Atlanta is an “open” market. Any real estate agent, anywhere in the United States, can work in Georgia with virtually no up-front expense. This is because Atlanta is a non-NAR market. Our MLS is NOT owned by NAR and is a for-profit company. In realty terms, Atlanta operates very differently than anywhere else in America.
Being unique brings on both challenges and opportunities. If you work in the Atlanta market, you know we have lots of out-of-State agents to compete with. That can be challenging. If you’re an agent from out-of-State, you probably have figured out the Atlanta market represents new turf and expansion opportunity.
All real estate is local. And no truer words have ever been said. But, never confuse sales with real estate. The not so obvious thing about real estate is that success in the trade isn’t really tied to housing. Customer acquisition is the trade of the independent salesperson. That’s the business agents are in. The house is incidental. Agents are professionals at locating people who want to do business with them. Isn’t that what Gary Keller has been preaching for decades?
How agents attract their customers through messaging and marketing varies wildly and is unlimited in terms of possibilities. But one thing is certain, how consumers feel about remote online communications has changed significantly in the last 36 months. The pandemic, isolation and advances in technology have all contributed to a new world order. That being, a much smaller world.
For the consumer in Sandy Springs, what’s the difference between an agent in Lawrenceville, versus an agent in Denver? Most everything will still be done remotely. And the only local person the consumer will see is the person who puts the sign in the yard. And yes, this is an over-simplification, but the point seems obvious; remote agents can be very viable. And Wynd Realty is here to help make that happen.
Successful agents in small towns and mid-size metros are always looking for new targets. Given that, everyone can have a “branch office” in Atlanta, Georgia. It doesn’t cost anything, so why not. Several years ago, when the first wave of remote agents began hitting Atlanta, they seemed much more opportunistic in their approach. Stumbling into a deal or two then suddenly leaving as quickly as they came. Cut and run. But things have changed very quickly.
Today the idea of agent “teams” is all the rage. So the obvious question becomes; why can’t a broker in Toledo, Ohio have a team in Atlanta Georgia? The answer is they can and over the next two blogs we will explain exactly how remote agents can create, build, and maintain Atlanta-based teams.
Wynd Realty is uniquely positioned for this task. In 2008 we began advertising ourselves as “Atlanta’s Part-time Agent Advocate”. Since then, our roster has always maintained a significant number of part-time agents. This is the pool of agents from which remote offices can be built.
A couple years ago we introduced SLACK to Wynd Realty as our intra-agent communications platform. To be honest, it didn’t take off like we thought it would. Our agent participation in SLACK remained low. But as the team concept continues to evolve, and the number of remote agents continues to grow the SLACK dynamic changes dramatically.
To many agents, the use of SLACK was viewed as just another app to learn. But, if SLACK suddenly becomes a way for an agent to make money, its popularity will grow. Wynd Realty has always served the part-time agent community. But it took us many years to realize our, meaning Atlanta’s, part-time agents are very different from part-time agents anywhere else.
Again the uniqueness of working in an “open” market allowing agents from across the United States to join, is what gives our Atlanta-based part-time agents a huge opportunity. Real estate is local. The “sale” might not be, but the customer touch is. Part-time agents make great remote hands! Wynd Realty has hundreds of part-time affiliates. A great opportunity for everybody.
We didn’t set out to become the branch office brokerage for every remote sales agent who wants to work in Atlanta. We are simply playing the cards we have been dealt. Our next Blog will discuss partnering. What we have learned that works best, worst, and how to approach it.