Want to scale? Make sure agents feel like they can grow their business in a place that can accommodate their needs and grow with them.
Photo of tall, slender man with dark hair and eyes wearing suit speaking to a large crowd at a summit
Anthony Lamacchia speaks to a crowd of brokers at the 2023 Broker Summit in Kansas City, Mo.

Anthony Lamacchia had his sights set on building a successful real estate brokerage. After all, he was the number one agent in sales in Massachusetts, and he’d built the number one sales team in New England. A brokerage was the next, natural step, and he thought it would be easy given his track record.

“It was more challenging than I expected,” said Lamacchia, broker-owner of Waltham, Mass.-based Lamacchia Realty, while smiling at a crowd of over 400 brokers during the 2023 Brokers Summit in Kansas City, Mo. In 2014, Lamacchia bought out his business partner and positioned himself to grow his real estate team into a brokerage. He wanted to scale his brokerage quickly, building a large firm. But after three years of building out the operation, he only had 90 agents.

“I needed to beat the odds,” he said. “I didn’t want to build (the brokerage) one agent at a time and then lose an agent at the same time.”

So, he hired a coach, who helped Lamacchia realize that many of the skills he developed as the number one agent in his state also applied to scaling his brokerage. He just wasn’t using them. With this feedback, Lamacchia launched into action, and in a matter of six years, he grew his brokerage from 90 agents to over 500.

Use Education as a Tool

Lamacchia had long known that using education as a tool worked well. He’d done so as an agent for years, regularly putting out content for buyers and sellers that would educate them on the market and the real estate process.

“I realized I needed to put content out there for real estate agents,” he said. So, he started producing content on tools to help buyers and sellers, social media marketing and how to navigate market shifts. “The market always changes, which means it’s easy to put content out there because there’s always something to talk about.”

He created a channel on Facebook called “Crushing it in Real Estate.” When he felt like the engagement rate on Facebook started dwindling and it became harder to market on the platform, he switched to Instagram. The key, he said, was to choose a platform, learn it and commit to using it consistently.

Create a Place to Engage

After his success with educational content, Lamacchia started running training events. Although the events were for his agents, he opened them up to pros from other brokerages as well. The training events were two to three hours at a time, drawing 100 to 200 agents. His trainings have since evolved and expanded. He now holds learning conferences across a couple of days, held at various cities across the country.

Lamacchia would speak at the event, and he’d bring in a keynote speaker and other industry professionals to talk about real-time issues in the marketplace. He’d also create space within the programming for networking so agents could engage with one another about what they learned.  After a few years of successful events, he ran his first annual Crush it in Real Estate event in February, which turned out 750 attendees.

Many brokers launch recruiting events masked as educational opportunities, Lamacchia said. The reality is that brokers are always recruiting, but educational events need to be about providing opportunities for agents to learn and grow.

Make Sure Structure is Robust

Lamacchia spent the first three years as a broker building out a company structure in anticipation of scaling. This was no accident.

“You will not keep agents without a solid structure and systems already in place. You have to make sure that when the agents come to you, you’re ready for it,” he said.

Rather than building out a strong business structure as the brokerage grows, Lamacchia suggests:

  • Having systems in place before launching the brokerage.
  • Ensuring tech products, service offerings and educational opportunities are set up and easy to access.
  • Picking a day and time for training.
  • Having marketing assets ready to go.
  • Creating a comprehensive packet of your tech offerings to give to new agents
  • Large brokers are wise to hire staff to create dependability and consistency and to make agents feel secure.
  • Purchase a customer management system and use it consistently.
  • Train new agents on how the office runs so that consistency is maintained.

Remember What Agents Want and Provide It

For agents interested in scaling, recruiting is nonstop. But that doesn’t mean that once the agent is recruited, the broker’s job is done. You have to remember what agents want and provide it to them.

“Newer agents want leads and training; top agents want services and support,” Lamacchia said. “The broker needs to know what agents want and how to articulate that the brokerage has those offerings.”

Lamacchia said that brokerage services need to be highly valued by agents. It doesn’t matter what services are offered if the agents aren’t interested. In Lamacchia’s brokerage, photography is the service with the highest adoption rate. Agents pay for a photography package for their listings, and they receive photos, a sign, a lockbox and floorplans. He also offers educational sessions and transaction, marketing and field assistance.