Last week, I had the pleasure of attending an all-company meeting at the invite of one of my favorite people in real estate, Shari Chase.
Shari and her very talented group of executives at Chase International Real Estate had just completed the creation of a new business sales platform for their agents and the formation of numerous ancillary services companies. In true Chase style, the meeting production was amazing and to no surprise, the attendance at the meeting by the agents broke all past records.
In all, nearly 300 of the company’s 350 plus agent population attended in a ballroom in downtown Reno. And to most of the attendees, that meant they needed to make a 40 to 60 minute drive from Lake Tahoe or Truckee just to be there. As I stood at the back of the room and observed - primarily because even the 20 extra chairs added the day of the program were all taken by agents - I had a thought that I wanted to share with you today.
There is no question, that over the years our industry has struggled with change. Historically, and even to this day, we are far more reactive to change than we are progressive. When someone changes the world of real estate around us, we always seem to be the last ones to change to adapt. One of those changes was in dealing with the onset of the creation of agent teams.
So why do agents create teams?
Some years ago, agents decided that it would be prudent to assemble a group of other agents under them in order to best serve the customer. In that way they would be able to demonstrate to the consumer that they had a team of dedicated people necessary to back up what they professed to do to best serve the customer. They did this to focus their energies and their resources on being “more than a single provider” and to be able to offer more to the consumer than a single agent could possibly deliver.
I believe that the agents turned to creating teams because at some point the company stopped being a team.
The result? The teams concept took off and more and more successful agents created them because at some point in time we as brokers drifted away from the messaging that our companies ARE by design a team. A most powerful team.
As Shari was brought to the stage to speak at the meeting, I realized that her team was truly her company. The whole company. She was clearly respected as the leader that had assembled this company around her legacy of service and success . And as she did so, others followed her to become a part of what was really now, Team Chase.
Chase International is simply one big team following its leader, Shari Chase. Albeit it is a massive team made-up of 350 agent team members with varied backgrounds and expertise. Some specialize in taking listings while others prefer to sell them. And it is a team that is now enabled to deliver an array of “full services.” I’m not quite sure where we as an industry strayed from this strategy, but I am certain it’s time now to get back to focusing on it.
Through her leadership, Shari has created the most effective and capable team in her market and the meeting I attended was the first step in demonstrating to her team members that “together, they are better.”
That day in Reno, Chase also rolled out its new commercial real estate services company, its title company, its mortgage company and its property management company. It is then that I realized that each of the team members in that room were “full services” agents. All fully capable of deploying all or some of these services as resources to help them demonstrate a distinctive competitive advantage to their customers. At Chase, using the related services would be achieved through the realization that the company’s services were the agent’s services.
You see, Shari is focused now more than ever on growing her company as an all-incluive team, and not in forcing her agents to grow a company within her company. There is a bog difference between these two strategies, very big.
Shari’s company is fully capable of being self-supportive, all inclusive. Each agent on Shari's team has the capability of selling those properties that their fellow agents on Team Chase list. They are also capable of securing a mortgage. Getting a title policy. Managing a rental property. Or selling a building or a warehouse to a customer. All under a single roof, not in anyway dependent on another broker or brokerage company. The company’s services will soon become a direct extension of the agent’s ability to demonstrate a personal full services capability.
Team Chase is simply doing what any and all other successful businesses outside of real estate do now. They are creating the real estate experience that is preferred by the consumer and that will be ultimately offered by the agent. It can be done and it makes a whole lot of sense.
Think about it. Whether it is a car declare, an airline or even a hotel, all of the members of company play on the same team and the business provides all of the resources necessary to serve the company. In the case of hotels, the hotel do not outsource the registration process, or room service, or maid service, or bell service. They provide all of those services within the hotel environment and each person working in the hotel is well-versed on how to apply those services to the customers needs and demands. There is no need for a guest to go to the hotel next door to get all of the services required to satisfy them in the hotel they are staying.
It just makes sense.
And it makes perfect sense to Shari Chase, because as a market leader, she came to the realization that her company is in fact not dependent on its competitors for its success. That is because Team Chase is perfectly enabled now to get the job done.
Would your agents say the same about your company? Are you using messaging that demonstrates that your company is one team or is the sales environment that you have created resemble a collection of disparate agents and internal groups of agents? So go ahead and just fill-in the blank. Team _________. What would your be team company be called? How ould you change what you do today in terms of messaging to your agents? To the consumer?
I think it is worth some thought and, at the very least, it is worthy of a healthy debate at your next executive leadership meeting.
Hope this helps,