HOW TOOLS, TECHNOLOGY AND THE RE/MAX BRAND INSPIRED FAST GROWTH AT THIS NEW BROKERAGE
Just a few months after opening, RE/MAX Legends in Illinois grew to 30 agents – including the No. 1 residential agent in Illinois. Here’s how.
When Mimi Luna and Lydia Memeti opened the doors of RE/MAX Legends in early January 2020, they – like many – were planning on a very different year. But by leveraging tech, brand, learning and their own reputations, these two industry veterans grew their office from four agents to 30 in its first year – one of the most challenging years in recent memory.
According to Luna and Memeti, the brokerage’s success comes from their culture of growth and openness, and being able to offer the leading industry technology through RE/MAX.
“Technology is critical right now! We were excited when we went to R4 [the RE/MAX annual convention] last year and saw all of the new RE/MAX tech,” Luna says. “That was exactly where we envisioned our brokerage. We’ve been marketing ourselves as a technology-savvy company, and that’s why agents have been drawn to our office.”
As Luna and Memeti build upon the RE/MAX Legends foundation, they’ve found they’re creating something several of the top-producing agents in their region – including Steve Koleno, the No. 1 individual listing agent in Illinois according to REAL Trends – want to be a part of.
Empowering agents to run a business on their own terms
Koleno, who’s spent the past 14 years running a powerhouse real estate business in Chicagoland, closed 296 transactions in 2019. At first, he was skeptical about the benefits of switching brands. That was before he met with Luna and Memeti.
“He said he would never leave his former brand, but at the end of the day, he saw what we saw – the technology advancements of RE/MAX weren’t offered anywhere else,” Luna says.
Koleno says that while his former brand offered him a CRM system and website, their tools were nothing compared to what he found when he logged into the RE/MAX technology suite.
“The backend system RE/MAX offers is exceptional. All of the different marketing tools are built in. That has been one of the best parts of joining the brand,” Koleno says.
RE/MAX Legends wasn’t the first office to try to recruit Koleno. He says he received offers from eXp, Compass, Keller Williams and others, but turned them all down. Every brand that approached him also required him to change his business model – except for RE/MAX.
“I operate my business in a specific way, and I enjoy having that autonomy,” Koleno says. “[Luna's and Memeti's] response was, ‘We’re a business that builds businesses – we’ll let you run it any way you want.’ The RE/MAX Legends' shared vision and progressive management style has aligned perfectly to allow my business to excel."
Working with a brand that opens doors
For Muntie Leschewski, RE/MAX Legends offered an opportunity to come back to a brand that always felt like home. Previously with a RE/MAX brokerage from 2009 to 2015, she temporarily left to work with a different company.
“I joined RE/MAX Legends because of the brand. I just saw there was a difference when you work with a name brand,” she says. “When you have a well-known brand behind you, [I've found that] it’s easier to win listings. People know you are seasoned and are working with a solid company.”
Having started her career in the down market of 2009, Leschewski says she learned a powerful brand is key to finding success in an uncertain market. But it goes beyond a logo – an agent’s personal branding is key to thriving in any market.
“I’m having another strong year because I came into the 2020 market with a strong referral business and outstanding customer reviews,” Leschewski says. “This is a very one-on-one business. Agents shouldn’t approach a transaction thinking about how much money they are going to make but what kind of service they are going to provide to create a long-lasting relationship with each client.”
Training and mentorship to help agents win
Leschewski says she consults with every client to find out exactly what they’re looking for in the real estate process, and then makes their goals her goals.
It’s the same way Luna and Memeti approach coaching and development at RE/MAX Legends. They offer comprehensive training to ensure the brokerage’s agents find success. Each session, part of a program they call RE/MAX Legends Academy, arms agents with the latest market trends and information they need in order to be a trusted guide for clients.
“We want to help coach agents and help them to be successful,” Luna says, adding that she strives to create a culture of growth and openness in the office. “We are looking to add agents to our office who are ready to grow, motivate each other and be the best they can be with the best brand.”
That openness to share best practices expands beyond the office. Luna says any agent who would benefit from training, regardless of brand affiliation, is welcome to attend a session. She even invites any agent who needs a workspace to take advantage of their café style office – which has plenty of room for social distancing.
“We’re open for everyone,” Luna says. “I’ve told agents – even those from other brokerages – that they’re welcome to walk in, take a seat and use their laptop. They see and feel what a great environment it is to work in and want to be a part of it.”
Luna says that opening a business during the pandemic has taught her to roll with the punches. No one should ever put their dreams on hold, she says.
“The pandemic has taught us that there is no time like the present to go after what you want. We’re well equipped with a state-of-the-art office space, cutting-edge technology and marketing services to help agents thrive under a global brand. Being ‘legendary’ should be at the top of everyone’s list, and we’re here to help make that happen,” Luna says.
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