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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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE July 2018 91 What's your retention rate like? MB: The fact is that Realty Group be- comes home to our agents. People retire, but they rarely leave for any reason other than that. LD: Again, we believe that our central purpose is to help each of our 250 CEOs to grow their business. We pro- vide so much value to them that they don't unplug and leave us—so we typically don't lose people, especial- ly the people we don't want to lose. There is always some friendly com- petition, of course, but there's also a lot of mentorship. Our mandate is to help other people achieve their dreams, and in doing so, we achieve our own. BP: I would imagine that kind of giving philosophy spills over into the larger community. What are your charitable efforts like? LD: All of our agents are active in the community, from serving on local boards and in our state real estate association to raising funds and vol- unteering for various local causes— mostly centered around the needs of housing, children and veterans. MB: Specifically, we support Toys for Joy, a local holiday gift-giving program, Eagles Healing Nest for homeless veterans and Habitat for Humanity, among others. They are all programs that are dear to our hearts and give us lots of opportunity to contribute in many ways. BP: What are some of your most in- novative marketing strategies, and how are they helping you to connect with today's consumers? LD: Branding is important. Our obliga- tion is to market our people, and we are gratified to know that our brand is so recognized and well-respected throughout the state. That said, we expect—and train—our agents to market themselves in innovative ways. The fact is that the landscape continues to change, and consumers don't care what flag you are flying. They only want the best buy or sell experience they can get. Statistics tell us only four percent choose the brand over the individual agent—so it's up to that individual agent, using technology, reputation and personal interaction, to become the agent of choice. MB: We do some direct mail, but real- istically, our aim is to help our agents brand themselves via effective net- working and the innovative use of so- cial media—letting people know who you are, what you stand for, and why you do what you do. It's the best way to build relationships that matter in the digital world we live in. BP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online market- ing and social media? MB: We are very focused on custom- er relationship management, and we have invested heavily in the effort to help our agents market themselves. For example, we have organized a full-scale production studio, where agents can film videos and other audio-visual marketing aids they can use on social media and elsewhere. LD: At the same time, we never lose sight of the fact that we are first and foremost a people business. Our objective is to use technology to en- hance customer relationships, not replace the personal connection. BP: What's on deck for the future of the firm? MB: We surprise ourselves constant- ly with the rate at which the firm is growing. The road ahead is clear, and I can see us having 1,000 agents on board in the not-too-distant future. I think it's mainly because we know who we are and what we stand for, and we are scaling organically with passionate real estate professionals who have the same kind of goals and commitment. LD: Beyond that, we will continue to maximize opportunities in Minne- sota to expand both our team and our footprint—and we'll continue to work to raise the standards of real estate professionalism, one agent at a time. With so many real estate companies out there, both big box and independent, I think our growth will be driven by one overriding fact: We add more value for our agent- partners than any other brand in the industry. RE For more information, please visit www.realtygroupmn.com. "The fact is that Realty Group becomes home to our agents. People retire, but they rarely leave for any reason other than that." - MIKE BERNIER President and Co-owner, Realty Group Inc.

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