THE THOUSAND by REAL Trends as advertised in The Wall Street Journal ranks the elite agents and teams. We interview agents and teams on the ranking to find out what sets them apart. Shelly Salas reflects on the success of her team, Killeen, Texas-based Salas Team Realtors, which tied for 110 Teams by Sides in 2018.
As retired Army veterans, Shelly Salas and her husband, Luis, understand what military families go through. “Killeen is a military community and home to Fort Hood, the largest military installation in the United States,” says Salas. “PCS moves [permanent change of station] can be stressful, whether to another state or overseas.”
The Salases launched their real estate practice in 2003 with the desire to help as many people as possible—military and civilian alike—achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Through the years they built a winning team that helps them do just that. Last year, The Salas Team closed 567 transactions. “We expect to beat that in 2019,” she says. “Without a doubt, our No. 1 key to success is the people we have on our team.”
Here’s how they do it:
Mirror a Successful Business Model
“We started analyzing doctors’ offices and attorneys’ offices and one of the most important things we learned was that there is someone dedicated to each aspect of the process,” Salas says. “For example, when you go to the doctor’s office there is someone up front to greet you, someone to process your insurance information, someone to take your vitals and medical history—and then you finally meet the professional you came to see: the doctor. We decided to break down every aspect of the real estate transaction like that because we wanted our clients to experience that type of service.” This approach has been integral to the team’s success, Salas says.
Assign Each Member a Role
A receptionist, aka “director of first impressions,” greets every client who comes through the door. “We have 38 team members, and whether someone is part of the listing team, buying team, closing team or training team they dedicate themselves to that role and master it.”
Clients are happy because each aspect of the transaction is given the team’s full attention. “If someone wants us to sell their home, they speak with the director of first impressions, who introduces them to the inside sales department. Then they meet our listing team and closing coordinator. It’s the same for buyers except they don’t meet the listing team. On that side of the business everyone is on a mission to find them the right home.”
Be a (Cheer)Leader
As team leader, Salas handles day-to-day operations. “I am definitely an I personality type [i.e., influential, enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative] and a cheerleader,” Salas says. “My husband is the ‘visioneer’ because without his vision none of this would have come to light. He sees what needs to be done and I implement it. But I’m never the smartest person in the room. I have surrounded myself with extremely bright people.”
Pay it Forward
The Salases have created a culture of giving back. “We are all about service to the community we love,” she says. “We donate money to Children’s Miracle Network and last holiday season we were blessed enough to donate a personalized Christmas gift to every child at a local low-income elementary school.” People are inclined to do business with them because they know they care about more than just the next transaction.
Leslie Stone is a Vero Beach, Fla.-based freelance writer. She is a contributor to Florida Realtor magazine and has previously served as the magazine's associate editor. She regularly writes about the real estate industry and business.