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Kendrick Realty Clones Business Model to New Locations

December 19 2018

At RE Technology, we love to bring you success stories from fellow real estate professionals. Kendrick Realty has a GREAT story about how they were able to significantly dial up the success on their lead gen efforts in 2018. Check it out!

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In early 2018, the founders of Kendrick Realty, Lucas Monroe and Dan Sundberg, started to expand their lead program with

At year-end, we checked in on their progress to see what they learned while driving agent- and office-expansion through their lead solution.

How did your roll out your plan to double down on leads while expanding your company?

In February 2018, we were putting the finishing touches on the foundation of our business model, which we knew would be based on lead offerings to agents. Today, it's gotten to a place where the gears are all turning and things are humming along nicely.

We now feel confident enough in the model that we made the decision to take the leap and open a new office and take that same recipe, that same playbook and start to replicate it. That's been a big part of the goal all along and so it's been really exciting to actually do it.

We've been in business down in southern California for three weeks now, and the early indicators have been really encouraging. It was exactly like we talked about six months ago. We took this concept—of plugging lead generation into a brokerage—and launched within two weeks.

What was the biggest revelation that proved you were on the right track?

I think one of the big lessons that we learned looking at our success was we got a lot of traction out of just being in contact more frequently with our agents.

We are staying in contact with our agents almost every single day and we have someone that's dedicated to just following up with them and working with them on everything from their offers, to everyday challenges to winning listing appointments. We offer a really high level of involvement from the brokerage side, even for very experienced agents.

So far, we're seeing an increase in our agents' conversion rates and sales volumes. Plus, the number of offers that we are having to write per accepted offer have gone down — which means our offers are getting more competitive.

It seems you are more online-based and less office-based. But your breakthrough in closing® leads is from more internal communication. How do you manage that remotely?

The answer to that is we have someone dedicated to maintaining this. When we didn't have that level of contact with agents, they were less successful. Our big change-up has been to increase that level of contact, intimacy and engagement from the management side and we've seen it paid tremendous dividends.

What we laid out was a structured approach where our team leader or sales manager is calling our agents pretty much every single day whether there's an issue or not. After every showing, we are calling and talking to the agents to get a sense of the next step with the client. We ask, "What are the barriers you're encountering, tell me about the client, what is their motivation?"

I do want to mention, the goal for us is to add value, not micro-manage. We follow up to check in and encourage. We don't say, "Hey you need to call me after every showing."

Instead, we say, "If you call me after your showings, I will log into the CRM under your name and update the client notes on your behalf." That login is a requirement for getting leads, so that offer relieves them of work that they would otherwise have to do.

In the end, it's a win-win: it gets them to do something that we really want them to do. It also gets us immediate up-to-date data as soon as these showings have happened.

How fundamental are the leads® sends you to your growth plan and ability to recruit?

Leads are probably the biggest carrot we put out there for our agents. With most new recruits, their eyes get kind of wide when you tell them that they're going to get two new buyer appointments a week.

Most people immediately — they kind of perk up. The idea that you're going to get two face-to-face appointments a week really resonates with them.

And when we talk about eight new clients in a month, these are not raw leads. We promote eight face-to-face appointments with new buyers at a property showing per month. In other words, eight physical handshakes.

We find that the leads really draw people in, and the training — that one-to-one contact — helps keep them engaged as they adjust to our model.

Some agents and teams struggle closing online leads. What are they doing wrong?

I think the biggest mistake I've heard people make with leads is that they treat the leads in the same way that they would their friend from softball. If you go into it without having a really good plan to gain their trust, you're just setting yourself up for failure.

You can't just say, "I'm going to call him once," and then, "They didn't answer my call, so they're not viable."

To me, anytime someone says, "I got these leads and they're a bunch of junk leads," that just tells me you didn't call enough. There was something in there that turned them to junk.

A decent percentage of the people who are looking at homes on® are, at some point in the relatively near future, likely to be making a move. It's incumbent on us and the others using the® product to make sure that we're there so that when the day comes when they want to make an offer — and that could be any day between now and 365 days from now — we have the systems in place to be ready.

You've talked about keeping agents accountable without micro-managing them. How do you do that with early stage leads?

As I mentioned earlier, we stay really close to our agents as they begin to convert their leads. But even before that, we now use a concierge service to organize the lead data and keep up with all the leads that that are coming in every day. It was a crucially important change to our business.

Tell us how the concierge fits into your customer agent relationship?

If somebody gets really busy, there's not a lot of focus on the pipeline on the agent side. So we look to our concierge to pick up the slack there and really continue to build and maintain relationships with those clients.

The customer does get attached to the concierge. We've had multiple clients that are, at first, concerned to work with one of our agents because they have built a relationship with the concierge.

They will stand up, always in a polite way, by saying, "I've had a really great relationship working with Georgia from your team. I'm happy to go out and do showings with this agent, but I just want to make sure that everybody knows she did a great job and I hope she's going to be taken care of."

We make sure the hand-off is handled appropriately, so they go from one warm relationship to another.

After all this is in place, how do you retain your best agents?

One of the lessons that we learned was to air the dirty laundry in the beginning before people are on board. We do not want to paint too rosy of a picture, because if you're working with online leads, there's a work aspect to it. We reinforce, "You have to call people, you must follow up."

This is a completely different client relationship than if it's your buddy from softball that you're going out to meet. By giving a lot of clarity on defining the benefits and the work requirements, we get a lot of higher-quality people because there are no surprises. They're totally on board for it.

What differentiates your company? What is your value statement?

I think any good brokerage will have a value they offer to their agents, and then one that they offer to their clients.

So for our agents, the value is the culture we offer. We deliver on what we said we would, and the agents are delivering back. Because we're upfront about those two showings a week, we are seeing very early success for most agents.

And as a result, we have enabled a friendly, competitive environment where everybody is working together kind of in tandem and collaborating. We can work on different ideas, but without being in competition or needing to worry about somebody else having ulterior motives or becoming competition down the road.

One of the interesting side effects that we've seen that was not expected is we have agents who do showings for each other. We set a policy, early on, to formalize a referral fee or to get some clear financial incentive in place before you ask someone to show your clients.

That was our recommendation, and I think that's pretty common in most offices. But what we've seen for the most part is agents saying, "Hey, I'll show your client, you show mine. I'm not worried about you taking my client."

It's been really fascinating to see that develop, because I don't think that's anything that we expected when working from a lead distribution model.

In terms of the value we offer to clients, our most critical goal is the speed-to-lead first contact and then to provide a consistent follow-up experience for the client.

Any advice for other brokers looking at similar expansions?

We knew we had a product that we could take to a new market and that we could lead with the right team. We knew that it was going to have the same chance of success as what we were already achieving in our other markets in central Florida and in northern California.

The key to success is taking action when you're at 80 percent readiness and confidence, not 100 percent, because that last gap is going to take you forever. The biggest risk and reward was when Luke declared, "We're ready enough now. It's time to take action and start the next branch." He was right.

And last, I think a big part of our success has been by leveraging higher-quality leads from the get-go — the® leads, and then having a process that filters out as many of the good ones as possible.