‘Ottawa’s first Mega-Brokerage’ Adds 70 Agents in Six Months
By Rebecca L. Olgeirson
Late last year, four top performers for Keller Williams in Canada had little reason to think their careers could get even better at a different brand.
Eli Skaff had been the No. 1 KW agent in Canada since 2011. Jarrod Davis had spent seven years as a successful KW team leader, a portion of which he spent at the brand’s No. 2 brokerage internationally. Marc Evans and Tarek El Attar led a KW team that ranked No. 4 in Ontario and No. 15 in Canada.
But when they all agreed to learn more about RE/MAX, in part out of professional courtesy and personal respect for Christopher Alexander of RE/MAX INTEGRA, they began to see the possibilities. And, in a trip to Toronto at the end of 2014, the choice became clear.
“The technology is what really caught our attention,” Skaff says. “RE/MAX is the premier brand in real estate, and a lot comes with that. It was time.”
In March 2015, just three months after signing a franchise agreement, Skaff, Evans, El Attar and Managing Partner Davis opened RE/MAX Core Realty in Ottawa, Ontario. It was just the beginning.
By September, the brokerage had added over 70 agents, including nearly 55 from Keller Williams.
“I wasn’t really interested in leaving Keller Williams,” says Leam Hamilton, leader of the Leam Hamilton Team. “I didn’t want to be sold on the balloon, but once I saw the technology in place, I was.”
I didn’t want to be sold on the balloon, but once I saw the technology in place, I was. Leam Hamilton
The fee-free leads flowing through LeadStreet especially appealed to Hamilton. And he wasn’t the only one.
“I received zero leads at Keller Williams,” says Marc Papineau, another newcomer to RE/MAX. “But I converted a LeadStreet lead into a $875,000 sale – in just 10 days.”
All told, LeadStreet delivered more than 250 leads to RE/MAX Core agents in the first three months, Davis says. “The LeadStreet leads we’re getting are strong. These are definitely high lead-to-appointment numbers, and that’s the name of the game.”
A home of their own
The RE/MAX Core vision is to stand out from the crowd, and construction has started on an office unlike anything else in the market.
Located in Central Ottawa’s busiest shopping hub, known as the Ottawa Trainyards, the office will contain everything normally found at a top-flight brokerage, and a whole lot more.
The 12,000-square-foot space includes an Internet café, a technology room with a green screen for video production, a workout room with showers, a game room, a Zen room (for quick power naps), a high-end living room, and even a play area for kids.
The Core Ownership Group plans to add associated businesses as well, including an in-office concierge service, home inspector, real estate lawyers and mortgage brokers. A dedicated marketing team will assist agents with creative projects, especially those involving social media and the Internet.
“This will be Ottawa’s first mega-brokerage, dramatically elevating the RE/MAX presence here,” Skaff says. “We want a luxury feel for our clients, and we want our agents to have every possible amenity.”
Skaff adds that “coming into the office” should be an invigorating experience for every agent. “Success breeds success. We want our people to inspire and excite each other.”
Papineau already sees that happening, “Here at RE/MAX we have a social, family atmosphere. That didn’t exist for me at Keller Williams. There was no culture; it was all competition. This is better.”
That’s great news for the leadership team, which has worked hard to create that culture.
“We see this as a next generation office,” Davis says. “Some people in real estate like to do things the way they’ve always been done. But I like to listen to the leaders at Google and Zappos and bring those ideas to real estate. We have a lot of young agents here – agents who are comfortable with technology and understand how it helps them stand out. So this is a perfect opportunity to lead and do something different.”