RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JUL 2018

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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58 July 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Yet, I recently at- tended the awards banquet of a broker- age that is No. 1 in its market area in agent count, transac- tions and sales volume, and 15 of their top 30 agents—all high volume producers last year— have been in the business three years or less. Maybe the real estate industry is missing it. Maybe there's a differ- ent opportunity and approach. The three brokers who own and oper- ate the brokerage referenced above would propose a different strategy for all of you brokers out there. Four years ago, Don Sturgeon, Jim Spark- man and Mark Farrow opened up HomeSmart Realty Group based in Salem, Ore., with only 13 agents. Today, that brokerage has well over 250 agents and is No. 1 in every ma- jor category, as stated earlier. So, I've asked Jim and Don to join me in this article and share with you three simple steps to creating a home and an opportunity for those new to the industry, and to discuss how doing so can yield big results for a brokerage. 1) CREATE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AGENTS TO JOIN YOUR BROKERAGE. Todd Sumney: How do you create an opportunity for agents of all produc- tion levels to join your brokerage? Jim Sparkman: It's important to un- derstand that it's not up to us as bro- kers to say how many transactions new agents should set a goal for—or how many they should achieve in a particular timeframe. This goal is personal and belongs to them, not us. Therefore, we make it our per- sonal goal to create an environment of opportunity, rich with positive col- laboration and learning so they can first see what is possible, and then decide what they are capable of. This is their life and their career. Get to know the agents who are interested in joining your brokerage. Start a conversation by asking them about their goals. Do they already have the ambition to close eight to 10 transactions in year one and 24-plus thereafter, or do they need some encouragement and direction to help them set that goal? We want our agents to look to us for inspiration, training and assis- tance, and to each other for peer support. This is the mindset that has been the most successful model for us. It's more important to us to have an agent that is confident and well- trained at any production level—who feels support from the brokerage— than it is to have a self-starter who does twice the amount of transac- tions, but feels they have to teach themselves. 2) TRAIN THEM UP AND SHOW THEM THE WAY. TS: So how do you train newer and less experienced agents to ensure they're successful? Focus on Newer Agents? How Dare You! Commentary by Todd Sumney with Jim Sparkman & Don Sturgeon O kay. I'm going to say something controversial: The majority of the real estate industry has it all wrong about one thing—new and lower-producing agents. Every time I turn around, there is another article or blog post or speaker up on the podium talking about how we should only focus on the top-producing agents—only recruit high-volume agents and not allow just anyone to be an agent…eschewing new or lower-producing agents completely. Don Sturgeon, Jim Sparkman and Mark Farrow

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