Nothing affects the success of a real estate transaction quite as much as finding the right agent. After all, says Todd Stock, broker owner of RE/MAX Results, “For many people, it’s the biggest investment they’ll ever make. They can’t afford to make a mistake, so trusting an agent to help guide them is important.”
That’s why Stock and co-owner Larry Phillips put so much emphasis on building and supporting their team. “We’re really committed to their success when we hire new people,” says Phillips.
Actually, their commitment extends well beyond the hiring process. Stock and Phillips have put together a comprehensive program to support RE/MAX Results agents, from one-on-one mentoring to in-house training to state-of-the-art electronic tools. They feel better agents make happier customers—and that’s the whole point. “Everything we do is for the success of our clients,” says Phillips.
For example, newly-licensed agents hired by RE/MAX Results are never thrown into the mix and expected to find their own way. Instead, they are matched immediately with an experienced agent who acts as a mentor for up to one year. During that time, the mentor works closely with the new agent, accompanying that agent on his or her listings and buyer’s activities, as well as overseeing the completion of all documentation. In addition, the new agent often goes into the field with the mentor to observe and learn. While several other companies also have mentoring programs, most do not include the in-field component, which has been a key to success at RE/MAX Results.
Phillips explains, “Clients of newly-licensed agents are never at a disadvantage because they also get the benefit of all the mentor’s experience.”
To ensure they continue to grow professionally, all agents have access to RE/MAX corporate educational videos and electronic training tools. Stock also conducts monthly sales meetings to keep them up-to-date on industry trends, issues and insights. “These meetings don’t revolve around housekeeping items,” emphasizes Stock. “We try really hard to make them relevant and current so that our agents can do business better.”
All of these measures sit atop a solid technological foundation. In an environment where more than 90 percent of prospective buyers first turn to the internet, RE/MAX Results is currently rolling out a cutting edge lead generation system to help agents more effectively connect with prospective clients. It replaces a system they already thought was good with one that is even better.
These collective efforts are paying off. According to Phillips, “We have a 70 percent agent retention rate after two years. We’ve been able to reverse the national trend, which is only about 30 percent.”
John Sullivan, an agent who has been with RE/MAX Results since its founding, says the company’s support provides him the ability to better serve his clients. “We have a great group here that supports each other,” says Sullivan. “Ownership should provide great facilities and a great staff, and they do.”
In fact, RE/MAX Results boasts the highest agent productivity among all of Indiana’s 20 largest real estate companies. Since its doors opened in 1989, the company has grown from 90 agents in three offices to 210 agents in eight offices, covering most of the northern half of the state.
Still, says Phillips, “We know what makes the company go; it’s the people we have.”
Agents like Sullivan focus on giving customers the highest level of service possible. It starts, he says, with being a good listener so he can understand their needs. “A lot of this business is being sensitive and having empathy for people,” explains Sullivan. “Instead of selling you a house, I want to find a house that you want to buy.”
It’s important to remember, notes Sullivan, that not only sellers, but also buyers can choose the agent with whom they work. Experience, market knowledge and communication all come into play, but ultimately it’s about comfort level. “You don’t have to call the person on the sign,” says Sullivan, “and it doesn’t cost you any more to work with a top agent.”
Like Sullivan, every one of RE/MAX Results’ agents has made real estate a career; the company employs only full-time agents so they can maintain their client focus. It’s all part of its strategy to make sure customers get the best service possible. “Everything,” stresses Stock, “is for the success of
Owner(s): Larry Phillips and Todd Stock
Address: 8101 Coldwater Road Fort Wayne, Indiana 46825
Phone: (800) 878-3388
Years in Business: 27
Number of Employees: 210
Products & Services: RE/MAX Results is a full-service real estate company serving northeast and central Indiana with offices in Fort Wayne (2), Angola, Goshen, Greenwood, Kendallville, Warsaw and Wolcottville.