A major sales team in North Carolina leaves a regional powerhouse for an exciting, fresh start at RE/MAX
By Deborah Kearns || Photography by Roger Ball
“We saw a big difference at RE/MAX right away.” Russell Wing
Russell Wing has been a dominant figure in the Charlotte, N.C., real estate market for nearly 40 years. He spent the past two decades with regional leader Allen Tate, where he and his team closed over $400 million in sales and were widely viewed as an unstoppable force.
Wing probably could have stayed there and coasted along at a highly successful level. But he was hungry for something more. Something dynamic. Something better.
And he found it at RE/MAX.
“We saw a big difference right away,” says Wing, who moved his six-person team to RE/MAX Executive in June. “We gained more than we expected, and our potential here is unlimited.”
One clear distinction between a regional player and a worldwide network is the ability to tap into global sales. And the RE/MAX agent-to-agent referral system, with no additional fees or interference, makes that edge even more pronounced.
“We have potential referral agents everywhere now. Just recently, we connected a client to a RE/MAX agent in Brazil,” Wing says. “We’re able to send and receive referrals directly to and from agents, without a middleman, so we control what happens. These aren’t nameless, faceless transactions anymore. And that’s a huge advantage.”
Wing felt limited at his previous brokerage. At RE/MAX, he found a culture – and a Broker/Owner, Hadi Atri – more conducive to team growth and even higher production. Wing’s RE/MAX goal: to be the market’s No. 1 team.
“I’m working hard to add the right people and get in front of more clients,” says Wing, who brought another agent onto his team shortly after the move. “With the advantages of the global brand, the high energy of the office and the support we receive from Hadi, we have very big plans going forward.”
The Wing Team is based in Waxhaw, N.C., at one of the seven offices in Atri’s thriving brokerage.
Atri also has a history with Allen Tate. He spent 14 years there before opening his first RE/MAX Executives office in 2007. Atri brought the best aspects of Allen Tate with him, adding advantages like global brand recognition on top.
It’s a powerful combination in a challenging market, where Allen Tate has been a major player since 1958.
“Charlotte is a blue-blood city where independent and regional companies have dominated the field for a long time,” says Atri, who was recognized as a RE/MAX Broker/Owner of the Year last March. “You have to get out there, show your stuff and become part of the conversation. It’s not easy, but we’ve been successful in attracting top producers and finding the right people for our culture.”
The approach works. RE/MAX Executive’s 250 agents closed more than $1 billion in sales in 2014 and are on pace for an even better result this year. That sort of success is worthy of the massive and memorable holiday parties Atri hosts at the Ritz-Carlton in Charlotte. The annual gala reflects the quality, energy and high standards found in the offices year round.
“I want to keep our people and help them feel part of something special,” Atri says. “When you build relationships with your agents and earn their respect, they tend to stay. I’ve found that most solid agents don’t leave brokerages over commission splits – that’s a myth. It’s usually about the culture.”