Brokerage Basics and Beyond
It’s important for agents to know about brokerage models and how they can best use the services to their advantage based on their needs. In today’s episode, Keith Davis is on the show to talk about good practices and processes for brokers, and how they can build a great culture for their agents. They cover the importance of brokerages being a supportive resource for their agents and how authenticity can enhance the customer experience not only for agents but their clients as well.
Keith has been the managing broker for two offices in Virginia for Nest for about four years now. Each state operates differently in regards to how many offices you can be over as the principal broker. It all depends on what services a brokerage office is trying to offer.
One of the most important aspects of a brokerage is risk management, and the second piece is training for expertise in the real estate industry. At Nest, they stress this training so that their agents can understand vendors in other industries and better help their clients. You need someone who understands the roles of other partners in a real estate transaction, that can explain it to the buyer and the seller. It comes down to brand management in addition to risk management.
Keith talks about the importance of finding and training agents that are in line with the values of the brokerage firm. Brokerages need to be focused on who is in line with them, the culture they are trying to cultivate, and the business they are trying to attract.
There are many different brokerage models, and in the market, there is a space for everyone. At Nest, they look at as many different industries as they can to get ideas about their business model. Monica and Keith discuss the different advantages of physical versus online retail. It is the same thing with brokerages — what is the statement that is received when people walk into your establishment? Keith talks about some of the things they do at Nest to build this culture and make this statement, including a party to thank their clients each year.
Part of the value proposition of a brokerage firm is the confidence of being in front of the client. Confidence is improved when you have clear products in front of you that you can use with your clients. Some of these products include data and marketing; the brokerage can provide access to these tools.
Monica and Keith talk about competing brokers. It’s important to be a resource for your agents, rather than part of the competition. Choosing not to compete can really help strengthen the sense of trust in an office. This can be more difficult in smaller markets.
They talk about the difference between being out in the sales field versus management. This has shaped the way they approach the growth of their agents at Nest. A full-service brokerage impacts their sellers and buyers on a daily basis that makes them excited about the service they are receiving. You also have to decide the length of relationship with clients — when does it start and when does it end?
The least expensive customer is the one you already have. Keith talks about the importance of hanging on to the agents they have and creating an environment that helps their agents thrive. When their business grows, your business will also grow.
Keith’s last word for brokers is that the most important factor is authenticity and being true to your own voice. If what you’re creating is true to you as a broker and how you want to treat clients, then you will be set up for success in the future. Authenticity and genuine relationships allow businesses to grow.
“If you don’t have a working knowledge of what your vendor partners are doing and what their role is, your ability to assist your client is limited.” — Keith
“That’s what people want from real estate. They want to have an agent who is connected with them beyond just being able to show them property.” — Keith
“Authenticity is that you are focusing on a thing that is true for you.” — Keith
About Keith Davis
Keith Davis is a Founding Partner and Principal Broker of Nest Realty, a brokerage based in Charlottesville, VA. Nest currently has 15 offices across Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia. Keith’s first foray into real estate began after college when he worked for a regional mortgage company, first in production and then, compliance. This took him into the start-up world where Keith worked with several companies in high-growth mode, focusing on new product launch and IP commercialization. During this period, he earned his MBA from UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School with a concentration in real estate development and finance.
Keith began selling real estate nearly 15 years ago, where he has worked exclusively in the residential arena, representing developers, builders, homeowners, and buyers. After helping to found Nest in 2008, he initially worked in sales and is now the Broker for multiple offices and works with the Lead Brokers at the other offices in business planning, coaching, training, and general support. In the Charlottesville office, he has developed a two-year new agent training program that assures that even new agents exhibit a level of expertise that supports the Nest Brand in the marketplace. He oversees the firm’s data management efforts, including publications as well as risk management and training.