transaction. Clients include our agents, as well as buyers and/ or sellers. What part of your business plan are you most proud of? TO: Having weathered the downturn in 2006, we learned our lessons the hard injection of a younger generation of real estate professionals commit - ted to going above and beyond to support their clients. How are you preparing your agents for the future of real estate? Everyone is talking about technol - ogy being the future, but we don't have to worry about it because HomeSmart International has it done and has been a tech com - pany for 19 years. It provides us the ability to focus on developing the person and making sure they understand the current market and current trends when brand - ing themselves. Aside from our revenue-friendly model, we're also preparing our agents for the future by providing them with the proper training and support to go out and succeed in the market. What is it about the HomeSmart brand that makes it the best fit for you and your agents? Throughout my time in the industry, I've observed a problem that's taking place nation - wide in that we're underserving the agent and taking too much of their revenue, which is making it hard for them to find true success. As I began to look more closely at the HomeSmart brand and its model, it was clear to me that it made sense. HomeSmart has been a technology company since the beginning—and they continue to spend a lot of money on technology—so by affiliat - ing with them, we're able to focus our attention on developing the indi - vidual. The technology systems we have access to through HomeSmart are phenomenal. Not only is it all easy to use, but also, it's all housed in one platform. How do you stay ahead of the competition? By leveraging local relationships. While it's easy to get caught up in doing our own thing in our own little world, we've made a concerted effort to connect with local experts by bringing them in to teach and train our agents in a variety of areas. We're facilitating face-to-face conversations through social hours where agents from other offices, lenders, etc., can get together and get to know one another. While top companies are creating their own mortgage com - panies to compete with our local friends, we want to improve our re - lationships with our local affiliates because they have so much value and education to offer our agents. For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com. An Authentic Approach to Real Estate by Lesley Grand

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