Building a $500 million brokerage with 150 agents - without the overhead of a national brand- illustrates just why Brian North, founder and principal of North&Co. in Phoenix, Ariz., is the archetype of an independent real estate broker. In an interview this month with RIS Media, Keith Loria drills down to understand the key systems that contributed to Brian's team's growth.
A REALTOR® since 2009, North is well-known for leveraging technology as the foundation for his unique, production-driven business culture. When asked, North credits the CINC (Commissions Inc) platform for playing a critical role in the brokerage’s success. “I acquired a brokerage that had 40 agents and as we decided to grow and build our agent count, our philosophy grew organically by listening to why agents were leaving other brokerages. What we repeatedly heard is that the leads at the other brokerages were bad. To me, this meant they weren’t being taught proper sales skills,” says North, who developed a plan to teach agents fundamental, tried-and-true sales skills to convert their leads—from proper meet and greets to handshakes and door-knocking.
North also taught agents how to build value and overcome objections with finesse. To North, having a team of agents who could subscribe to this philosophy would allow his independent brokerage to compete with the franchise agencies in his highly competitive market. Another way North differentiated his indie brokerage from the large franchises was by quickly recognizing the need for the right technology solution to help power his agents and their businesses. He began utilizing CINC in October 2016.
“You can get inundated with shiny objects in this business, from lead nurturers to lead generators to lead platforms, all of which can be completely overwhelming,” says North. “But CINC handles it all, from the front end lead generation—pay-per-click ads, AdWords, retargeting and Facebook lead ads—to all of your communication on the back end—mass texting capabilities, auto-dialers, and email drip campaigns.”
In North’s eyes, the cornerstone of any great business is a great CRM, and in his words, “CINC is not just a CRM; it’s the Ferrari of real estate CRMs. Not only does it manage all the clients you have, but it nurtures them and speaks to them intuitively, as if understanding their personality.”
North&Co. puts a great emphasis on training and preparation to help agents perfect their sales skills, rather than arbitrarily handing out leads, and CINC’s broker dashboard is a critical tool for managing lead flow and team accountability. What North likes about the CINC platform is its low cost-per-lead, in addition to its ability to strip away almost 90 percent of the management needed, allowing him to focus on the things that will ultimately lead to higher conversions.
CINC’s world-class marketing team maximizes the efficiency of the firm’s lead-generation investments. “The time savings from not having to manage lead-gen campaigns is a value for me,” notes North. “All the questions one has to ask when planning a custom marketing plan are stripped out of the process. All I focus on is activity.”
Speed to lead is another critical sales skill North teaches new agents, and CINC’s tools allow his team to immediately follow up with new leads and engage with their customers via CINC’s suite of mobile apps. “Going in, we thought we would have to use a different system for lead generation, lead routing and customer relationship management. But with CINC, it’s all under one roof, which helps strip away administrative chores so you can focus on creating revenue with your agents. Let's also call this out in a text bubble.
“We teach young entrepreneurial minds how to build a business based on what they’re excited about,” concludes North. “We built our firm by the nature of us helping agents build their unique craft, where they were the master of their specialty. All we asked was that they offer their expertise back to the brokerage with an open-door policy.”
Interested in learning more about how CINC clients have succeeded in growing their business?
Watch our Webinar, Go from Agent to Mega Agent, where Top agent Nick Waldner shares the systems and techniques he used to grow his business from $16 Million to $100 Million in 3 years!