Additional income for residential agents is just one of the potential perks,
says a California Broker Manager
By Katharine Davis
After helping a business owner sell his house for an out-of-state move, an astute California Associate asked, “What’s happening to your company?”
The ensuing conversation was rewarding. The agent subsequently introduced the client to his brokerage’s commercial division and also gained access to other relocating employees. Listings – and referral fees from agents in the new state – soon followed.
The result was possible because the residential agent was able to “talk commercial,” says Nathan Bragg, the agent’s Commercial Manager at RE/MAX Time in Rancho Cucamonga. And for that, Bragg credits the Accredited Commercial Professional (ACP) course.
A staunch ACP advocate, Bragg believes the course could benefit your residential real estate career too. Here’s why:
- It’s an introduction to commercial real estate
ACP covers the basics, says Bragg, a former marine with more than 20 years experience in commercial real estate. Completing the course won’t necessarily prepare an agent to be a full-time Commercial Practitioner – Bragg estimates that requires roughly two years of experience and training – but it does provide the tools to start an informed conversation. The curriculum includes types of commercial real estate, creating listing presentations and estimating market value. “It’s a really good introduction,” Bragg says. “It opens the door to more learning and more opportunities in commercial.”
- It helps agents know what to say
According to Bragg, there are two types of agents who should earn the RE/MAX designation: those who are aggressively looking for commercial deals and those who want to “have ACP in their quiver of arrows when they come across something.” In either case, the ACP designation enhances an agent’s education. “One of the agents in our office came across a $5 million deal,” he says. “Some agents just freeze up and won’t mention anything about commercial if they don’t have training. But she had her antenna up and knew what to talk about and how to talk about it.”
- It can lead to more $$
“Commercial can be a good additional income source for agents,” Bragg says. “Agents can focus on what they do best, but be able to have a conversation and earn that referral fee. Basically, they can pick the fruit without having to study the roots of the tree.” To punctuate his point, Bragg mentions that before ACP came out in 2011, his office had zero commercial volume. Last year, it had about $25 million in commercial listings from agents actively looking for deals. These 16 agents “had the experience to be the agent that established the initial contact.” They recognized the opportunity, then worked on the deal with Bragg or on their own, he says.
- It makes agents more well-rounded
After earning the RE/MAX ACP designation, Bragg says, an agent is better equipped to be a real estate rainmaker – the go-to person in their market to talk about every aspect of real estate, not just residential. “Any agent attempting to do a commercial real estate transaction should have three things: training, tools and experience. Otherwise, it’s like going into a gunfight armed with a knife. ACP helps put them on the right path.”
- It’s a competitive advantage only RE/MAX offers
Bragg, who ranked No. 16 on the Top 50 U.S. Individuals – Commercial Commissions list in 2015, especially likes the ACP designation because it’s only found at RE/MAX. “We have a specialized training program that our competitors just don’t have,” he says. “I learn every day that this is a complex field, and I have seen agents from other firms cost their clients hundreds of thousands of dollars by not having the right training.”
Bragg is also quick to credit his Broker/Owners, Iris and Elvis Ortiz-Wayland, for embracing the ACP program and establishing a commercial division within the office. “That’s one of the reasons I came to this specific office,” he says. “They have encouraged and supported commercial training and the ACP program for all of their agents since it was available. The ACP program and our commercial division make up one of the many pillars of excellence that supports Elvis and Iris’ ongoing commitment to outstanding agents.”