The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done
“Why did you open your own real estate office?” is a question I’ve been asked a lot in the last few months.
I’ve been a sales agent, built my business from nothing to becoming one of the most successful agents in Boston. I’ve been a sales manager, a sales coach, a real estate business consultant. I’ve been involved in real estate in Boston since 2004. I’ve seen sellers’ markets, buyers’ markets. I’ve watched clients lose money, I’ve watched clients make staggering returns on their real estate investments. I’ve observed new construction buildings resorting to auction to sell out and glass towers selling out in record time. I’ve weathered the ups and the downs, adjusted to the ever-shifting nuances of real estate sales. I know a thing or two about real estate.
So, why did I open my own real estate office?
Because I saw something missing in the real estate industry here in Boston; simply put, a commitment to integrity and excellence that goes beyond the lip service paid to customer service. Excellent customer service begins with the real estate agent who provides that service. And if that agent isn’t held to high standards, isn’t trained, coached, mentored, supported, then they operate in a very isolated environment with only themselves to be held accountable to.
Real estate is a tough industry and owning and operating a real estate firm a challenging and complex undertaking. It’s a model that offers a second career to professionals from a myriad of industries as vastly different as engineering and teaching. Obtaining a real estate license in Massachusetts is extraordinarily easy and finding agents to fill desks and start telling the world they are a real estate agent is not difficult at all. The result, however, is a population of sales professionals with varying levels of skill and understanding of the sophistication of the real estate process and no real guidance to navigate the business.
I don’t blame the agents; the industry simply isn’t set up to provide this otherwise unqualified population the foundation, training, and, the essential component, ongoing support and guidance to build a successful real estate career.
At Donnelly + Co. I’m changing that. The first thing I’m doing is hiring only the best agents. And by “best”, I don’t necessarily mean the agents with the highest sales production. I mean “best” in terms of their professionalism, their reputation, their attitude, their attention to detail, and, maybe most importantly, their humility to accept that there is always something new to learn in this business. There is always a way to offer an even better experience to the client.
I’m not selling real estate myself anymore; instead I operate solely as the manager and coach to my agents. Every one of them meets with me 1:1 regularly for coaching. I know the business each of them is working on. I know the names of their clients, the intricacies of their transactions. They know that they can text/call/email me anytime to ask questions, talk through issues. They know I will talk to their clients if they need me to. They know I care about them and care about their clients.
I’m leading by example. If my agents feel valued, respected, and supported, then, so, in turn will their buyers and sellers. Our office embodies an atmosphere of collective knowledge and experience, so, when a buyer or seller hires a Donnelly + Co. agent, they hire the whole team.
I opened my own real estate office to make a difference, to make real estate better.