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Podcast: Lessons Learned Taking a Franchise Independent, Plus An Innovative Program for Virtual Teams, Brokers

Linda O’Koniewski, CEO of Leading Edge Real Estate in Boston discusses lessons learned rebranding from a franchise to an independent, literally overnight, and her company’s innovative new program for virtual teams and brokers called Leading Edge Affiliate Partner Program, or LEAP.  

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Today’s REAL Trending features an interview with Linda O’Koniewski, CEO of Leading Edge Real Estate in Boston. In this interview, O’Koniewski discusses lessons learned after finding out her franchise pulled the plug, and they had to rebrand overnight. Five years later, the company is on solid footing, regaining some of the agents they lost (which wasn’t many!) and introducing new initiatives like the LEAP program, which offers a plug and play system for virtual teams and brokers.

Here is a small preview of today’s interview. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: When we first met, your company was going through a transformation from a franchise to an independent, literally overnight. Tell me a little bit about that, and then we’ll go into some of the steps that you took to calm the storm.

Linda O’Koniewski: We decided that, contractually, we could not have a meeting of the minds on what we consider was a fairness issue. Our franchiser decided that if we [couldn’t agree], then we couldn’t operate. Overnight, we became Leading Edge Real Estate. We were not prepared to do that. We did not have our brand ready. We hadn’t thought it out. We thought we’d be stuck in the remaining contracts for the next couple of years. It meant we had to think on our feet fast, and we didn’t do it right. I have a lot of advice for people who want to do that someday. That journey, for the next year, on building a brand, was very interesting, Tracey, we made a lot of expensive mistakes.

REAL Trending features the brightest minds in real estate. Twice a month, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Victoria Wickham. 

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