PLACE Magazine brings you real estate best practices, tangible advice from industry leaders, and updates about PLACE: the real estate business services and technology platform for agents from any brokerage that powers the top teams in North America.
M A G A Z I N E
Closing the Loyalty Gap WITH CHRIS STUART How to achieve success by building client relationships that last a lifetime page 40 ROAD-TESTED RECRUITING RULES Grow your team with strategies from Adelina Rotar, Jay White, Jacqueline Smith, and Kimberlee Meserve page 18 REVIEWING YOUR P&L WITH ROSS CLAWSON Profitable insights into the formula that prosperous agents use to stay financially healthy page 12
STEPS TO PUT POWERFUL SCRIPTS TO WORK FOR YOU
Valencia Brown simplifies scripts page 54
PORTFOLIO PROPERTIES page 68 SEE THE LATEST
A Letter from the Founders
The Inaugural Edition of PLACE Magazine
Welcome to the first issue of PLACE Magazine, a collection of industry insights and updates, remarkable agent success stories, and most importantly a celebration of our shared exponential growth. In this inaugural edition, we invite our readers to explore PLACE as a leading PropTech organization while also learning about the top 20% of real estate teams across the United States and Canada whom we are fortunate to call our partners. With a full-stack technology and business services platform designed to streamline operations while helping CEOs run their real estate businesses more profitably, PLACE simplifies the real estate transaction for both our partners and their clients. In 2022, we demonstrated strong partner growth and expanded our network with thriving teams including Dow Realty Group of New Hampshire, The Nicole Gary Team of New York, and Vija Real Estate of Washington. PLACE is expected to double our partnership count year-over-year by the end of quarter four. Additionally, our internal corporate headquarters expanded to more than 630 employees dedicated to helping our partners power the future of the real estate industry. A behind-the-scenes support system, they provide PLACE Partners with intuitive technology, human resources, recruiting, marketing/branding, accounting, legal and agent-training support. New members we’ve welcomed to our leadership team this year include Emiliano Delucia (Chief Technology Officer), Abby Powell (Chief Marketing Officer), Suzanne Colvin (Chief Financial Officer), Vija Williams (Head of Industry), and promoted former CFO, Ross Clawson, to Chief Administration Officer. The past few years have been busy and packed with growth. PLACE is valued at over $1B, thanks to a $100 million investment from Goldman Sachs, with participation from 3L Capital and Viewpoint Ventures, just two years after launching the industry’s only brokerage-agnostic platform of its kind in 2019. In this inaugural edition of PLACE Magazine, we’re honored to spotlight just a few of our outstanding partners. These real estate consultants are leading the industry using the highest-quality recruiting tools, unbelievable coaching and development, paired with unparalleled innovative technology services. And our journey is only beginning! We owe our incredible growth thus far to PLACE Partners and their teams who share our unrelenting commitment to delivering the dream of homeownership everywhere, with simplified solutions and superior service.
Ben Kinney, Founder
Chris Suarez, Founder
INSIDE THIS ISSUE
FROM TRANSACTION TO TRUST: BUILDING LIFELONG CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS by Chris Stuart WHY TEAMS ARE THE FUTURE OF REAL ESTATE by Vija Williams LEVEL UP YOUR REAL ESTATE GAME with lessons from the stage of BuiltHOW NAVIGATING THE SHIFT leading market insights from PLACE professionals POWERED BY PLACE
YOUR WEALTH BUILDING JOURNEY STARTS NOW by Ben Kinney SIX TIPS FOR REVIEWING YOUR P&L by Ross Clawson HOW TO BUILD WEALTH FROM SCRATCH by Laura Castillo
DITCH THE TALENT TREADMILL — GROW YOUR BUSINESS WITH INTRAPRENEURS by Holly Priestner RECRUIT LIKE A PRO with Adelina Rotar, Kimberlee Meserve, Jacqueline Smith, and Jay White BRANDING TO POWER PARTNERSHIPS by Alex Day THE FIRST PLACE PARTNER with Tamara Lamore BUILDING A HIGH-PERFORMING TEAM FROM THE BOTTOM UP, IN THREE STEPS by Dru Lee TIPS TO COACH YOUR TEAM TO SUCCESS by Debbie De Grote NEW AGENT SUCCESS by Marley Jackman BREAK YOUR ADDICTION TO INSTANT GRATIFICATION by Chris Suarez
SUCCEEDING IN LUXURY a conversation with Jeannette Spinelli
4 STEPS TO PUT POWERFUL SCRIPTS TO WORK FOR YOU by Valencia Brown BUILD A BUSINESS THAT RUNS WITHOUT YOU by Fred Sed MARIA GALIZIA: FROM ZERO TO A MILLION by Maria Galizia NEGLECTED TO NEW: FLIPPING DOWN SOUTH with Cody J. Cummings and Paul Mielke
NEW & NOTEWORTHY
PLACE IN THE NEWS what others are saying MEET THE LEADERS PLACE leadership WELCOME TO PLACE our newest teams LISTINGS TO LOVE featuring PLACE Portfolio
POWER UP PRODUCTIVITY WITH PLACE TECH by Bob Stewart HOW TECH IS CHANGING THE WORLD OF LEAD GENERATION by Amy Gerrish
WEALTH BUILDING Your Wealth Building Journey Starts Now Embrace financial freedom; it’s right within reach Ben Kinney, Co-Founder, PLACE
Although I am a PLACE co-founder and have launched multiple real estate companies, I am also someone who has known what it means to have little. My parents separated when I was very young, and then my father raised me. We lived in a cabin without power or water, owned an outhouse, and relied on a food bank. These circumstances drove me to break the cycle of poverty in my family and then master wealth building. THE TRUE MEANING OF WEALTH Finances have power over us and our relationships. We stress about them. We fight about them. And many times we fail to realize there’s a more active approach to money; we don’t have to just let it happen to us. There are a lot of beliefs floating around when it comes to money. Some people think wealth is bad, but I have a very simple take on it. To me, wealth is the ability to do WHAT I want, WHEN I want, and with WHOM I want. It is interconnected with freedom. People who live below their means enjoy a freedom that those who constantly seek to upgrade their lifestyle just don’t have. You, too, have the ability to be one of these people, as long as you reframe your former beliefs surrounding money. Here are some myths and facts that can help change the game:
Myth: My bills are covered; I’m good money-wise. Fact: You should make more money.
You might be thinking to yourself: “I’m good money-wise. I can pay my monthly bills. I’m comfortable. I don’t need more.” I can go through an entire list of people who felt the same way…until a loved one fell sick and everything changed. Feeling financially secure isn’t a lifelong guarantee, but you can surely be more confident in your financial future by always striving to make more money. Here are key reasons why this is important: For emergencies: You or a loved one gets sick. A natural disaster hits. You get into a big accident. We all assume that everything we have and everything we’re doing is going to continue as- is, but that’s not a realistic worldview. Things change, and they change quickly. And when they do, you need to be prepared. For opportunities: According to Warren Buffet, the greatest distributions of wealth happen in down markets. Chaos creates opportunities. Will you have the opportunity to be in the game when the next financial crisis hits? Do you have the capital to take advantage of a buying opportunity when the market is down? Deploying capital during uncertain times creates a path to serious wealth building. For leverage: When I was about 20 years old, I had zero money and a car clutch causing trouble. So, I went to my stepfather’s house to find tools, and spent the next five days figuring out how to replace the clutch. It would have made a world of a difference if I could have paid someone else to do it. Saving money isn’t always the secret. Sometimes you have to buy your time back. For legacy: It can be leaving your assets behind for your family, supporting your community, or tackling humanitarian challenges — it is your driving force to make more money. For memories and experiences: At the end of the day, making memories and sharing experiences with your loved ones is the most important part of life. And those experiences, more often than not, have a financial component attached. Quick exercise: Jot down a paragraph about a time when not having money has affected or hurt you in each one of these areas. Myth: Achieving wealth is too complicated. Fact: With education and a shifting mindset, the sky’s the limit. One of the biggest reasons people don’t achieve wealth is they think it’s unattainable and complicated. They may have negative emotions around money, or think that it’s about status. They may
“To me, wealth is the ability to do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want. It is interconnected with freedom.”
think having more money will make them more stressed. They may feel like there is a fixed amount of money out there and they’re waiting for someone or something — the government, an inheritance, a future husband or wife — to save them. In reality, wealth is there for you. You just have to make it a priority, and just like any other goal, there are multiple ways to achieve it. You have to create a plan that’s right for you, stick with it, and stick with it long enough. Wealth building is a process that grows incrementally. First, slowly, then faster and faster. But oftentimes, impatience, and focusing on the small pleasures of today, keep people from reaching their wealth potential. Let’s go back in time to 2001, when the iPod was released for $399. What if instead of buying the product, you had used that money to buy Apple stock? Today, that stock would be worth $58,000. Think about the Amazon items you buy on a daily basis. What if you bought the stock instead? Shift your mindset to choose later over now. Recommended Exercise: Pledge to take 15 to 30 minutes of your day to focus on educating yourself instead of entertaining yourself. Between books, podcasts, and mentors — a slew of resources exists when it comes to wealth building. Imagine how much your bottom line would change by simply learning 15 minutes per day over the next year.
Myth: There are shortcuts to wealth building. Fact: For best results, I have to commit to the long game.
Short-term solutions aren’t real solutions. If you’re ready to change your life, commit to the long game. If you are ready to build your empire, phase out distractions and focus on seven steps that will completely change the game: Reality check: Where are you on your financial journey? How much debt do you have? How much income? What’s the value of your assets, and what is your net worth? Retirement check: Are you on track to retire? Do you know how much money you need for your retirement? Saving up: Strategically reduce expenses and live on less. This will allow you to pay off debts and start saving. Student of wealth: There are many concepts, equations, and models that can help you become wealthy. PLACE and the “Win Make Give” podcast are both fantastic resources. Increasing income: Whether you work for a company or are
“Short-term solutions aren’t real solutions. If you’re ready to change your life, commit to the long game.”
“Ultimately, when you retire and your income goes to zero, you will still be able to live comfortably.”
self-employed, there are different strategies you can use for increasing your income. Pay less: There are legal ways to pay fewer taxes. Learn them. Invest wisely : You have potential to see massive returns. FINALLY, FLIP YOUR TRIANGLE Ultimately, you want to be in a position where you’re not worrying about money, and instead are spending time thinking about making more money. Imagine that you have a triangle in front of you, divided into three pieces. The vast majority of the population exists at the base; their income is in direct relation to their salary. They exchange time for money. Moving up to the middle of the triangle, there is cash flow. This is money earned from investments. Whether it be collecting interest on a loan or renting out one of your properties. People who reach this point can use cash flow to improve their lifestyle or use the money to buy more assets.
At the top of the triangle are assets and investments, and they contribute heavily to your net worth. What does flipping the triangle look like? In a perfect world, the base of the triangle would be filled with assets — real estate, stocks, bonds, cash, collectibles, and companies. These things must have tangible value, and they need to create cash flow. When you flip the triangle and add the value of your assets, it should be greater than that of your cash flow. And in turn, that value should be greater than your income. Ultimately, when you retire and your income goes to zero, you will still be able to live comfortably.
Ben is a businessman, real estate agent, and bestselling author with offices throughout the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
SUBSCRIBE TO THE PODCAST
On my podcast, “Win Make Give,” we talk about wealth and financial freedom as part of the Wealth Series. With new content in 2023, the 16-part series will cover strategies that can help change your financial future. Sign up now at winmakegive.com/wealth for hard-hitting content and workbooks that will help you achieve your goals. Plus, one lucky winner will walk away with $10,000 to put toward building personal wealth.
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Is Your Lender Your Partner? Jesse Passafiume shares how client-led, agent-centered mortgage solutions power better transactions
illustrates reliability and systematic processes. 4. Seek a lender partner who offers competitively low fees and/or lender credits without sacrificing high-quality service. Optimal mortgage partners curate and share the most relevant information, helping agents learn the financial component of the transaction to better assist buyers and sellers in achieving their preferred future. Passafiume stressed the importance of adapting to current conditions in real time. For example, many lenders currently recommend home buyers consider a 2-1 buy- down loan, which helps reduce interest rates for buyers in the short term to make home buying more financially appealing when interest rates are higher. Creative lending can help ease affordability concerns for many buyers in today’s market. “Lenders should always be teaching agents to leverage what is happening in today’s mortgage market to increase sales and success,” Passafiume said. Agents who receive a constant flow of knowledge from their lender partners, including training on the inner workings of mortgage finances and weekly market observations, can employ updated expert information and language when engaging new and existing clients. “The new normal requires you to pick a lender partner who provides a level of advice and expertise that makes you better,” Passafiume said. “Pick a partner who explains options to consumers and increases your credibility so that you earn referrals and repeat business. The most important question is ‘How will you select your lender partner to optimize your business?’”
Today’s market requires lender partnerships that provide more than contracts and loan options. The best partners support agents with high lead conversion, long-term lead management, and homebuying plans for clients. At its foundation, the partnership empowers agents, proactively positioning them as market experts at the center of the transaction while keeping clients updated on every element of the financing process. “Lenders who involve themselves in agents’ success will be considerate of that partnership throughout every decision related to workflow, processes, escalations, and economics,” said Jesse Passafiume, BKCO Mortgage president. “Lenders can optimize buyers’ purchase experience and improve the likelihood of successful transactions.” Passafiume noted optimal lender features that can make the purchase process uniquely effective, exceed client expectations, and encourage repeat referrals. Passafiume explains four programs make our featured lender purchase process uniquely effective, which consistently exceeds client expectations and encourages repeat referrals. 1. Look for a lender with a marketing platform designed to convert leads while keeping agents connected to every opportunity. 2. Find a lender available to provide a pre-approval within the first few days of beginning the home search process with a client so they are prepared to make an offer when the right property comes along. 3. Research your lender partner to ensure they have a consistent track record of closing transactions by or before the expected closing date. Timeliness in closing often
WEALTH BUILDING Six Tips for Reviewing Your P&L
Prosperous agents keep fiscal health first Ross Clawson, Chief Administrative Officer, PLACE
60% profit margin, but as your business expands, revise your estimate to a target of 30 to 40%. Our own PLACE Co-Founder, Chris Suarez, decided to run his business as a team from the get-go. When creating his initial P&L, he put himself on a commission split, allocating 10% to leverage and an additional 10% to lead generation in his operating account. This approach also helped attract talent, as agents had the same potential net profit margins as the business as a whole.
We sat down with PLACE Chief Administrative Officer Ross Clawson to discuss best practices for reviewing a profit and loss (P&L) statement to ensure your business is making enough money after expenses to justify your output and identify areas of improvement.
Ross Clawson has led PLACE finance as Chief Financial Officer since the company’s inception, and was recently promoted to Chief Administration Officer in September 2022. In this new role, Ross and his team work closely with PLACE Operators to evaluate the financial health of their businesses and drive profitability. In speaking with so many real estate professionals over the years, his team noticed a common theme: most novices, and even agents further along in their careers, consider gross commissions a top success metric. Ross says that prosperous agents take a more well-rounded approach, adopting the lens used by successful business owners to examine fiscal health. This tactic means diving deeply into company financial activity and asking tough questions around revenue, operating expenses and more, with a thorough review of your profit and loss statement. As you review your company’s P&L, Ross recommends these six tips to live out your own version of the PLACE vision: win in business, make money, give to others, live experientially, and do good. REVIEW YOUR PROFIT TARGET When you created your first P&L, you probably set an initial profit target (and if you haven’t created that P&L, here is your first order of business). Take a look at that target through fresh eyes. As an individual agent, it is not unheard of to hit a 50 to
40% COST OF SALES + 10% LEVERAGE + 10% LEAD GENERATION =
TAKE A DEEP REVENUE DIVE Don’t just take your GCI at face value. Instead, ask yourself these five questions to help understand what is driving this critical metric and identify areas for improvement: • How does my GCI compare to what I budgeted, and if there is a variance, why? • What is my ratio of list vs. buy units for the month, and the year? • What sort of training does my team need to focus on more- profitable listings? • What was the overall team commission percentage this month, and year-to-date? • What is my average selling price year-to-date and how does it compare to last year?
UNDERSTAND YOUR COSTS From commissions to brokerage fees, it’s important to understand exactly what money is going out the door and how it affects your bottom line. Use these questions to help set your record straight: • Am I paying reduced commission splits for appointments set by the team? • Based on my agent splits and regular business expenses, are referral fees worth what I am paying? • Does the value from my brokerage justify its fees, and have I hit my brokerage fee cap? • Is my gross profit at 50% or better, and how many of my agents’ transactions were on <50% splits to the team? DIG INTO YOUR OPERATING EXPENSES Have you gone through your expenses in detail? Now is the time to do so. Print out the statement, and as you go through it, be alert for monthly or yearly recurring charges. Ask yourself: • Which of my expenses could be reduced or eliminated in a low-production period? • Am I personally authorizing/approving new expenses before they’re incurred? • Do any expense jumps stick out or do you notice any unfavorable trends over the past 12 months? • How does my current month compare to my year-to-date in each spending category? • Which of my expenses are known revenue-producing activities? • Are my staffing expenses what I expected, and are my employees and contractors aligned with those expectations?
DON’T FORGET THE ODDS & ENDS A true audit isn’t complete without looking at yourself, team growth, and lead generation. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind: • How many agents were productive in the month, and how much did I contribute to the team production? • What is my team’s trend in agent count? • How much time am I devoting to agent recruiting on a daily basis? • How much am I spending on leads; how quickly is my team initiating follow-up and converting them into transactions? • Is every client in my database set up to receive a listing alert or market report? • Am I taking full advantage of the PLACE technology platform? STAY CONSISTENT You dove headfirst into your finances. You asked yourself the important questions and made the necessary adjustments to increase profits. Now, it’s important to not lose steam. Set a goal to review your P&L on a monthly basis and focus on growth and profitability. What will help you achieve both? Stay true to your targets, and use your review to determine when to go full speed ahead, and when it may be time to pull back. LEAVE IT TO THE PROFESSIONALS If you are looking for more support managing expenses and driving profitability, reach out to your financial team at PLACE for a consultation. Our accounting professionals can help you develop a plan to improve profitability.
WEALTH BUILDING How To Build Wealth from Scratch Money lessons learned and imparted Laura Castillo, Owner/Operator, BKT Midland, Texas
For some people, wealth is about addition. It’s about obtaining more possessions, buying bigger homes, and watching bank accounts climb. For me, wealth is about subtraction. It’s about eliminating any constraints on my choices. It’s about removing the need to be dependent on any one person. It’s about taking away the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. It’s about extinguishing the specter of poverty forever. In other words, wealth is a life that’s all mine. Wealth is freedom. I grew up in rural Mexico, and we were very, very poor — so poor we didn’t have an indoor bathroom. My parents were the
worker bees whose labors kept our lives humming along; even into their 60s, my parents still had to work hard for a living. I knew early on I didn’t want to follow that pattern, but I didn’t know what exactly my own pattern looked like. I only knew that having long-term security was important to me. THE AHA MOMENT When you work in real estate, making money is fairly straightforward. You sell a house and you earn a commission. Building long-term wealth is something different, something that’s often opaque. For a long time, it seemed outside the realm of possibility for me.
“That’s when I realized I was looking at my own opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. I could empower myself through wealth, as opposed to just income.”
Drilling down the numbers can help you determine which new projects are actually worth investing in. For example, a few weeks ago, I put in an offer for land to develop because the development project looked really fascinating. But once I broke down the numbers, I realized I would do better buying more rental properties because, ultimately, they would generate a higher percentage yield. By learning to review deals, you realize not every deal is going to be good for you. I’m an optimist by nature, and I want every deal to happen, but not every deal must happen. Unless you have unlimited capital, each deal you do means another deal you can’t. WOMEN HELPING WOMEN As I’ve solidified my own independence through my investments, I’ve been able to help others do the same. The very first time I started an LLC was after a friend from Colombia whose husband had been having an affair called me and said, “I don’t know what to do because I don’t know how to do anything. I’ve been his wife for all these years, and I have nothing.” I asked her if she had any savings, and together we established an LLC to build spec houses. Three years later, that LLC probably has close to $1 million in reserves. We built eight spec houses last year alone. This success is one example why I’m so passionate about wealth building, especially for women. Growing up in Mexico from a very traditional family, most of the women in my life were almost entirely dependent on their husbands. There’s nothing wrong with being married or having a husband, but I want to help women break the pattern of depending solely on a man for financial survival. I want to help empower women so they don’t have to depend on anyone else. I want to help other women discover the same liberating freedom wealth building has given me.
Then I met PLACE Co-Founder Ben Kinney. In little more than a decade, Ben built something so much more substantial than your everyday real estate business. He built wealth, as well as the mechanisms to keep growing and sustaining that wealth over time. He built something that would endure. I realized I was looking at my own opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. I could empower myself through wealth, as opposed to just income. I could create something lasting. STARTING FROM SCRATCH The first step toward building wealth is having the initial money to build upon. So, I became purposeful about setting aside money from every single paycheck. In “The Richest Man in Babylon , ” it’s suggested to set aside at least 10% of your paycheck for investments; I shoot for 20%. Now, when there’s enough in my investment account and the right opportunity comes along, I take it. With this strategy, I’ve grown my investment portfolio over time to include 20 single-family rental properties and business that builds spec homes, as well as four single-family residences and two cattle ranches in Mexico that comprise roughly 6,000 acres. Here in Midland, Texas, in oil and gas country, the most recent single-family rental property I closed on cost $445,000 and will rent for roughly $5,500 a month as an Airbnb. TREAT WEALTH LIKE A BUSINESS When you go to a lender to take out a loan for an investment, they will ask for your net worth statement. If you ask, “What is that?” it doesn’t look great. I’ve learned through experience to treat my investments as a business, which means keeping a separate profit and loss statement for each property. Because I’m a very visual person, this technique also helps me quickly determine if I’m doing well with that property and if it should stay in my portfolio.
TEAM DEVELOPMENT Ditch the Talent Treadmill — Grow Your Business with Intrapreneurs Grow their empire and they’ll help grow yours Holly Priestner, Head of Talent, PLACE
Let’s be honest, recruiting can be exhausting. You spend hours each week connecting with top talent to build your team. You hope those you hire will stay and grow with your business, but sometimes they don’t. Does it feel like you’ve got a revolving door on your business?
attracted to businesses where they can see a clear path to career progression and success. Speak to them as business partners from your first conversation. It’s far more effective to use matter-of- fact business terms rather than trying a hard sell on your team. In conversation, pay attention to the words and phrases they use and repeat. People focused on splits and commissions don’t fit the business-minded intrapreneur mold. Intrapreneurs speak of business profitability and achieving income goals, frequently using words like growth and opportunity. An intrapreneur wants to collaborate. Explain their profits will be directly tied to yours, simply as partners who happen to have different roles. Show them you have a proven path to success. Show them that your team is not just productive but also profitable. Highlight the tangible value you bring to make them profitable. Not just marketing and support, but also tools, technology, operations, and coaching. BE A CAREER DESTINATION Intrapreneurs see how you’ll fast-track their income goals this year, next year and beyond. You’re not looking for people who join short-term to use your business as their launching pad. An intrapreneur will help drive your business as they grow theirs. Show them your organizational charts:
You can close that door by hiring intrapreneurs who want to grow their enterprises within a business they’re committed to – yours. DEFINE INTRAPRENEUR An intrapreneur is someone who works within your organization but behaves like an entrepreneur. They go beyond understanding their roles; they comprehend how a business functions. You know you’re talking to an intrapreneur if they’re self- motivated rather than direction-seeking. But there’s more to intrapreneurs — they take initiative instead of waiting for permission. They’re good at communicating, rather than just talking. They’re doers, coachable but empowered to proactively seek out solutions. They don’t expect you to build them a team. They already know how to recruit, hire and coach talent to create an enterprise within your own. In short, they think like you — as a business owner.
• Where you started • Where you are now • Where you’ll be in 20 years
TALK TO THEM AS PARTNERS Nothing draws top talent like admiration. Intrapreneurs are
Ask them to identify which of your business units they’d like to grow. Help them see how. MAKE IT ABOUT THEM They can develop a business unit within your team while leveraging the systems and processes you already have in place. Intrapreneurs view themselves as more than a means to achieve someone else’s business goals. Talk about what you can do for them, not just about what they can do for you. • Focus the conversation on their goals • Chart a path for their success • Ask about their passions and dreams Again, listen to the words they use. Find out what motivates them and the projects they’re committed to. Their vision of the future should align with yours for your relationship to grow long-term. This is particularly true for emerging talent. Millennials, who now make up most of the workforce, want to work for an organization whose mission aligns with theirs. They’re attracted to real estate as a career for the flexible schedule, opportunities for self-starters, and ability to set income goals. Show them how your organization can help them build a bigger life in and out of work. DEVELOP YOUR INTRAPRENEURS Retaining top talent is one of your roles as a business leader. Tell intrapreneurs how you’ll invest in them and their goals. You should be charting a path that leads to their achievement. This means investing time in your intrapreneurs. • Weekly coaching on growth goals and their production • Quarterly conversations about their contributions to the team • Yearly formal growth planning and review Work with them to create a formal growth plan from the beginning. Hold them accountable for following their plan. But remind them that they’re building something that goes beyond their personal goals. Growth-minded intrapreneurs want to pursue the next opportunity. Create benchmarks for them to reach that, and open the door for them to do so.
TEAM DEVELOPMENT Recruit like a Pro
PLACE Partners share their top tips to attract talent Adelina Rotar, Jay White, Kimberlee Meserve and Jacqueline Smith
Recruiting is crucial to your business. Leveraging your team will be the key to your growth and success. Whether you’re a new PLACE Partner starting over alone or already growing an established team, you can learn from the successful recruitment strategies of PLACE Partners.
Adelina Rotar: Commit to your Zero Owner/Operator, Austin, Texas
Jay White: Fish Where the Fish Are Owner/Operator, Charlotte, North Carolina
The first step of recruitment, no matter where you are in your career, is knowing your zero. Your zero is the baseline number of team members that you want to build initially and not fall below that number.
When Jay White (The Jay White Group) launched his team a year ago, he went straight into heavy recruiting as his GCI wasn’t steady, and it was mostly gener- ated by himself.
Adelina Rotar (Austin, TX) has a team of 23 with a zero of 20 agents. To maintain her zero, she spends two to three hours a week keeping talent in her pipeline. But in the beginning, she made building her team to 20 her ONE Thing. When her number of agents dips below 20, it becomes her priority again. Until her team is over 20 again, she’ll spend 20 to 30 hours a week focusing on adding to her sales force. “When you have 20 agents and one agent leaves or two agents leave, everybody brushes it off,” Adelina says. “But if you have eight agents and one agent leaves or two agents leave, that’s like 25% of your sales force, and it’s really rough for you.” In addition, you must talk to enough people to have enough appointments, she says. The process is simple and similar to getting listing appointments: set an appointment, build rapport and if the appointment is going somewhere, then do a needs analysis, and share the value proposition of PLACE and your local team. Closing them doesn’t finalize the agent’s place on Adelina’s team. A new agent doesn’t work in the team’s office until graduating from PLACE Launch and completing all prerequisites. Through experience, Rotar learned that no exceptions can be made – they must enter the office already plugged in and prepared.
“We knew we had to increase agent count to increase our GCI and make it consistent,” he shares. He started recruiting new agents because it was an easy win: they needed a place to sell real estate, and he had the solution. He sponsored real estate school classes, then went and talked to the agents about joining his team. “We were just fishing where the fish were,” he explains. “They were getting their real estate license in six weeks, and I wanted that.” Since launching, Jay has built his team from four to 18 agents. He shares their stories and the team’s success on social media to attract others. “Brag about your team when you have something to brag about,” he suggests. As a result, agents reach out to him regularly, asking how the team’s doing it. With a growing team, Jay’s daily focus and activities have shifted. While his agents are lead-generating for buyers and sellers, he’s lead-generating for talent every day. In June, he only spent 10% of his time producing, whereas before that was more like 50 to 70%. “I’ve got 400 leads in Brivity right now that are all recruiting leads. And I’m working that pipeline,” Jay says.
“If you look at operators who are recruiting the most agents to their team, every month, they talk to 6 0 new connections they’ve never talked to before. These top team builders meet with 1 8 of that group in person, then present an opportunity to eight. They’re actually hiring three out of the eight.” — Chris Stuart, President, PLACE
Kimberlee Meserve: Don’t Reinvent the Wheel Owner/Operator, Newton, Massachusetts
Jacqueline Smith: The Need to Recruit Owner/Operator, Vancouver, Washington
“I think the number one thing that I’ve done wrong is I’ve really underestimated how much I need to recruit,” Jacqueline Smith (BKT Vancouver) cautions.
Through conversations with other PLACE Partners, Kimberlee Meserve (Street Property Team) has been able to leverage the expertise of others and learn from them. “I’m not reinventing the wheel,” she says.
After joining PLACE, the Vancouver, Washington partner made recruiting her priority with a goal of building to 12 agents by the end of her first year. She’s learned the hard way that she needs to double down on recruiting if she wants to do more than maintain her team. There are a lot of factors she doesn’t have control over, like a military spouse being transferred out of state or a new parent needing to spend more time with their child, she says. Her ongoing recruitment strategy is to send out value. She reaches out to agents in her recruiting database every Monday, experimenting with the content to get a response and engagement. Tuesday through Thursday, she’s contacting potential recruits to set up coffee and lunch conversations. She switched her focus from recruiting new agents to targeting those in the business for 12 to 18 months, “who have done a few transactions but still are not really fully getting off the ground,” she says. Since then, she’s built her team to 21 agents with a goal of 30 by the end of this year, she says. She has developed a strategy to avoid making cold calls to experienced agents. “I’m inviting agents to do the things that I’m doing and see who is engaging, then I’m connecting with those people,” she says.
Earlier this year, she spent a lot of time in conversations that didn’t develop into anything. “It took me a long time to figure out how to recruit,” Meserve admits. “My struggle was that I was too enthusiastic about the opportunity, almost to the point of not being clear enough on the expectations.” She says she’s also “kind of copied what Jay is doing” by getting her admin involved to do the last interview to go over expectations and get her thumbs-up. “We’ve done a lot of Indeed ads. I do something similar to what Adelina is doing if they’re not licensed; I funnel them to my career night,” she explains. Her first career nights drew a group of 20 and her most recent career night welcomed more than 40. If an attendee is licensed, she schedules a phone screening with them. Since February, all eight of her hires have been new agents. After two of them left, she pivoted to make it more clear in recruiting conversations that her team wasn’t for everybody. She can do this during her initial telephone conversation with the agent. “We’re for the people that want to come in and build a really big business together, grow together, and we work super hard,” Meserve tells potential recruits.
TEAM DEVELOPMENT Branding to Power Partnerships How tailor-made branding can grow your team Alex Day, Creative Director, The Shanna Day Team
Our releases emphasize the team’s value propositions on either the agent experience while working there or why consumers should choose our team to do business with. We post this on the agent’s website blog. The agent then reposts the blog article to their social media accounts, driving traffic to their new website.
Your recruiting efforts are fruitful and people are showing interest in joining your team. They’ve had an initial conversation with you, perhaps attended a career night, and are close to signing. What’s the next step to them successfully signing with your team? The answer: personal branding.
New business cards and nametag
By showcasing for recruits the suite of tailor-made and branded collateral they can have on day one, you help them experience the feeling of being on-brand within a partnership that boosts their business. Studies show a strong, consistent brand leads to more recognition; more recognition leads to inspired team members, greater trust in the marketplace, and ultimately more business. I have been in the real estate industry for five years, now focused on recruiting, retention, and team growth through brand recognition. Prior to joining the Shanna Day Team, I ran a creative agency catering to some of Arizona’s most iconic brands. CREATING BRANDED COLLATERAL During the recruiting stage, display your brand kit to showcase all of the possibilities to your recruits. Once they sign, offer them a tailor-made, branded collateral kit with the scripts, strategies, and solutions to market their business from day one. Take a look at what my team includes and how we implement our tools.
Getting our agents’ business cards with a nametag as quickly as possible gets them excited about being a part of a team. More than 50% of our recruiting pipeline is generated with referrals from recent recruits, since they love everything they receive from the team in their first two weeks, and are so excited to share!
Available on store.place.com.
We like to prepare their first month of pop-bys with new business cards. “Your neighborhood’s trusted real estate agent,” is a great foundation for building brand awareness. Pop-bys are best hand- delivered by the agent, accompanied by face-to-face conversations with as many contacts in their farm area as possible.
A press release detailing their new career path
Our team shows prospective recruits a visual calendar of their entire ensuing year, right down to the marketing materials available to them each month. We love how showing them what we offer to help build their business excites each of our new recruits.
A press release should include a bio about the new agent and a quote from them about what excites them most about being a part of the team and one from the team leader about why the team is looking forward to partnering with this individual.
grabs. Our team generates these leads for our agents daily; when an agent claims a lead, one of their tasks is to mail or drop off a branded booklet to the owner. Not only does it position the agent as an expert, it brands with their name, number, and headshot, giving newly recruited agents confidence to go after a huge pool of leads. We’ve watched this practice generate immediate business.
Agent farming postcards
Designed to generate brand awareness, postcards to the agent’s farm area are so easy to send. Ours usually include a message of, “Your neighborhood’s trusted real estate agent,” with some market stats or recently sold properties on the back.
Social media templates
Available on PLACE Marketer.
We announce every new recruit on multiple social media platforms. Our team has a variety of templates to choose from for creating social media announcements. These
Staging and selling lead magnet
Our agents get a branded booklet designed for prospective sellers teaching them how to stage and prepare for showings, individualized with their headshot, name, and phone number. This printed booklet, with their information professionally presented both inside and on the cover, is the tangible, product-in-hand they need to feel they have a real business when meeting with prospective clients. One simple booklet, even when agents are brand-new, helps them understand the value they can deliver to prospective sellers, giving them valuable confidence to farm for listings.
announcements usually pull elements from the press release, including quotes from both the team leader and new team member. PLACE Marketer has made it easy to customize these templates and make them your own. We’ve found it’s most effective to create both a story and a post to generate optimal interest. Available on PLACE Marketer.
Nine questions lead magnet
Upon joining the team, we provide a series of three emails to the recruit’s database which always redirects to the agent’s new website. The first email centers on the new career move, building brand awareness, and the new partnership.
Agents on our team also get a branded booklet designed for prospective buyers and sellers covering, “Nine questions to ask your Realtor® before hiring one, and the answers you want to hear.” The newly recruited agent delivers a tangible, eye-catching, and professional item of value to clients.
The second email highlights the benefits of the team’s enhanced transparency and communication to the consumer for their real estate needs. Third email emphasis — it might be a new team, but working within the same community prepares them to help them buy, sell or invest in real estate. This final email features available tools, including listing alerts and market reports. Tap into templates via PLACE marketer Already using PLACE CRM? You can locate many of these templates on PLACE Marketer and store.place.com. Need a personal consultation or custom design work? Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
The agent is branded on every page of this material; the same material also trains the agent on answering the inevitable questions a client will ask, and how to handle common objections like, “Why are you worth 6%?” The booklet is as functional at getting agent recruits to feel valuable as it is providing equally valuable information to their clients.
FSBO/canceled/expireds lead magnet
We also give agents on our team a branded booklet that functions as a free guide for FSBO/Canceled/Expireds to get their homes on the market successfully a second time. This huge portion of the market is currently up for
TEAM DEVELOPMENT The First
PLACE Partner A testament to the power of leverage with Tamara Lamore, Owner/Operator, Everett, WA
“I had to forget about what I was doing as an independent agent to fully embrace the models and systems of PLACE,” Lamore said. “Once I mastered those, I could add my flair.” Quickly she became one of Kinney’s five listed long-distance team members and naturally solidified as the Everett location’s official team leader and first PLACE expansion partner. Lamore’s team was the Bellingham location’s leverage, assuming an overflow of leads and clients while building a local database. “Because the Bellingham team entrusted financial, marketing, and administrative needs to the Leverage Model, I focused only on buyers and sellers,” Lamore said. Lamore recounts the leads piling so high that one more could send her weekend of showings into chaos. In a moment of urgent problem-solving, Lamore originated the first step of the PLACE Leverage Model: earning a showing agent. She called her colleagues on the other side of her cubicle walls,
Immigrating from Canada in 2001, Tamara Lamore remembers thinking, “If I’m starting over, then being a real estate agent is next.” For the next eight years flying solo, she was glued to every step of every transaction, closing 35 homes a year. Balancing being a successful one-person business, a mother of three young boys, and a wife was more an anomaly than a long-term solution. Luckily Lamore, seeking a team for leverage and community, met PLACE Co-Founder Ben Kinney, who illustrated his vision for her on a napkin by drawing a circle inside a circle. He labeled the outer circle PLACE resources and the inner circle Lamore, promising, “The PLACE circle will continuously grow bigger, so you will always have room to grow.” Lamore joined him. PLACE established office space for her closer to home in Everett, Washington, as she lived an hour from the team’s location in Bellingham. As a long-distance team member, her annual sales jumped more than 40%.
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delegating four showings to her teammates while focusing on the fifth. After spending most of the weekend at home, within a week, all offers were under contract. The entire team benefited financially. Shortly after, one of those agents happily committed to being Lamore’s full-time showing specialist. “I decided not to work evenings or weekends, and never miss any of my children’s field trips or games, so I found a way to
ensure that,” Lamore said. “Having a team within a team allows me to have every weekend with my family while still serving clients through a showing specialist. It changed the structure of my life while making me money.” After two years of support from a full-time showing specialist, Lamore’s sales jumped 61%. Her team has advanced to 24 agents in three locations, closing $3 million in GCI annually. Her original showing specialist earned additional opportunities, tapping into the leverage model. “I needed to release all the parts of the transaction that I was in control of and let the team handle it so I could fully focus on my ‘seat on the bus, the Ben Kinney Team,” Lamore said. “My showing specialist eventually joined me on my seat ‘on the bus’ and then we worked all our clients together.” Today Lamore’s office is a paper toss away from the cubicle where a weekend’s solution inspired the foundation of the PLACE Leverage Model. She explains that the circle of resources that Kinney once drew for her years ago grows constantly, quickly implementing new products and improving systems. Agents are supported at each stage as they move through the Leverage Model to build a team within Lamore’s team. The greatest model benefit she’s seen change agents’ lives is the company health insurance that opens the door to the PLACE Opportunity Model. “PLACE agents are talented,” Lamore said. “The faster we fully embrace the standards, vision, and value propositions PLACE offers, the faster we grow.”
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