A United Front Wins Out

by Michael Catarevas, RISMedia | Published April 2023 Real Estate Magazine

Ernie Becker
United Real Estate | Queen City
Charlotte, North Carolina
Regions served: Greater Charlotte
Years in real estate: 10
Number of offices: 2
Number of agents: 80

What attracted you to United Real Estate’s brokerage network and offerings, and why is it the best fit for you as an entrepreneur?

I’ve been in sales for 30-plus years now, and reflecting back, I’ve not only wanted to serve my clients as a real estate professional, but I’ve also wanted to own something. And when I saw United Real Estate’s 100% commission model, I looked at them as an early disruptor in comparison to other firms and the traditional models. I kind of like disruptors. What angle are they trying for? That was part of the initial attraction that drew me to United. Then you add in the top-down support, the technology and tools within their marketing package and the open sharing of best practices that makes us all stronger. And now, as we fast forward, the long-term vision that was pitched is becoming a reality. There’s something truly inspiring about seeing that vision come to fruition.

Can you talk more about the value that United Real Estate’s full service, 100% commission transaction-fee model brings to you as a broker and to your agents?

The 100% commission model allows us to make smart business decisions, and helps my business grow. Since we’re transaction based, we have to make sure every dollar is invested wisely, and with purpose. We’re not taking 20% or 30% commissions, we’re taking a flat fee, so every dollar we reinvest has to support agents to ensure they can have successful careers. As far as the value to the agent, it may seem like it’s all about the money, but it’s not. The biggest value that United can bring to brokers and agents is their Bullseye™ platform. It frees up busy agents so they have more time to grow and enjoy doing what they want to do. The fact that United agents can keep more of their hard-earned commission dollars is the gravy on top.

You have doubled your agent count and opened a second location this year. Why do you believe new and experienced agents are choosing United and your office?

Being an entrepreneur, my wife Beth and I knew that we needed to put the right people in place. I can’t do everything, so in the middle of last year, we decided to focus on recruiting and growth. We needed to start with a solid leadership team, so we hired Denee Goebel, a well-respected broker. That freed me up to do more with the agents. We then started a mentoring program that we’re developing and growing to assist new agents who need a little help along the way. Since I’m a coach, sales trainer and educator, I put together a 12-week training program that gets agents to think about their business as a business. We’ve had really good results with production since we launched that last year.

How does United and its network of brokers support your professional development and your business as a broker?

I found that my development was most impacted by United’s open sharing of best practices. We have extremely talented and smart owners and operators, some of the brightest minds in the business. Everyone here believes in sharing and helping others, and don’t ask for anything in return. I’ve become close friends with a lot of the other owners and members of our leadership. And [United President] Rick Haase is always saying that we’re all better together. Our entire network lives that mindset. We collaborate, create new ideas, lift each other up, motivate and laugh together. It’s one of the reasons that larger firms as well as teams and agents want to be under our umbrella.

What advice would you give to brokers in today’s market for recruiting and retention?

Give agents what they need, not what they want. Agents say they want leads. They want technology. They say they want a handhold. No. Give them what they need: a mentor, effective coaching and training. Give them the tools to generate their own leads and the tech that allows them to be more efficient. Give them the support they need to grow their business. Give them your time and knowledge.

Ernie is a true leader and consistently works to make his organization better for everyone it serves. A true people person, his engaging spirit of continuous improvement is key to his success and growth.”

-Rick Haase, President

For more information, please visit GrowWithUnited.com.

Photo credit – Larry Laughter at Next Agent Up

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