It’s a new year. Hub Edge Realty, LLC is born. Why bother? Why not just open under the umbrella of a national real estate corporation like Century 21, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Keller Williams Realty or RE/Max? I want to do something a bit different.
I want to create an inclusive real estate brokerage. What does that mean? Let me elaborate.
I started my real estate sales career in the now defunct Milton office of Jack Conway & Co., Inc. back in 1999. The office had an office manager and about twenty real estate agents on its roster at any given time. We’d sometimes have an administrative person who would answer the telephones and sometimes we didn’t. Agents were supposed to attend sales meetings which were held on Tuesday mornings at 10 AM and agents were also supposed to answer phones during their “deck time” shifts which were three hour blocks of time on weekdays and four hour blocks of time on weekends. Other than that, agents could generally come into the office as little or as often as they’d like. You might not hear from or see an agent for months if he or she decided not to attend sales meetings or show up for deck time shifts. Each agent was an island. What if that agent wasn’t able to perform his or her job for any variety of reasons? It could be a disaster.
I attended a STAR POWER Systems seminar at the Adam’s Mark Hotel, it’s now the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, in Dallas, TX back in 2004. The STAR POWER Systems seminar was eye opening. I learned about the concept of real estate teams while most of the attendees were already members of high producing teams. The attendees included some of the top producing real estate teams in the United States and the number of real estate transactions and the dollar amounts of the resulting commissions from those sales was absolutely astounding.
Real estate agents traditionally handle entire leasing or sales transactions from the beginning to the end. Some might say that a real estate agent’s job is to hold the hand of the buyer or seller throughout the transaction and there’s a lot of truth to that although “hand holding” is a term that’s demeaning to both the agent and the consumer. There is little or no division of labor in the way a traditional real estate agent does his or her job.
Real estate teams, on the other hand, divide leasing or sales transactions. Gary Keller of Keller Williams Realty is a big proponent of building real estate teams. One member of the team, usually the lead member, might be the listing agent. Another member of the team might be the buyer agent. Another member of the team might be the listing coordinator and that person might be responsible for all the minutiae involved in servicing the listings. Another member of the team might be the marketing coordinator and that person might be responsible for all the minutiae involved in marketing the team and its listings. The division of labor could be divided a million ways. And that’s where the problem lies. What if there’s a last minute issue that could delay or stop a closing? Who does that buyer or seller contact? Maybe the real estate team is too big or the division of labor within the team isn’t defined well enough and a ball gets dropped? It could be a disaster.
Redfin Corp. is an exercise in the extreme of a sales team. The division of labor is metered out down to the level of individual tasks. One agent might show you a property. Another agent might attend the home inspection. Another agent might help with the purchase and sale agreement. Another agent might attend the final walk through. Another agent might attend the closing. There is little personal connection when using Redfin Corp. to buy or sell real estate. The division of labor has gotten Redfin Corp. in trouble because it has been hit with a class action complaint according to this post by GeekWire back on February 11th, 2014 entitled “Redfin improperly classifies field agents as contractors in California, suit says“. Agents at Redfin Corp. are trained to act more like assembly line employees at McDonald’s rather than trained to provide the personal touch for the most intimate transaction that a consumer might be part of in his or her life which is buying and selling real estate. It could be a disaster.
I’ve sometimes thought about all the riches that I could be adorned with if I had decided to build a real estate team. Or maybe I could’ve been like one of those agents on one of those Million Dollar Listing shows? That’s a joke. Those agents are embarrassments.
Do you see how the quintessence of the real estate brokerage’s transaction, the client, could be lost in any of the anecdotes and examples provided?
So let’s get back to the question: “What does that mean?” What is an inclusive real estate brokerage? An inclusive real estate brokerage is one wherein the agents, the communities and the clients it serves become a better unit with more unified goals.
What are the goals of an inclusive real estate brokerage?
- An inclusive real estate brokerage wants the agents it serves to be happy and successful in their own terms; Springboard: Launching Your Personal Search for Success by G. Richard Shell is a great book that explores the ideas of happiness and success.
- An inclusive real estate brokerage wants the communities it serves to thrive; Hub Edge Realty, LLC will be promoting and sponsoring, in the near future, competitions with cash prizes that will engage and highlight the communities it serves. Hub Edge Realty, LLC will also be donating 1% of its gross commissions to Massachusetts based charitable organizations also known as 501(c)(3) corporations on a quarterly basis.
- An inclusive real estate brokerage wants its clients it serves to feel as though they’ve gotten the best deal that they possibly could’ve gotten; this can only be accomplished through the use of both art and science since the value of real estate is somewhat subjective and it’s also one important reason that a Zillow Zestimate will never be accurate.
How does an inclusive real estate brokerage breed happiness and feelings of success in its agents? A feeling of community and family within an inclusive real estate brokerage needs to be created. Hub Edge Realty, LLC will be hosting team building engagements for its agents that include regularly scheduled breakfasts, retreats and trainings. The commissions offered to agents will be competitive. Agents will also have the opportunity for additional commissions, on a permanent basis, by recruiting other agents. Hub Edge Realty, LLC will also evenly distribute 1% of its gross commissions to qualifying agents on a quarterly basis. Hub Edge Realty, LLC will be contacting
Hub Edge Realty, LLC is based in Stoughton, the town wherein I live and Hub Edge Realty, LLC will be opening a new office in Stoughton within the coming months. Personally, I will be primarily servicing Stoughton and will secondarily be servicing the surrounding cities and towns to include Avon, Brockton, Canton, Easton, Randolph and Sharon. I’ll also continue to service the towns of Braintree, Dedham, Holbrook, Milton, Norwood and Westwood and the neighborhoods of Boston to include Dorchester, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury. The agents that decide to work under the Hub Edge Realty, LLC umbrella may decide to primarily service any cities or towns within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that they choose.
Are you interested in buying, selling or leasing commercial or residential property in any of the cities and towns that I’ve mentioned? Are you interested in coming to work under the umbrella of a brokerage that’s interested in your happiness and success? Are you interested in helping your city or town to become a better place to live? If so, let’s talk. Call Hub Edge Realty, LLC now at (617) HUB-EDGE or email me, Jonathan Bowen, now at firstname.lastname@example.org.