Who Says There Are No Do Overs - Knocked down 5 times Get up 6 - The contest (please note this was written for a contest in December 2016, but I never posted, so I updated and now I am sharing, better late than never) is about having a goal or making adjustments, correcting our mistakes and learning from them and sharing them. Like many agents we could write a book, especially if we have been doing this a while. in Fact those that did not learn from their mistakes are no longer in this business, I would almost bet my annual income on it.
My story is a little different than most you will find here, I learned early on that I really enjoyed helping other agents figure this business out, even more than helping buyers and sellers. I had owned businesses prior to real estate and maybe that was a part of my wanting to have my own brokerage, but after opening up a small company with my wife and bringing on a handful of agents, I knew that my passion was in helping these agents find success, more than I wanted to go on another listing appointment or buyer appointment.
As our little firm grew, I soon realized we had no tools whatsoever to help them and I soon became the transaction coordinator, the personal assistant, the coach, the mentor, the bookkeeper, the janitor, the responsible party among many other titles. I had no time to conduct my own business and I still needed to in order to support our family. Then the mortgage crisis hit and agents were fleeing, our business was down to 25% of what I was used to doing on my own and we were struggling.
My wife went back to work, which was a good thing, since she did not enjoy anything to do with real estate. and we decided to shut down the company. I knew that I wanted to be a managing broker, but I also knew that I could not do it on my own, I wanted an established company, or at least one with plenty of upside for the agents. I interviewed with some of the big brands, anyone that had over 80 agents and was looking for a managing broker. I was the finalist a half dozen times, but always the same story, "John we really like what you are bringing to the table, the passion for training and helping agents is a huge part of this, but managing 80+ agents when you have never managed more than 10, well that is a different ball game".
I got the message loud and clear and took a few months off to rethink my goals, I took a job as a title sales rep so I could really get to know the real state models better, and what I had to offer was not just donuts and coffee, I started teaching my class "The Riches are in The Niches", and as fortune would have it I was teaching a group of agents when the managing broker and Director of Business Development stopped in for a while, they grabbed me after class and asked me if I would consider managing their brokerage.
I was flattered and excited since I knew that was what I wanted, I accepted and transitioned very quickly. We grew painfully slowly and after a 9 month period where I interviewed roughly 75 agents, we only brought 5 on board, 3 of which left within a month. I was thinking either I am not cut out for this, or the model sucks. I sent out a few resumes and got a couple more managing broker offers. This time I sent the 3 different models out to my agent friends and asked them without revealing the company which they would choose if they were to make a move, all 10 of them said company "C", and half voluntarily said they would never go with company "A" which is precisely where I was at.
So I made the move, The company had a lot going for it and still does, however I was still having a difficult time bringing on agents, sure we were growing, but not nearly as fast or with the quality of agents I wanted to have. Quite honestly when I made the move to my current company I was not planning on making a move again, I wanted to make the last company work, but thankfully fate had other plans.
I had two agent interviews scheduled and both had canceled prior to meeting with me, I called them up and asked why they said no to our company, both said the same thing, "We found one we like and are going there". I looked the company up and thought, WOW, very impressive, I can see why they never made it to my appointment. A couple days later as I was perusing the Craigslist ads to see what other brokerages were advertising I came across a managing broker position, there was no company name, just a few details and it piqued my interest enough to send my resume, lo and behold it came back with letterhead from the company that I lost these two agents to.
I really want to find out more and agreed top an interview, the owner flew up form Florida and met me and the other candidates, and I was very impressed. Previous out of state owners did an over the phone interview and never set foot in the state, you would think that they would want to know who was running their company. Another owner locked herself in the office all day with a note on the door that said "Do Not Disturb", the agents definitely did not feel welcome there. But this, this was different and after hearing what he had to say and the tremendous growth they had in Florida, I really wanted this position, it was what I had been looking for with the previous brokerages. The opportunity to grow a brokerage, to be available for my agents, to teach them to become a specialist (my passion) and to train them to not only be professional but to respect everyone else in the transaction.
We have grown from 6 agents in April to 43 and I really believe by this time next year we will be over 200 agents. The beauty is that we are not only attracting agents that are tired of the gouging fee structures of most brokerages, but we are also getting agents that are very productive, our agents average 3-4 times the number of transactions as the typical agent and they have a life too. It is amazing what agents can do when they are allowed to Thrive and are able to afford to feed themselves and market their business.
I have been knocked down a few times, but I know I am where I am supposed to be, and the agents seem to be grateful for my availability.
I had actually written this post alomst 20 months ago, but saved it as a draft, I am just getting back to being much more active again in the Rain and thought I would start with my drafts to see what was waiting for me (there must be at least 50 of them in here) I am proud to say that we have grown from 6 agents to just over 100 in Colorado since I came on board and we are looking to double again in the next 18 months - very excited, and glad to be where I belong.