Today’s real estate brokers have several issues and concerns on their daily to-do lists, from recruiting new agents, commission splits and tech and online offerings to marketing and operational fees, all while managing shrinking bottom-line profits and keeping their top producers happy. For me and my leadership team at CENTURY 21 Service Realty in Paducah, Kentucky, we started an Agent Advisory Board, made up of agents from both of our offices.
The results have been more positive than we expected from both a broker and an agent perspective. Overall, our family of sales professionals report that we are better at staying on top of their needs, and wants, and delivering the support they need to thrive and deliver the extraordinary to their clients and to other members of the team.
I took over the company in 2014 from my mother Betty Higdon, who started this wonderful family of agents. While I’m the only owner now, I do not pretend to have all the answers. In fact, from day one I’ve encouraged an open environment and culture, where I encourage agent input, feedback and ideas.
Ideas to move the needle
While actively listening to my agents works to a certain extent, I wanted to do more to serve my leadership team and family of 31 sales professionals. That’s the foundation behind the idea of an Agent Advisory Board. We meet at least every quarter to brainstorm, solve business issues and help agents overcome their pain points.
One idea generated from the Advisory Board that has proven to stand out over the rest is the ‘golden nugget.’ At each meeting, one member shares a tip, technique, or solution to a current market challenge. One of the board members jots them down in her notebook, and we post them on our private Facebook group.
Most recently, for example, the golden nugget was inventory shortages, and the recommended way to generate listings was to go back to past customers and clients and share with them local market knowledge, current mortgage rates and a current market analysis of their home. These quarterly nuggets serve as reminders to agents on consistent success.
Another centered on keeping in contact with your sphere of influence. The leadership team of the company asked that all CENTURY 21 Service Realty agents, automatically enroll their clients into our Preferred Client Club program. Designed to keep an agent top of mind with clients, the program is a relationship marketing tool whereby clients automatically receive seven communications distributed evenly throughout the year that are mailed directly to their home.
Ultimately, the biggest impact of our Advisory Board is increased morale and an expanding company culture. That’s helping to support our internal recruiting efforts. Agents feel confident bringing in friends and family to our team. Plus, the company offers $600 per recruit — $100 for the first initial meeting — $200 when they join us, and $300 after the first closing.
We’ve always had a family-oriented culture and our company expects professionalism, productivity levels, and a focus on the community. The Advisory Group has been instrumental in exceeding the needs of our sales professionals and is helping each one to be better professionally and personally, close more deals and feel connected to other team members like them. It has forever changed the culture and morale and is the driving force to getting us back together post-COVID as a family.