13 Jul
Growing a Brokerage: Year 1

It’s been almost exactly a year now since I joined Realty Growth, Inc., although it feels like far less. Looking back, I’m simultaneously amazed we’ve gotten as much done as we have, and starting to get a better vantage on how much work we still have to do. But at this point, I thought it might be interesting to share a little bit about my side of the story, and where we’re going as a company.

I was RGI’s first operations-side hire. They’d had administrative assistants before, but their role was primarily day-to-day support, not long-term strategy.

You see, in the past, apart from a few of the largest companies, real estate brokerages generally haven’t needed a long-term strategy. They coalesce around a single, talented broker, who gathers other agents around him or her. When that broker retires, the company generally closes down.

But Nick and Bucky (the current owners of RGI) had a different vision. Nick’s father started this company in 1978, and it’s grown since then. The day I joined, it had ten agents, including the owners—quite large for a real estate firm!

Growing inevitably brings growing pains, though. As RGI grew, it had become apparent that the lack of coherent systems was going to make it hard to sustain the current size, and all but impossible to grow farther. In addition, Nick and Bucky shared a vision of a true team environment, where agents worked collaboratively instead of competitively.

And so, on August 1, 2016, I started with RGI, tasked with the (frankly a bit daunting) task of trying to set up systems and processes for ten extremely busy sales agents.

Looking back, it all sounds simpler and clearer than it really was, but essentially, our team concluded that the initial problems were:

  • An insufficient administrative scaffold—i.e. no systems or processes to handle day-to day matters
  • A lack of a management system—i.e. operating as a collection of individuals rather than as a group striving for common goals
  • A lack of efficient systems in general—i.e. existing tools were too complicated or time-consuming to use

In the coming blog posts, I’ll be sharing case studies of these three areas in detail.