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Mike McCann, the Real Estate Man: On Building a Successful Team Amidst Disruption

Mike McCann, The Real Estate Man

On Building A Successful Team Amidst Disruption.

The year has gotten off to an auspicious start for real estate professional Mike McCann. His Mike McCann Team has been in the upper ranks of REAL Trends + Tom Ferry The Thousand, as advertised by The Wall Street Journal for both sides and volume every single year since 2011. On Real Trends’ America’s Best list, he was No. 1 in Pennsylvania for both sides and volume in 2017 and 2018.

He’s been in the business for 33 years, and was practically a household name in Philadelphia, where he was known as “Mike McCann, the Real Estate Man.” Shockwaves reverberated through the industry in January when he announced he was moving his team from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services to Keller Williams.

“I must have received 3,000 messages, emails, texts and calls from clients when it was publicized,” he says. “It was unbelievable. I didn’t sleep for the first week.”

He was personally recruited by KW CEO Gary Keller, whom McCann saw as a kindred spirit. Having witnessed how the internet transformed the industry a generation ago, Mike said he was impressed with what artificial intelligence (AI) portends, seeing it as the “coming revolution.”

“Gary Keller is a [real estate leader] fighting for [real estate professionals],” he said. “He found the tech people and hired them.”

“I bought into Keller Williams not just for me, but for my team, for the younger people. I believe AI is going to just grow.”

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REAL Trends interviewed Mike to ask his thoughts on this and other topics.

On the transition from solo to team leader: “I built a business within a business,” he says. “I hired my first administrative assistant in 1989. In 1992, I made them support assistants. If you can pay someone to do something for less than your hourly wage and they do something you don’t like to do, it’s a win-win. I was able to spend more time with clients. Being face-to-face is how you build relationships.”

“In 1996, I hired my first buyer’s agent, before the rise of teams. That’s when I became a listing specialist.”

On leadership style: “My philosophy is ‘one plus one makes three.’ I am better with you, and you are better with me. Whether it’s support staff or agents. I set the example. I am a worker among workers. Go to two or three listings a day. I’m dealing with delivering feedback, checking into repairs [and] inspections, going to closings. I sell more because I come up with solutions that other people can’t come up with. I keep deals together.”

“They rely on me being the rainmaker. I’m building the systems.”

On organizational structure: “The biggest challenge is to not have a revolving door with assistants or agents. Make sure you compensate properly as they grow. I build for the long-term by hiring the right people, working with them, and making sure they can grow with me. It’s important to invest in leads, support people and technology.”

On client relations: “I’m a big explainer. I follow up conversations with an email. People only retain 15 percent of what you’re going to say. Clients say ‘I feel like I’m Mike’s only client.’”

On changing franchises: “I was an emotional basket case. It was brutal, but I have to do what’s best for my team family. I’m the oldest person here. They have 10-15 training classes a week here at Keller. My team agents are getting training all the time. The energy has totally changed.”

“I feel like I’m brand new.”

His biggest asset: “If you want to make it in this industry you have to have a good reputation. You have to be a confident person. It’s the whole package; you can’t just be nice, you can’t just be a part-time salesperson. Real estate is brutal. If you love real estate, it’s the greatest career in the world–if you commit yourself to it. You’re an entrepreneur, you make your own schedule, and your income is limited only by how hard you work.”

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