After a conversion pushed them to Royal LePage, 12 Toronto agents quickly came back to the benefits of RE/MAX
By Mindy Charski
It was a surprising, shocking move.
In April 2016, the leaders of a RE/MAX office in Toronto decided to convert the brokerage to another brand, Royal LePage. They made a quick transition, taking the firm in a whole new direction. But they failed to anticipate a big hole in the plan.
Their Associates didn’t want to leave RE/MAX.
Within a few months, 12 of the office’s top producers left the brokerage and went straight back to the Balloon, joining RE/MAX Community Realty Inc., a sizable competitor in the Toronto market.
This is the story of why the 12 returned. And what RE/MAX Community Realty does to support their success.
RE/MAX Community offers two distinct advantages over local competitors. One, of course, is being a part of the RE/MAX brand.
The other is a dedication to their people. Like many firms in the network, RE/MAX Community is known for it. The brokerage offers a weighty amount of training,
mentoring and business development support.
“We’re in a win-win situation here,” says Broker of Record Velumailum Loganathan. “We motivate the agents, we help them be successful and we grow together.”
This philosophy has helped the brokerage grow to nearly 120 agents.
Sales Associate Shan Thayaparan was among the 12 agents who came back. He hadn’t wanted to leave RE/MAX in the first place but was willing to give the change a try – largely because he liked working with his colleagues. But ultimately, low morale set in at the Royal LePage office.
“We weren’t feeling comfortable at the new brand,” Thayaparan says. “Our hearts and minds weren’t with Royal LePage.”
Other local brokerages tried to recruit Thayaparan, but he was intrigued by a return to the brand, as well as RE/MAX Community’s training and mentorship opportunities. Two months after the conversion, he was thrilled to be back at RE/MAX.
One element: RE/MAX Community would hire a personal coach for three months to help Thayaparan create a team. This was important to him because he had been so busy with referrals that he had to give away leads. With a team, he would have help pursuing those leads and many others.
We motivate the agents, we help them be successful and we grow together.Velumailum Loganathan
Thayaparan appreciated that the franchise was willing to invest in him. He seized the learning opportunity and is now building his team – and his business.
RE/MAX Community offers other development strategies as well. For instance, newer agents shadow more experienced ones. And optional monthly training sessions, led by Broker/Manager Rajeef Koneswaran and local real estate coaches, cover a wide range of real estate topics.
In December, for instance, agents attended a session about business planning for the year ahead; other gatherings focus on vital activities such as listing presentations or working with buyers.
All of it is structured with one goal in mind: helping Sales Associates grow their business and become more successful.
Sessions are tailored for different experience or production levels. One for agents in the 100 Percent Club teaches them how to surpass the $250,000 earnings threshold and join the Platinum Club, and another helps Platinum Club members make the leap to Chairman’s Club ($500,000).
“We’re giving our agents training that suits their individual needs,” Loganathan says. “We’re investing in their future, because their success grows our success.”
It’s all about the agents
Another cultural win at RE/MAX Community is the open-door policy maintained by both Loganathan and Koneswaran. Agents can access either leader if they need mentoring help building a business plan, solving problems or working on a sale.
Our hearts and minds weren’t with Royal LePage.Shan Thayaparan
More traditional incentives also have an impact. Agents who met sales performance goals for 2016 took a group trip to Dubai in January. An all-inclusive trip to Aruba in January 2018 awaits winners of this year’s competition. RE/MAX Community also sponsors quarterly competitions with awards like dinners or trips. Smaller gestures of appreciation include monthly birthday lunches and summer get-togethers.
Today, thanks to its strong culture of training and mentorship, RE/MAX Community is growing and thriving. Like many RE/MAX offices around the world, it’s the right place for top producers and those who aspire to become one.