The concept of a team approach may seem incongruous for those working on commission, but for one group of agents, it has proven a successful recipe to nurture and grow brokerages and young talent.
“We have a really strong team environment,” says Carla Browne, president of Century 21 Dome Realty in Regina, Sask., “and a big part of that are the weekly meetings, training and coaching sessions, agents learning from each other, and that we have the partnership approach. Our agents are our partners, and listening and responding to their needs in the industry is crucial for their success and ours.”
In Saskatchewan, agents must take a number of courses before they jump into real estate, Browne says, and for those who are just starting out, Century 21 takes them by the hand and guides them through the process.
“If they’ve made that initial commitment, then we invite them to be a part of our office right away,” Browne says. “They are welcome to do their studying there; they can come to our weekly business meetings, our different social functions, and really … become a part of our office.”
It removes the feeling of “I’ve got my license – now what do I do?”, says Browne, who adds that by that point, the person should already feel like they’re part of the team.
“When we have them at that point of the licensing, then we have a team developer, along with our support staff, who works with our new agents in the business,” she says. “The team developer’s role at Dome is to specifically get them to understand all of the tools that are available to them under the Century 21 system, along with the basics of the industry, to get them up and running as soon as possible.”
One of the strengths of Century 21 is how it is positioned for what every company in any industry is facing today – the eventual mass exodus of Baby Boomers and the decades of expertise they are taking with them.
“Our organizational structure is something that makes us very unique,” Browne says. “The age of the broker is something that is a concern right across the country.” To address this, Dome has an ownership group of five individuals: two industry veterans who each have 30-plus years of experience; Browne, who has been on the operational side for 22 years; and two younger full-time sales professionals who are transitioning into leadership roles.
“So I feel we’ve got that whole age bracket in context,” Browne says, “and we’ve placed our company in a position of stability and growth opportunity that will be there for a lot of years to come.”
As for the millennials coming into the industry, providing the support system necessary to keep young agents from becoming frustrated is crucial, Browne says.
“When I was in Toronto recently for a Century 21 meeting, I was told the average length of time an individual stays in this industry is seven years – and I was blown away by that,” she says. “We’ve got people in our office who have been here 20 or 30 years – quite a few of them!”
While technology has changed the face of real estate, there remain some constants to becoming a top-notch Realtor.
“The basics of the business I feel will never change,” Browne says. “Our industry is based on relationships and trust. People don’t send you their business because you sent an email or they added you on Facebook; they give you their business because they trust you and the company that you are dealing with. Getting away from your desk or simply picking up the phone is better than sending an email. And that is a skill that not everybody has.”