Glynis Dekle, Broker/Owner of United | Infinity in Fort Myers, FL used the power of networking and relationship-building to attract a new company to her office. Glynis shares her successful strategies below.
Assessing Cultural Fit and Nurturing the Relationship
Our merger with Gateway Real Estate is 100% about relationship building. In the past, we have done several transactions with John Little, Broker/Owner of Gateway Real Estate and his Agents. The transactions always ran smoothly and his Agents were professional and pleasant to work with.
John and I developed a great relationship. One day about two years ago, I was representing the buyers in a transaction for one of his listings and we ended up at the home inspection together. We started talking about our future plans and, because of his age, I brought up exit strategies. In the initial conversation, he indicated his daughter had her license and he hoped he could turn the business over to her, but he was unsure if she wanted the liability and responsibility. We discussed partnering, and if the time should come, I told him I would like to explore merging offices.
We kept in contact, and every 6 months or so, I would send him an email inquiring about his health and business. In September 2021, he had a stroke and nearly died. Thankfully, he has recovered, but his perspective on life changed. He wants more time with family and grandchildren and to travel with his wife. His daughter has decided she does not want the responsibility or liability of a Broker/Owner, so he reached out to me about a month ago and said he was ready to talk about our teams becoming one.
Preserving Agents’ Identity and Onboarding New Tools and Supports
We are going to roll them in, give them their continued identity as “The Gateway Team powered by United Real Estate Infinity,” and provide them a home where they can grow and prayerfully thrive. Our cultures are very similar, our faith is similar and our business reputations are much the same. The roll-in should be easy and relatively stress-free for the new Agents, and we will provide them with training and tools they have not experienced before.
Combining Competitive Strengths & Teams
We are also assuming their property management portfolio, which is significant and will help push United Infinity to my goal of having our contractual property management income cover our monthly operating expenses, therefore insulating us against any market checks or downturns. The Gateway Real Estate team has bought into the new opportunities and at this point, there will be no fallout at all. We will be onboarding all of his Agents and John in the capacity of broker associate and his daughter as another Agent/Property Manager.
The Importance of Authenticity, Mutual Respect and the Golden Rule
I believe if we had not maintained and nurtured the relationship, continuing to foster exit strategy thoughts and forming a genuine bond, while allowing him time to come to his own decisions, our merger would not have happened.
John told me after our second meeting that he had also spoken with one of the larger Century 21 franchises in town that uses aggressive acquisition tactics. He came away from the meeting feeling the difference in culture and that his Agents would just become production numbers. He knew it was not a fit.
He also said that he watched us leave the Century 21 system, open our United office close to him, grow our team and build our reputation. He noted our Agents’ progress and saw the production we accomplished. After our first individual meeting and our second meeting with his wife and daughter, he told me he felt at home and knew his Agents, although all experienced, could grow and flourish with the culture and tools we provide.
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