2008 was an exhilarating time and business was flowing. I had just finished opening four offices in Costa Rica and was contemplating how to ramp up sales, provide training and thinking of recruiting, business was flowing. Fast forward to 2010…
My mind turned to sales and how other brokers were conducting their sales efforts. I was intrigued to learn more about my competition and also to perhaps learn something new. What technologies they were seeking and how they interacted with other competitors.
It took me one week to have my mind blown!
Everyday customers ask us how brokers operate in an environment where there is no MLS or mechanism from which to share. Brilliant! Sharing – now there is a novel idea. Break down the walls and share information. From the questions that my customers asked is where I found inspiration to begin a new journey…here is how it all started.
I visited each of our six local brokerages and re-introduced myself to those who did not know me. I asked each owner if they would partake in a meeting with other brokerages and share information about sales, listings, trends and more. Everyone said yes.
At the first meeting I stood up and shared a little about our company and how we began taking exclusive listings and that 60% of our sales were with other brokers (known as co-brokering). The room went silent. I also mentioned that we had closed fourteen sales in the past six-month period. Jaws dropped.
Having had extensive sales training in body language, I quickly asked the room why they were so surprised. Silence. I boldly asked each how many sales their office had achieved and if exclusives were part of their business. There were a total of eight sales in the entire room and zero exclusives. The ‘Ah-Ha’ moment had arrived.
Why were the other offices not doing more sales, I asked. The answer was crystal clear. None of these brokerages were willing to share their information or listings in this non-MLS market in fear of loosing percentage points from their commission. I was blown away with what I was hearing.
These brokers were more concerned with their commissions than servicing their clients and customers. Wow.
In the last few years we have made a lot of progress and today I am considered the founder and “President” of Southern Pacific Alliance of Realtors (SPAR).
Today, our community has seven (legal) brokerages. We communicate and share exclusive listings via Drop Box. We are working closer than ever in our community, seeking to provide a higher level of service and we are all making sales.
In our last SPAR meeting there were 24 brokers/agents in attendance. That is a huge improvement from our humble beginnings but more importantly, that is validation that sharing information and working together works!
To bring this home, 75% of the sales my office closed this year were with other brokers. That means sharing information so that our customers get the best service possible. It is proof positive that we are not focused on our commission, but putting our customers interests first.
As I type this blog, I see two emails from other brokers asking when out next SPAR meeting will happen as there are more positive ideas to share to enhance our customer and improve our brokerage community.
I am inspired!