Pushing boundaries in a business ripe for change

BloomTree Realty celebrates an amazing first year of success

It is hard to believe that a year has passed since we put up the first BloomTree Realty sign.  In August of last year, we opened our doors with a slate of new ideas for real estate, a lot of passion, and a huge list of goals to accomplish.

Our local Prescott brokerage had been part of a national franchise system with another company for about three years and we were operating in Phoenix also.  We were already established under the old franchise system, but we were facing some of the same challenges, at that time, that many companies in the industry do.  We decided it was in the best interest of our agents and their clients to create a fresh approach to an outdated business model.   We believed that the real estate industry was ripe for change, and our passion for the business drove us to launch BloomTree Realty. We were also motivated to create a company that was driven by a set of core values that would become the foundation of everything we do. At the top producing real estate agentheart of those values is the idea that if we share what we know, everyone becomes more empowered, and collectively we become much stronger.

We believe strongly that the real estate business model as practiced by most in the industry today is outdated and it creates real problems for agents and clients. Many of the ideas that we embrace go completely counter to the majority of the real estate industry, but coincidentally, right in line with trends in leading edge companies outside of our business.

When we talk about challenges in the business, this is what we mean; the chase to ever higher commission splits for agents has forced brokerages to reduce or eliminate internal support.  This causes agents to have to do everything themselves, including many tasks that just aren’t in their skill set.   Education has also taken a hit.  Agents often come into real estate with some sales experience, but without business, management, marketing, or financial training that is crucial. Continuing education required for licensing doesn’t address these educational needs either.  In the quest to reduce costs, brokerages often resort to outside “sponsored” training by title companies and service providers instead.

The median age for agents nationally is now at 57 and getting older. The industry is not attracting young people and new ideas nor does it does have the infrastructure to train them.

real estate agent trustworthy harris pollThe result of these problems is agents generally harbor a short term check–to–check mindset, there is inadequate brokerage support, education is lacking, and the business systems are weak which, for the most part, has left agents scrambling, unequipped, and struggling.  These factors combined, take a competitive business and turn it into a negative, protective, “every man for himself” environment.  It is not good for the agent or the brokerage, but most importantly, it lowers the level of service to clients.  Looking at it as we do, it is no surprise that our industry’s reputation has suffered.

We set out to create a company where both our agents and their clients are well served.  We wanted to let our core values drive the thinking behind everything we do and to change the negative atmosphere that’s so prevalent in our industry.  The result was BloomTree Realty; a unique company focused on exceptional care of the client and excellent support for our agents. Those unique qualities include a compensation system for our agents that reinforces what we believe, a collaborative culture where agents support each other, a series of professional development programs that are largely unavailable in the industry and a proprietary, common-sense business software system to manage it.  All of this is provided for free to our agents.

The vision that we had at the start is proving itself in BloomTree’s performance.

how long should it take for a home to sell in Prescott
click to see full size image. Based on Broker Metrics stats 9-2015

Having full-time, dedicated staff in the office supporting agents has resulted in agents being able to spend more one on one time with their clients.  The value of the education and training programs is demonstrated by two important facts; we generate more buyer leads for our listings than the market average and our listings sell about twice as fast as the average in our market.   Ultimately, this type of performance saves our customers money in carrying costs and increases sales for our agents.

We’ve heard it said that BloomTree is a great place for new agents, thanks to our Mentoring Program, but clearly the proprietary Master Series® and TOTAL Agent® training courses are having an impact across the board.  While we do attract some new talent to the business, the majority of the agents who have joined us in the past year have been in the business for many years.  All of our agents, regardless of their time in the industry, who have taken advantage of the education have seen dramatic improvements in their businesses.

Rosie Carroll, an experienced agent who came to BloomTree after struggling at a high-commission, low support company had this to say;

For the first time in my 8 year career as a realtor, I am experiencing what it truly feels like to be supported by a group of caring professionals that sincerely care about their clients. From providing invaluable market research, tools and the resources to grow my business, plus, providing a business plan for my future! 

The real proof, though, is in the total production numbers.

BloomTree’s total sales volume increased by over 90% quarter over quarter compared to the same timeframe last year, and our total volume of sales was second only to a company that has been in the marketplace for over thirty years.   We think that’s quite an accomplishment.

fastest growing real estate companies
click to see full size image. Based on Broker Metrics stats 9-2015

How do we do it?  Our focus on building a strong community of agents who are rewarded for collaboration seems to be a key ingredient in creating a stronger brokerage.  It is also the result of our implementation of new professional development programs, enhanced business systems, and agent support.   If you focus on people, production follows.

All of our agents have access to our extensive training programs, in-house support, and systems.  Each one, though, has a choice in their compensation plan.  They choose the one that fits their current business levels and the direction they would like to pursue for their future. Even though agents may opt for different compensation plans, the plans are all integrated to support the growth of all agents and the brokerage. Many productive agents are at or above a 100% level split (some agents even earn more than they pay into the company). This is one of the ways BloomTree is “expanding what’s possible”, our company tagline.

What’s Next?  We plan to continue to grow in the Prescott area and we expect to expand soon beyond our local market.  How we intend to do this is yet another idea unique to BloomTree: a blended approach of franchise and partnership models. We have already received inquiries from brokers outside the area who have an interest in joining forces with us. The factors that have led to our growth and success here in Prescott will surely translate to other communities.

We are very proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time, and we are excited for what is yet to come.