Poaching hot-shot estate agents

International real estate company aggressively recruits agents as it targets bigger profits in SA.

International real estate company Re/Max is aggressively recruiting agents, as it targets a bigger share of profits from the residential property market.

Undaunted by talk in some quarters that the market has taken a dip, Re/Max International president Vinnie Tracey said on a national roadshow in South Africa this week that there are plans to bolster the company’s market share significantly here.

Poaching motivated agents who work for other companies, as well as recruiting new agents with the right selling spirit, to join the 2 100-strong broker force here is a primary strategy, he told Moneyweb on Wednesday.

Re/Max says it has a sizeable market share, but has its sights on growing it to the extent that it has more than its five nearest competitors put together – an international objective.

Tracey says Re/Max has achieved this in Canada. About eight years ago, Re/Max had just over 300 people working for it in South Africa and is now among the bigger players.

His company isn’t waiting for agents to contact it as, says US-based Tracey, he believes in “belly-to-belly, eyeball-to-eyeball” contact as the best way to do business.

Nevertheless, publicity around his current visit to South Africa is clearly designed to capture the attention of top-selling agents working for competitors who may not yet have been in “eyeball” contact with a Re/Max representative.

For example, Tracey’s spin doctors are putting out the word that the average Re/Max agent earns in the region of an annual R440 000 in commission. That’s no doubt a tantalising lure for a hungry agent to join his group, as there are many hard-working agents who earn far less than this.

Tracey talks of agents being the company’s clients, rather than end-consumers the main target of marketing efforts.

He says his organisation will do whatever it can to please agents and make their jobs easier, another comment designed to appeal to those who are tired of filling out time-sheets for Re/Max competitors.

Re/Max works on the basis of a flat fee, rather than sharing commissions with agents, and does not expect agents to spend hours in the office taking calls.

Instead, agents can do their own thing – as long as they make sales, is the message from Tracey.

Some estate agency networks believe the way to more profits is through appealing to sellers, but Tracey says he believes his job is to service the agents.

Much emphasis is placed on education in the Re/Max organisation, he says, with online training a major focus.

Re/Max offers “training on demand”, with video streaming sessions through the internet just one example of how it provides access to information to agents around the globe.

Tracey says he also believes in promoting the agent along with the international organisation’s brand.

Taking aim at his biggest competitor Pam Golding in South Africa, Tracey says: “Andrew’s a handsome guy and I know what Pam looks like. Their picture is there (on the advertising).”

His agents and sellers, on the other hand, “couldn’t give a damn” what he looks like, says Tracey of why Re/Max gives prominent coverage in marketing material to agents on the ground rather than the people who lead the organisation.

Tracey attempts to douse any fears that property will not continue to hum as an asset class.

He says: “All real estate is local.  In the US, things have (generally) slowed down dramatically. There are still some places that are very hot.” And, he suggests, there will always be demand for property, though admittedly to varying degrees, depending on location, among other factors.

Tracey believes that relatively low interest rates in South Africa and demand for property will continue to fuel this market.

“I don’t see obstacles in this market. I think that people throughout the world want the same things, including a better life for their family,” said Tracey, of why he believes the future still looks rosy for people who make a living selling residential property.


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Comments on this article are closed.

Read the whole sentence you fool!!!!!!!!

Tracey’s SPIN DOCTORS are putting out the word that the average Re/Max agent earns in the region of an annual R440 000 in commission.

Lets say an agent pay a fee of R 5000 per month. 2000 agents = R 10 m per month more. Good business model.

Well, the article has some truth in it, I have quite a few friends who are in the real estate business and happen to be at remax, trust me that R.440 00.00 is nothing compared to the comm’s they consistently earn try 3 or 4 times that per annum, the article is correct in saying “average” because that sounds really average to me.

As far as Remax is concerned it really is just out to recruit the max amount of agents, more agents (whether selling or not) = more profit… (remax=mini/sub franchise sales retailers)…

Would be interesting to see if this principle would be successful in other industries? Anyone know of any already out there?

End of comments.




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