Real Estate in a Virtual World.


Your Success - Is Your Company Responsible?

Real estate companies that focus on growth seek to attract agents that are committed to our industry as a profession.  How does a new agent decide who to work for?  Experienced agents may realize that there are better options than their existing business relationship.  Technology and current market conditions have changed the traditional process of recruiting and retention.

Attracting New Agents

In the old days, agents were attracted to a real estate company based on branding value, market share and training.  New agents would become established by working their sphere of influence and taking floor time (working the buyer flow from ads, walk-ins, etc.). If they worked hard, they would survive and eventually thrive.

However, as stated in an earlier post (The Traditional Real Estate Model Has Changed), this business model no longer works. Customers are no longer walking through the door to talk with Realtors. To attract new agents, real estate companies must establish a viable on-line marketing process that will replace the old buyer flow.  This assumes that the company believes that they have a partial responsibility to develop leads for the agents.

Real estate companies must also understand that younger agents have different expectations today. They expect comprehensive training and support. They expect to use technology as a way to communicate instantly and effectively with customers. And they expect the technologies to be in place to help them perform their jobs.

Future Success Will Depend on How Quickly Companies Can Adapt

The real estate industry is currently in flux. Traditional real estate companies are finding it harder to compete with increased offline and on-line competition. And the generation gap between buyers and Realtors threatens to limit the success of companies. 

To succeed in a Web 2.0 world, real estate companies must embrace and adopt this new customer-focused, technology driven business model. This means developing the necessary tools and resources internally or engaging with vendors who offer the technologies and processes to increase lead production and successfully service Internet Buyer leads.

Companies need to invest in training, as well. Realtors with less experience in technology need to know how to use these new technologies efficiently and effectively. They also need to learn the customer service skills that today's generation of buyers expect.

Finally, real estate companies must also start getting younger. Just as they have to adapt to a new breed of buyer, they must also adapt to a new breed of worker to attract new agents.

The future will not accommodate a middle ground. Companies that can't-or won't-adapt will be forced out of business. For those companies that can adapt to these changes, the future of real estate looks brighter than ever.


Virtual Homes owns and operates RE/MAX franchises in New England (RE/MAX Innovations, Boston, MA and RE/MAX Country Properties, Amherst, NH).  The company also provides a complete Internet market solution for agents, broker/owners and lender including lead generation, lead notification, management tools (CRM), training and support.  In MA, we offer a MLS search tool         

Comment balloon 16 commentsFred Doleac • November 22 2008 07:38AM



In the final analysis, though, there's the bumper sticker:  If it's to be, it's up to me.

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 11 years ago

When you have RE/MAX behind you - the branding is not a problem. All your other points are great too!!!

Posted by Richard Shuman, Real Estate Broker - Orlando Area - Love Referrals (The Only B.S. I Have is from the University of Massachusetts) over 11 years ago

My company is not responsible for my success, I AM!  I could go to any broker and have the success that I do where I am...

Posted by Mike Klijanowicz, Associate Broker @ Cummings & Co. Realtors (Cummings & Co. Realtors) over 11 years ago

Mike and Michael -  I agree that you determine how successful you will be.  What do you expect from your company?  If I am to improve my services to my agents, what should they be?

Richard - RE/MAX does have a great brand.  What are the three words that describe the office your work for?

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago

I have seen a lot of agents start with Coldwell Banker, get the training and the start-up support and then leave for a company which offers a bigger commission split.  I would like to do a cost comparison with other companies to see if it's worth it to pay more of your own costs but get an opportunity to work up to higher commission splits or if it wouldn't make much of a difference.  I am the youngest person in my office and there is an agent who is just looking around for her first computer and doesn't have a cell phone yet.  I don't go anywhere without my cell phone and can't stand it when the internet connection goes down...which is how many of the buyers are now.  They want instant access to an agent, to see property, so availability is key.

Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) over 11 years ago

Jenn - the RE/MAX model is based on an agent keeping their commissions and paying a fee to the B/O.  Other companies may have alternative commission plans.  If you evaluate other options, and decide to move, plan on it being your last move so that you can build your career.  Ask yourself, what am I getting in return for the business I bring to the company?  Compensation is one factor - Broker services, credibility, tools, training and support should be on your list.

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago

I read the article about you and your company in the paper today..while I was sitting floor time. Congrats on making it works so well for you.

Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 11 years ago

Monika - Thanks for your comments.  It is great to see that newspapers will report positive aspects of the real estate industry and the market. 

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago

I thought it was great. I work virtually and very rarely venture into the office. I like it that way!

Posted by Monika McGillicuddy, Southern NH & the Seacoast Area (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty) over 11 years ago

The way I like to make a decision is by asking this question, "what is the investment my broker makes in me for the commission I pay to my broker" In my offfice (disclosure time, I run the office) we realized that 2008-2009 is truly going to be a skills based market, The biggest investment we made in our agents was hiring a full time productivity coach. Our PC coach has had a dramatic effect on my office. We will close roughly 130 million in sales volune and our PC coach is responsible for roughly 35% of that. She  has a 42 percent per person productivity ratio. That is how an office can help an agents career

Posted by Ralph Odierna (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

Ralph - Great idea!  Do you charge the agents for that service or is it added value?  You identified one of the keys to the new real estate economy - competency. 

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago

My company is there to give me resources to help me succeed, but it is up to me to make myself successful.

Posted by Brenda Carus (Century 21 Zwygart Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Fred, if you are a new agent it is mandatory for 3 deals and the PC coach receives a 20% referral fee.

If you have closed less than 12 deals in your career the PC coach is optional, you sign a 6 month or 1 year contract and depending on your commission split (most are at 75/25) I bump your commission split to 85/15 and the PC coach receives 10% referral on each deal during the contract period (by bumping up the split there is no out of pocket expense to the agent it is incurred by the office)

If you have closed more than 12 deals in your career it is a time contract and either $500 or $1000 per month depending on how much one on one coaching you request.


Posted by Ralph Odierna (Keller Williams Realty) over 11 years ago

I've found that I'm better with a brand.   I started with a great local company, but no one knew me and they never heard of my company.  We then became Merrill Lynch and while they still weren't real sure about me, they sure knew ML. 

As my referrals increased, I continued to benefit into the next phase, we became Prudential.  Felt like I had a double punch.  They knew me and they knew my company. 

It's been 30 years, worked for me.  To each his/her own.  

Posted by Pat Emmett (Prudential Palms Realty) over 11 years ago

Ralph- thank you.  A very progressive and I would venture a very successful approach.  It is obvious that you have a very successful office with motivated and engaged agents.  This is the time to take market share.

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago

Pat - I am glad you found the right place for you.  Many agents never do.

Posted by Fred Doleac, Real Estate in a Virtual World (Fred Doleac - Bean Group) over 11 years ago