For Anthony Lamacchia, CEO, Lamacchia Realty, Waltham, Massachusetts, the key to success is delivering the right support services to his agents. “We are a value-based brokerage,” he says. “We obsess with helping agents to grow their businesses while living good lives.” Thanks to that commitment, along with effective agent recruitment and retention strategies, Lamacchia was named a RealTrends 2021 Game Changer for the company’s rapid growth over the past five years.
Lamacchia started in real estate in 2004 and quickly became a successful agent and team leader. “When you build a team, there’s a ceiling to how much you can sell and how large you can scale your model,” he says. “Teams also depend on a leader to bring in business, and I didn’t feel that was a smart business plan for me over the long haul.”
Lamacchia says it took about two years to make a successful transition to the brokerage model, making sure internal processes were in place to support his agents with a strong focus on training. In 2012, he launched a REAL Training program on tactics and strategies for success, and expanded the program in 2015 to include other agents across North America. “I didn’t understand the impact that training can have [on agent recruitment], until we started a weekly program,” he says. “That really moved the needle for us both in terms of business and in serving our agents.”
Using Facebook for recruiting
In 2017, Lamacchia hired a recruiting coach to accelerate the company’s growth. “He told me the problem was that I was not speaking or sharing information except at real estate conferences,” he says. “Our coach told me to get out there, give agents tips, and talk about what’s going on in the market, and he was right on target.”
Lamacchia jumped on the suggestion to start a “Crush It In Real Estate” Facebook page, offering advice to agents in the community. “That was a game changer for us in terms of agent recruitment and making our brokerage more attractive to people outside the company.”
Next, Lamacchia began inviting outside agents into his firm’s trainings. “I’m a sales trainer, and I’m not shy,” he says. In January 2020, before the pandemic, he hosted a “Crush It In Real Estate” event with 700 real estate professionals, including 240 of his own agents. He also posts informational videos for agents on how to handle tricky situations, drawing thousands of views.
Now, Lamacchia has about 29,000 followers on “Crush It In Real Estate,” giving his company great recognition in his local markets. “Almost everyone who joins our company mentions the videos,” he says. “That’s been the key for us because it exposes our brokerage to them. We’ve built a CRM platform, and marketing and advertising programs to serve our agents. So, once I learned how to recruit, we really started to grow organically, and now have 395 agents.”
Lamacchia’s retention strategy focuses on supporting agents as they grow their businesses. “If you can help them succeed, everything else falls into place and they don’t leave,” he says. That approach to agent recruitment and retention includes providing leads, training, support and technology.
“Not everyone needs leads, but that’s part of the value we provide,” he adds. “Newer agents love the training as well as the leads. Once they’re up and running, they can generate their own leads. That’s when we focus on providing them with our services.” Along with administrative and marketing staffers, Lamacchia has engaged licensed professionals in the field, who assist agents with immediate concerns. “If someone needs help covering a showing, an open house or a home inspection, we can deliver the support they need. That aspect of our company is a real value for agents.”
Last year, Lamacchia took another step forward, created four new “success guide” positions and offering personalized agent support services. These full-time business development professionals are assigned to new agents, helping to identify their needs and navigate through the company resources. For instance, one agent might need help getting leads while another might need coaching on open houses or listing appointments.
“We also look at the volume of business our experienced agents are handling,” Lamacchia adds. “If they are so busy they can’t keep up with their personal lives, we suggest making changes to bring things into a better balance. That’s another service that has helped us with retention.”
Looking ahead, Lamacchia says his goal is to be the largest brokerage in New England and the largest independent in the country. “That’s a tall order, but with our value-based approach I feel strongly that we’ll get there,” he says. “It’s just going to take some time.”
Anthony Lamacchia, CEO, Lamacchia Realty, Waltham, Massachusetts, , was named a RealTrends 2021 Game Changer. In the past five years, between 2016 and 2020, he achieved 212% growth.