Every day is an opportunity to push beyond the status quo.
In his influential business book Leadership is An Art, Max DePree famously wrote, “We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” That “Day One” mentality of always seeking to improve is a guiding principle of Summit Sotheby’s International Realty, an elite luxury brokerage—and the leading brokerage in the entire state of Utah—based in Park City.
Today, we will hear from Thomas Wright, President and Principal Broker at Summit Sotheby’s International Realty on the importance of surrounding agents with best-in-class support, how cross-department collaboration can fuel organic business growth, and what a company-wide commitment to embracing the culture can do for client satisfaction and agent recruitment.
Q: What are your tips for building a successful real estate brand that supports the growth of your business and your agents?
Thomas: I truly subscribe to the Day One mentality. Simply put, every day is an opportunity to not rest on your laurels and to push beyond the status quo. That concept is shared by the leadership team and then manifests itself into the development, refinement, and reinforcement of our company culture.
Our industry often asks sales associates and real estate advisors to do too much. They have to be an agent, a marketer, a photographer, a sign installer, a legal expert… and the list goes on. We prefer to provide our agents with best-in-class support services, hiring the top talent so that the agent can grow their businesses, stay in flow with their databases, and advocate for their clients. If we all come to the table by doing our highest and best, we collectively benefit more than we would as individuals. And for us, we consistently measure our success by focusing on our clients’ needs.
Q: How do you engage your agents in the development or evolution of your brand strategy?
Thomas: Our agents are a living, breathing part of the brand strategy. They are at the heart of everything we do. It is crucial for not just me but our leadership teams to stay in sync with each one of our sales associates so we understand the pulse, the challenges, and the needs from our partners. So, we involve them in the decision making and the embodiment of those decisions. Everything from our weekly sales meetings to skills groups, annual business planning, and ongoing training are designed to be of-the-minute, based on what is going on in our industry and in the lives of our sales associates.
Q. What are your strategies to coach your agents to leverage the power of your company brand to grow their sphere and business?
Thomas: Because our sales associates are partners in the development and evolution of our brand strategy, they are invested and engaged in the power of our brand. It sounds canned, but I can’t emphasize role playing enough. Our weekly sales meetings are essentially an hour of collaboration, role playing, sharing of best practices and the delivery of assets and in-the-field practical skills that can make an immediate impact for our agents. If our team walks away with one new skill, or one dynamic reminder that further engages them with their sphere of influence each week, then we’ve had a successful meeting.
The leadership team reinforces each week’s topics in their various departments. For example, Transaction Management, Marketing and Operations departments are all in sync so they can exhibit and deliver, from their seat, the marketing collateral, the listing report information, the in-office support materials, the client experience and beyond to each agent so business growth is organic and done from all sides of the business.
Q: How do you use your brand strategy to recruit and retain agents in your organization?
Thomas: We live and breathe our culture. Call it drinking the Kool-Aid, but it’s true. We know who we are as an organization, what our goals are, and our collective eye is laser focused on delivering to our sales associates. I say it in every business planning meeting that I want our sales associates to be able to point to our brokerage services and award-winning support staff as making an impact in the growth of their client satisfaction. This commitment to our culture, doing what we say we are going to do and delivering world-class support services makes our firm transparent. Like attracts like, and that transparency enables us to attract like-minded real estate professionals who want to grow their businesses but also want to redefine the real estate experience in tandem.
What are your thoughts? How has your brokerage found success supporting agent growth? How has your brand strategy evolved over time? What role does your brand’s power play in agent recruitment? Let us know. We want to hear from you.
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*Please note this document was published prior to Realogy’s rebrand to Anywhere Real Estate Inc. on June 9, 2022.