I know that I’ve been talking a lot lately about the incredible new office we have under construction in Yorba Linda. And make no mistake, this office will be amazing in every way. From the floor plan, the work spaces, amenities, to the overall appearance inside and out, this will be a showplace! But, it’s important that I acknowledge that it IS the PEOPLE that will make this office so special. Frankly they already have!
During the past 9+ months the Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda agents have managed to achieve incredible success in what we have called “temporary space”. A handful of executive suites, and an office in Tustin with amazing staff people and a great core group of agents there who have been the most welcoming and supportive group of professionals I could have ever asked for. We have managed to grow to over 85 total agents, with our most recent record sales month in July of 57 total sales and just under $40,000,000 in volume! We have been growing at a pace of 8-12 independent sales associates per month on average, and the momentum continues with almost daily calls and emails from agents looking to affiliate with us.
The point I want to drive home in this blog post, is that we are NOT growing by numbers just for the sake of growing. We are absolutely focused on affiliating high quality, ethical, growth minded people. We’ve all seen it before… A new office opens and the manager affiliates anyone and everyone they can and then brags about “agent count”. The old joke, if they can fog a mirror, sign them up! I can honestly say that while we have certainly grown very fast and have affiliated very many great people, we have been very selective. I have graciously and respectfully said “this isn’t a fit” or even referred agents to other firms where I know they would be happier based on the information they shared with me. Now, I know you are wondering… Why would you turn someone away or refer them to another firm? Why not just affiliate them and sort them all out later? Here’s why… After 15+ years in leadership and recruiting, I have learned that it’s not about body count. When building a team, one of the most important things a leader can do is to bring as many like minded people together as possible. An office’s “culture” and “energy” can help grow productivity almost as much as anything else. Below are just some of the things we are looking for when affiliating independent sales associates to the office;
1. Positive mental attitude! If most of our affiliation meeting/interview is spent complaining or on negative “stuff” then it may not be a match. I want to hear more about where you’re going than where you’ve been. I want to hear about how you’ve learned from your mistakes and what you will do differently moving forward positive and energized!
2. Growth minded! Whether looking to grow your sales, income, or just overall knowledge of any aspect of this business, this is an important component. We all really should be looking to grow as business people at all times. So, if someone already knows “everything”, then it’s probably not a match.
3. Coach-able! If someone is not coach-able, then how can they grow?
4. Ethical! In the end, it’s all about the clients best interest. While money is important and I am not ashamed to admit that I’m here to make money, we are looking for people who put their clients needs first and foremost at all times!
5. Respectful! We are all in this together! There’s no reason for bullying, berating, arrogance, and overall lack of respect for other agents and customers. If someone believes that they can “do it all on their own” and “don’t need anyone, or care about the feelings of others” then it’s probably not a match.
6. Productive! If someone has been unproductive for years without good reason, then they likely won’t be comfortable in the environment that we’ve created. We don’t expect everyone to want to make a million dollars, but we would like our associates to at least close a minimum of 6 transactions per year. And, NO, we aren’t going to turn away someone with less than that, or disassociate someone who hasn’t achieved that, we just want to see that a concerted effort is being made to get there. We will work with anyone with a strong desire to succeed who meets the other criteria.
7. Full time! I’ve done this for over 21 years and have yet to see someone really succeed long term part time. But most importantly, our customers deserve the truth and great service, and unless a part time agent intends to tell their prospects that “they are their first priority in their second job” then I don’t see it working. I have affiliated independent sales associates who intend to transition over a short period to full time, and in the mean time partner or team up with a full time associate to ensure the customers receive outstanding service.
8. Abundance mindset! Too many people come from positions of scarcity and live their lives thinking there isn’t enough to go around. In real estate there are a lot of independent sales associates out there who suffer from the scarcity mindset. They just don’t think there’s enough for everyone and refuse to collaborate, share, and work as a team. Our office is full of people that realize that there is plenty of business out there for everyone! This mindset allows for fun, collaboration, sharing, and an overall relishing in each others success!
9. Professionalism! Should go without saying, but if someone thinks it’s ok to wear shorts and sandals to showing and/or listing appointments then we will have an issue. NO we don’t have dress codes and as independent contractors we won’t tell you how to dress, but we have a highly respected brand image and simply believe our customers deserve the respect of a professionally dressed agent. Professionalism goes far beyond just attire of course, and we are looking to affiliate with those who strive for the utmost in professionalism in their business. Show up on time to appointments, return calls, communicate with clients and agents, etc. etc.
10. Greed is not “good”! We want to affiliate with independent sales associates who frankly are ok with the company making money too and are looking for a strong customer value proposition. If commission split is the only thing that really matters to you and the goal is to leave little to nothing on the table for the company, then there are plenty of companies that offer those kinds of deals. We all get those emails 3-4 times a day. I’ve found that when a fair financial relationship exists between independent sales associate and the company, both parties win, and even more importantly, the customers win as a result of the resources the company can provide such as marketing, advertising, legal support, management, staffing, services, facilities, resources, etc. etc. etc. With all of that said, we are very competitive with our splits, but our value proposition to our associates and customers is what attracts the best agents to us.
I realize that these 10 things seem pretty simple, and to many, they are completely reasonable and frankly attractive, and to others, they may be a little too much to ask. One of my associates the other day made the great comment that “it seems like you are on a lot more appointments with agents than you actually hire”. My response, was “thanks for noticing, I’m holding out for more great agents like you! Their not easy to find!”. While this could sound like a flippant stroking of the ego, it’s the absolute truth.
So, to sum up this post, it is the standards we have, the people who are attracted to those standards, and the adherence to those standards by all, that makes an office great! Being more selective may take longer to grow sometimes, but the end result is a phenomenal group of high quality, like minded, happy people who are highly productive! Not to mention we have A LOT of fun too!
While it is true, we are building an amazing office out of steel, wood, drywall, paint, carpet, etc. etc. etc., it is the PEOPLE that have and will ultimately continue to make this office so amazing to work in! And, it is because of the PEOPLE that this office is even possible!
As always, if you are not already with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, and would like more information about becoming part of our incredible team, please feel free to email or call/text me at Brad.Pearson@camoves.com or 714-782-2723. And if you are already part of our amazing team, I thank you for continuing to uphold such high standards and make our office such a great place to work!
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