Starting a new company

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Open Sky Real Estate

We recently started a new real estate company, Open Sky Real Estate, LLC.  We are very excited and have agents coming to work on our team.  We left a well known company with a balloon and felt there was a different way of running a business.  It seems most companies treat agents like little kids and instead of the adults we are.  We are doing things to to encourage growth with the agents and to teach them the marketing techniques they need in today's market.

If you have something you do in the market that sets you apart from everyone else we would like to hear what you do.  Please either post to this blog or send us a private email to  

We would also like to hear what you do not like about your company policies.  I feel the best way to grow is to listen and change in this new market we are in.

We appreciate your feedback and comments.

Comments (13)

Julie Chapman
DR Horton - Ormond Beach, FL
New Homes Sales Ormond, New Smyrna, Daytona Be

Brad and Sheila,

I am the broker and I don't like the policy where when the agents call in sick, drunk, out of town, at a wedding, etc. that I get to do their work as well as my own.....just kidding......

My suggestion is that you hire staff with the same work ethics as your own, keep an open door policy - be available to your staff and don't ask anyone to do anything you would not do can only lead by example.........

From the day you open your door, everything you do is now yours.......(this includes the action of your agents so choose them carefully)....and as I always quote

"Goodwill is created by many acts, and lost by one". 


Apr 20, 2008 12:46 AM
June Piper-Brandon
Houwzer Inc - Baltimore, MD
Piecing Dreams One Home at a Time
Congratulations!!  There is another way of doing business.  I own an Advance Realty franchise here in Maryland and the best thing I ever did (as challenging as it is) was to go out on my own.  Being part of a new company that is growing, like Advance, gives us the benefits of the other franchise owners expertise too.  Good luck!!
Apr 20, 2008 12:53 AM
Amie Varney
Prudential Verani Realty - Epping, NH
Brad and Sheila:  My one thing would be to always remember that your agents are INDEPENDANT contractors and want to feel like they are in charge of their business.  Make their success your focus and your company will succeed.  Be sure to choose agents according to their ethics and not their numbers only, this tip will probably keep you out of court.  I am a team player and want my company to succeed but not at the expense of my business.  We have chosen this career for a reason and expect certain things from it, I wish you much success in your new endeavor!
Apr 20, 2008 12:55 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County
My experience as an agent....number one, treat agents with respect, not just lip service.  Good luck, now that you have let the air of of your "balloon!"
Apr 20, 2008 01:01 AM
Laura Karambelas
Baird & Warner Downers Grove - Downers Grove, IL
Realtor - Downers Grove
I am an agent. One of the reasons I just left the company I worked for is they made you feel like you were a number, as good as your last sale, not a person.  The company I am currently at, offers us tons of training, everyone is willing to help one another, we all share our ideas on what is working and what is not and my broker has true concern for us as people, not just our production.  Good Luck!
Apr 20, 2008 01:15 AM
John Walters
Frank Rubi Real Estate - Slidell, LA
Licensed in Louisiana
Good luck on your venture.  I think you are part of a growing trent.  I guess the sky is the limit now.
Apr 20, 2008 01:29 AM
Steve Hoffacker
Steve Hoffacker LLC - West Palm Beach, FL
Certified Aging In Place Specialist-Instructor
Brad and Sheila, congratulations on taking a leap of faith and one you felt was necessary to launch out on your own. Being in business for yourself is great but not without a lot of challenges. Staffing and associations are a big key top your future success. Drop me an email and we can talk more about your needs and goals. Steve
Apr 20, 2008 01:32 AM
Chip Jefferson
Advanced Building LLC - Lexington, SC

My wifes company Asset Realty is a great place for us to hand our hats. Truely a great company.


Apr 20, 2008 01:36 AM
Laura Giannotta
Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore - Little Egg Harbor, NJ
Your Realtor Down the Shore!
I'm a Keller Williams agent and love the training and company culture.  KW understands that we are professionals.  The company also understands that we have families and other responsiblities.  Good luck, it much be an exciting time!!  
Apr 20, 2008 01:50 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA
Brad and Shelia, I would suggest you develop a good Mentoring Program to help new agents and some experienced agentsget a running start in this business. Good luck with your new company.
Apr 20, 2008 01:50 AM
Rebecca Schneider
Coldwell Banker Lakes Realty - Canadian Lakes, MI

Congratulations on your new exciting venture...

I think it is fantastic that you are asking opinions and caring about starting your business off right.  My suggestions:

  1. Offer great training, incentives and allowances for their business.  You do what you can to help them succeed and they will work hard for you and themselves.  A motivated and happy agent will go a long way. 
  2. Don't play favorites. 
  3. Don't compete with your agents.

In our office we have a wide array of work ethics, some agents are just tired especially in this market.  I am a newer agent and may not have the connections or the experience but I am willing to do whatever it takes to make my business a success and I recognize the power of the internet and the new technology.  I think having agents that welcome change instead of fighting it will be helpful.  So bring on the enthusiasm!

Something that works great in our office is that we have an office manager who submits listings for us to the internet.  Which leaves us more time to be doing other business.  Our broker pays for unlimited mailings, paper, ink, supplies, printers, phones, desks...basically everything we need to use in the office.  

You may want to check out  I have recently started using this site, it is free for the first 6 months.

Good Luck!


Apr 20, 2008 02:01 AM
Maureen Rodriguez
Novadebt - Toms River Twp, NJ
Certified HUD Housing Counselor

Brad and Sheila,


I am a broker in the same boat.  We started a year ago with just me.  I now have 5 agents and they are great.  I treat them as professionals and not children.  Recruiting is definitely a challenge in this market.  If I can only get them to see my vision I could have more agents working with me.  That is the frustrating part.  Leads I received are truly given on rotation and I follow up with them.  No floor time.  It's great.  With gas prices going through the roof, I am operating my business as a virtual office but they can reach me at any time.  If you ever have any tips on recruiting, please share.  Good luck to you!

Apr 30, 2008 11:34 AM
Brad Sanford


I will let you know some things as I progress but at this moment I have a high number of agents coming to me to talk.  I have no thoughts on taking every agent but only good strong agents that know how to do the business.  I have a couple of new agents coming and I can train them, which will be easier than retraining some of the others.  I have many good ideas and plan on sharing them with all my agents.  They will grab some ideas and run with them and not use all of them.  Hopefully my team of agents will all share with each other and we all grow.  

I believe in TEAM SPIRIT and plan on building on this.  Most companies do not believe in the TEAM SPIRIT and that is what is wrong with them.

Brad Sanford

Apr 30, 2008 01:15 PM