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2010-02-10 19:01:32

Virtual Culture In 2010


I get on average two dozen emails a week from Realtors and Brokers that say they have been following my articles about the VIRTUAL CULTURE for the past two years.
However, they have started taking a new turn in the last month or two. I’m now getting several emails a week from current Brokers with brick and mortar offices or in more cases than not, Brokers that want to know what it takes to open a VIRTUL CULTURE Real Estate Brokerage.
The impression a lot of these Real Estate Brokers have is that all they have to do is create a name and then open for business and the Realtors will flock to them.
I wish it were that easy. I thought the one Broker last week was going to drop dead on the spot when she asked me how much I spent to open my doors. I told her that I have $600,000 into the company, but if I did it again I could have done it for $400,000 because I wouldn’t make as many mistakes. I think she’s still in shock or just frozen in place from the weather in the mid Atlantic states.
Where I’m seeing the disconnect with the Brokers that want to open a VIRTUAL CULTURE Real Estate Brokerage, the reality, is that the Broker hasn’t done his or her due diligence in setting up the back office operations so that they can manage all the compliance issues.
Another area that is important in the VIRTUAL CULTURE is one of support. How do you support the Realtor when you don’t share in their commissions? The question then becomes what a Realtor expects from a VIRTUAL CULTURE Real Estate Brokerage.
In a previous article, I answered those questions, but to simplify the answer, we are essentially our Realtors Transaction Coordinator.
I preach and teach everyday to our staff and Brokers that the Realtor is our customer, and we need to treat them well and love them and support them, particularly in these tough times. Our Realtors feel our care.
Every day I get this question. How do you create a culture within the VIRTUAL CULTURE business model? The answer is in the previous paragraph. We reach out on a daily and weekly basis with emails and phone calls to our Realtors. We praise their successes to all our other Realtors as well as to the VIRTUAL WORLD.
I can honestly say after 38 years in the business, the last 25 years of which I have built Real Estate Brokerages, that our Realtors are the happiest Realtors I have ever had the pleasure of working with.
Yes, they are experienced, but I think it is their happiness that keeps everyone working together with compliance and therefore causing so few problems it’s staggering.
So for all of the Brokers out there that are considering creating a VIRTUAL CULTURE Real Estate Brokerage, you need to spend the capital to create an efficient back office operation; and then you have to love your Realtors.
Therein lies the secret to success.
James A. Crumbaugh III is CEO of Allison James Estates and Homes can be reached at . Check out the Allison James Group on

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