A culture of service, support and constant personal
development drives a thriving Maryland brokerage and its relentlessly positive leader
By Michael Antoniak
In a productive, positive, professional culture, success becomes contagious.
Just ask the agents at RE/MAX Results, a thriving brokerage with offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Maryland.
Opened by Broker/Owner Sandy Olson as a two-agent Frederick enterprise in 2004, RE/MAX Results has grown into a market force of 100 agents working from two locations in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C., metro area. With more than 1,750 transaction sides in 2015, RE/MAX Results climbed into the REAL Trends 500 rankings last year.
The growth and success is no surprise to anyone who knows Olson.
“Sandy has a genuine warmth and professionalism. You know she cares about everyone in her office – from the people who do the cleaning to her very top producers. She sets a supportive tone, and everything follows from there,” says Sales Associate Peggy Magnanelli, a 100 Percent Club member who joined the firm five years ago. “Whatever you need to know, Sandy can tell you – or she’ll find someone who can. She’s the best.”
You can summarize how Olson views her role in one word: support.
“I’m here to support my agents and help them be the best they can be, both professionally and personally. It’s really as simple as that,” says Olson, a regional Broker/Owner of the Year in 2015. “There’s plenty of business for everyone, and the more we share ideas, the better we all become. We have an involved, caring environment where we pull together and help each other succeed. That’s a winning combination, and it reminds you why it’s great to be with RE/MAX.”
A big element in the RE/MAX Results culture is attitude. Through modeling and encouragement, Olson strives to cultivate a can-do optimism in her agents. She’s a huge fan of personal development author Jack Canfield, and she recently became certified to teach the “Success Principles” he outlined in his 2005 classic of the same name. “Jack Canfield’s principles of success taught me you have to stay positive and look for opportunities in every situation,” Olson says.
Olson’s enthusiasm for Canfield’s work also led to her being invited to author a chapter in his 2015 book, “The Soul of Success, Vol.1: The World’s Leading Entrepreneurs and Professionals Reveal Their Core Strategies for Getting to the Heart of Health, Wealth and Success.” Her contribution, “Living Peacefully in The Eye of the Hurricane,” outlines her philosophy of staying centered, calm and upbeat even during the most challenging circumstances.
She put that mindset to the test when she purchased her second RE/MAX office in 2008, adding 20 agents to her then-group of 40. “The real estate industry was filled with negatives at the time, but I saw the difficulty as an opportunity for me and for agents who were truly interested in building a great career for the long haul. I knew we’d make it through. I always believed.”
Agent development, focused on customer service, is another major emphasis. Much of it begins with Olson, a Certified Buffini Mentor who guides her agents through Buffini & Company’s service-focused Peak Producers program. She’s also a big advocate of Momentum, the RE/MAX offering that helps agents provide irreplaceable value and service to their clients.
“Everything begins with a core value of helping others achieve their goals,” Olson says. That approach certainly helps her agents achieve theirs.
“Sandy’s training is outstanding, from small, one-hour sessions to longer classes where she brings in people from various fields of expertise,”says Mike Hansell, a 100 Percent Club member who joined RE/MAX Results three years ago and has seen his sales rise ever since.
“I remember when I first talked to her about joining the office. She started the interview by asking, ‘What are you looking for?’ I was impressed. She was focused on me and what I wanted to achieve,” says Paula Duarte, a 100 Percent Club member who entered real estate in 2014 after a successful corporate career in sales. “Sandy provides terrific resources so agents can concentrate on building their business. Her support and the many other benefits of the RE/MAX brand have me moving forward in the best possible way. I don’t miss a single office meeting if I can help it, because there’s always so much to learn.”
Olson meets with agents at the start of each year to discuss goals and professional topics. “I never have a meeting just to meet,” she says. “Everyone’s time is too valuable for that. But we make the effort to help agents stay up to date on legislative issues, technology, contract issues, market trends, etc. Agents who prosper here are willing to participate and take advantage of the meetings, mastermind groups, training and culture. They’re all independent contractors, but they value the sense of belonging to something special.”
That sense of belonging comes through loud and clear in the words of the agents.
“The atmosphere at our office is welcoming, positive and professional,” Magnanelli says. “When you build a business where people get along, help each other and share in the success, you’ve built something worth being part of. And that’s exactly what Sandy – and all of us – have built here.”