Catch up with these top producers to see what’s helped them
find even more success since being featured in 2012
By Jennifer L. Schiff
Update by Mindy Charski
RE/MAX has always been the best option for successful, experienced Sales Associates. So it stands to reason that many new RE/MAX Affiliates bring strong reputations, formidable skill sets and years of solid production with them when they join.
Let’s revisit three of them, who were first featured in ABOVE in 2012.
Four years ago, these three powerhouse Affiliates shared why they joined RE/MAX. Now they share why they’ve stayed – and how they’ve found such success – in the years since.
Carrie Abfall has the kind of enthusiasm, personality (she loves to throw client parties) and work ethic (she writes thank-you notes to all of her clients) that would make her a real estate star no matter where she worked. That’s why it galled her that 40 to 50 percent of her hard-earned commission checks were paying someone else’s bills – and even at that split she had no real say in marketing strategies.
So in August 2010, Abfall switched from Coldwell Banker to RE/MAX. She vaulted into the Platinum Club in 2011, her first full year with the network. The skills, credibility and visibility she already had – she grew up in Columbus and began her real estate career there in 1995 – combined with RE/MAX competitive advantages to create even more positive energy.
“I entered an environment where the agents were solid and knew what they were doing. That makes a difference,” she said. “I’ve gotten a lot more business because of my affiliation with RE/MAX. Clients will say, ‘Well, I like you and I like him … but you’re with RE/MAX, so you win my business.’”
Online resources were another big difference.
“I love LeadStreet,” Abfall said. “When I switched, I wasn’t even aware of it, and I was blown away by these free leads to my phone. I’m a mom to an amazing 8-year-old boy, and I can be at a basketball game or school event and pick up a lead!”
She’s also a fan of RE/MAX University. “It’s a treasure trove of resources,” she said. “I have a home office, and I put RU courses on my computer in the background as I work. It’s really helpful, and I get loads of great ideas to try.”
Since switching to RE/MAX, Abfall was the No. 1 producer by volume in her office in 2011, and reports she’s having another big year in 2012.
Abfall has continued to thrive, earning Platinum Club in 2013 and 2014, and 100 Percent Club in 2015. This year, she’s on track to finish strong once again.
“I’m making more money than I ever dreamed was possible,” Abfall says.
She credits the move to RE/MAX for putting her in better shape professionally. In fact, she says, she’s able to perform at her best today because RE/MAX afforded her flexibility when she needed it most – during a series of family health crises and her own leg surgery that kept her out for eight weeks last year.
“When my personal life was giving me a lot of lemons, I was still able to get done what I needed to get done,” she says.
She relied on the RE/MAX marketing systems during that time, but she also trusted Affiliates in her office to handle calls and provide help if someone needed to be shown a property.
“My sellers were still serviced excellently,” she says. “There was no one at my previous office I would turn my business over to because they weren’t quality professionals. Here, it’s different.”
Similarly, the RE/MAX resources have been highly advantageous for growing her business – as has the brand recognition.
“We still have to be excellent, but there’s just a lot of business that comes your way because of the RE/MAX name,” she says. “I didn’t know I was missing that before, and I’ve seen it consistently year over year.”
I’ve gotten a lot more business because of my affiliation with RE/MAX. Clients will say, ‘Well, I like you and I like him … but you’re with RE/MAX, so you win my business.Carrie Abfall
Jaci Cannan was an award-winning, widely recognized agent for 13 years before she and her team joined RE/MAX in August 2010. What drew her to RE/MAX?
“It was the national and international exposure, the upscale brand, the caliber of agents and the flexibility,” she said. The team has much more promotional freedom with RE/MAX than it had with its former company, Nothnagle Realtors, a tough competitor in the Rochester market. “From cutting-edge technology to creative marketing tools, RE/MAX provides us with ways to increase our productivity and improve the way we do business.”
Another big advantage is the global referral network, Cannan said. “We’ve placed many outgoing referrals since joining RE/MAX Plus and have helped our clients select agents in other states as well. Doing so helps ensure a positive experience for clients.”
Since joining RE/MAX, Cannan has added four members to her team, bringing it to 10. She earned her way into the Platinum Club last year, and she’s constantly seeking new opportunities for growth, both individually and collectively.
Her mission is simple: Provide the highest level of service through hard work, skill and creativity.
Cannan continues to provide the very highest level of service to all customers, regardless of price point. That’s because she sees each transaction as an opportunity to cultivate a long-term relationship that can generate benefits through repeat business and referrals.
Being on board with this approach, which includes creating beautiful marketing pieces even for lower-priced listings, is what makes RE/MAX different from other brokerages, Cannan says.
“RE/MAX supports independent thought and style, which works perfectly for me.”
Cannan also credits the many RE/MAX benefits and services for helping her and her team advance their careers. The innovative methodologies, cutting-edge marketing, technological opportunities, personal guidance and support “keep us current and ahead of [the] industry standard, which enables our team to stay competitive and grow,” she says.
Indeed, the Cannan Team has more than doubled their production since 2012, and Cannan credits the collaborative efforts of the group with helping her reach the Hall of Fame and break through to the Titan Club.
“We are incredibly grateful that we made the choice to join such a tremendous organization,” Cannan says. “We love our office and could not imagine going anywhere else.”
Denise Storm had her “aha moment” at a Destination RE/MAX event in Denver in May 2011. She had been in real estate for eight years and was working for Prudential, paying up to $9,000 of her commissions to her brokerage each month. But she was hesitant to switch, despite a tempting offer from a local RE/MAX office, RE/MAX Pinnacle.
But finally the light turned on and she saw the folly of paying $70,000 per year for the level of support and service she was receiving. She hasn’t looked back since.
While there are many things Storm likes about working at RE/MAX, “probably the biggest thing for me is that I can get education online, at my convenience, as opposed to going to classes,” she said. “For example, right now I’m in the middle of earning my CRS designation. And I like the fact that I can sit on my couch at midnight in my pajamas and listen to a CRS webinar. It’s much better than having to take time out of my business to attend the classes.”
She also likes that she can order signs, brochures and other marketing tools through the RE/MAX Approved Supplier program.
Another major plus: the credibility of the RE/MAX brand. “Consumers realize that most agents who work for RE/MAX are the best of the best. RE/MAX supports you being independent and allows you to run your business on your own terms,” she said.
And how has Storm done since making the switch in June 2011?
“Last year I reached the 100 Percent Club, which is pretty good for being here only half a year,” she said. And in 2012? “I’m shooting for the Platinum Club.”
Storm did make it into the Platinum Club, in 2013 and 2014, and earned 100 Percent Club in 2015.
Is she still delighted about her move to RE/MAX? Definitely.
“It’s the best brand,” she says. “There’s no other real estate network that I would work for – ever.”
She cites the support systems she has in her office and the many RE/MAX products and services she has access to as essential tools to her success. For instance, customizable marketing templates from the Design Center help her create professional-quality marketing materials quickly.
The Hall of Famer also says that because she keeps so much more of her commissions, she doesn’t have to work as hard as she once did. She now has the flexibility to spend more time with her family and has been able to serve on the boards of her local and state Realtor associations.
Likewise, she’s seen an influx of business from interoffice referrals, which she gets at a level she never saw at previous brokerages.
“That’s a huge benefit,” she says.
Storm uses RE/MAX Mainstreet when she wants to send a referral, and she appreciates that she can find the right agent in a particular production range and with a certain designation.
“I can pinpoint what I want, and that’s helpful,” she says. “I also know, because they’re part of RE/MAX, they’re not a part-time agent. They are full time, and my client’s going to get the service they deserve.”
RE/MAX supports you being independent and allows you to run your business on your own terms.Denise Storm