by Paige Tepping, RISMedia
Published February 2022 Real Estate Magazine
Region served: Kentucky and Tennessee
Years in real estate: Bonnie: 32; Lisa: 32
Number of offices: 4, with a 5th opening soon
Number of agents: Bonnie: 447; Lisa: 397
What attracted you to United Real Estate’s brokerage offerings?
Bonnie Mays: Technology is the key to the future for agents, and when I heard about United, I loved the fact that their CEO had a background in technology. Not only is their mindset innovative, but they also understand what agents need while recognizing the importance of being on the cutting edge and being able to change and adapt very quickly and efficiently.
Lisa Peel: I was attracted to United for many reasons, two of which were the alignment of company values to my own and the company’s agent-centric focus evidenced by their offerings of cutting-edge technology, relevant training and industry-leading 100% transaction fee model.
You two are powerhouses in the industry, running busy and successful brokerages. How do you use your synergies to drive growth?
BM: We both have different strengths, which allows us to work in a way where we’re each responsible for different aspects of the business. Lisa is the operations person, so she runs the business day to day, while I’m more focused on the big picture of compliance, education and agent development.
LP: We always strive to provide the best environment, tools and support for our agents. Not only do we share ideas among ourselves, but we mastermind with brokers in the United system across the entire country to constantly improve our systems and the agent experience.
Lisa, you’re opening a third office soon. Tell us about your success in Knoxville and Chattanooga.
LP: Being the first company in Knoxville and Chattanooga to introduce the 100% transaction fee model was both exciting and challenging, but our explosive growth has proven that the East Tennessee community has fully embraced our concept. Agents have discovered that they can get the best of both worlds—more money in their pockets as well as a full-service brokerage with leading tech, training and full broker support.
Bonnie, growing your Louisville office to over 250 agents is an amazing feat, especially considering that you didn’t know anyone in the city when you opened. How did you accomplish this?
BM: It took market research and 100% faith in the model. Louisville is a very traditional market, and the agents were skeptical. Winning them over involved making lots of phone calls, going to many networking events and offering strong agent services when they joined.
What is attracting agents to United Real Estate?
LP: Our agents are our greatest testimony. We have the most professional agents in East Tennessee, and they impact other agents through cross-sales and word of mouth to want to affiliate with United. We have developed a community of agents that is truly like a family, and they can feel the love when they walk in our door.
BM: It’s all about the value. Cost is one thing, but if the agent can’t reconcile the value, then it doesn’t mean anything. Any company can match our compensation, but when you add value for the agents, they’re more likely to think twice before they leave.
Lisa, what have been the keys to your success in retention?
LP: Let’s be honest; Everyone wants to have a fun work environment, and we deliver that on a large scale. Our brokers Kenya Worley and Amy Mullins are masters at providing professional and fun in one package, and agents love it. Our agents mastermind, collaborate, work and play together, and in the process, the community of agents has developed into a very tight-knit group of like-minded professionals.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
BM: I want to have 10% of the 12,000 REALTORS® in Kentucky. That means we have to grow 300% in the next five years.
LP: Our No. 1 focus is the success of our agents. We would like to continue to create opportunities for more agents through expansion and continued growth in our current offices. Our ultimate goal is to be the market share leader in each of our geographical markets, and we believe that we will accomplish this in the next five years.
About United Real Estate
United Real Estate (United) – a division of United Real Estate Group – was founded with the purpose of offering solutions to real estate brokers and agents in the rapidly changing real estate brokerage industry. United provides the latest training, marketing and technology tools to agents and brokers under a flat-fee, transaction-based agent commission model. By leveraging the company’s proprietary cloud-based Bullseye™ Agent & Broker Productivity Platform, United delivers a more profitable outcome for agents and brokers. United Real Estate operates in 30 states with 110 offices and more than 16,000 agents.
About United Real Estate Group
United Real Estate Group (UREG) operates United Real Estate and United Country Real Estate, addressing the unique market needs of suburban, major metropolitan urban and rural markets. Utilizing the cloud-based Bullseye™ Agent & Broker Productivity Platform, UREG offers the latest training, marketing and technology tools producing a significant competitive advantage. The platform realizes a decade-long investment in virtual agent and brokerage technology services and is powered by a 2.1 million listings data warehouse generating over 3 million monthly visitors and 30,000 leads per year. Together, the United Real Estate Group supports more than 600 offices and 20,000 real estate and auction professionals across four continents. Through its in-house advertising agency, UREG offers differentiating marketing support and collateral for specialized lifestyle property websites as well as access to a 650,000+ opt-in buyer database. For more information about United Real Estate or United Country Real Estate, please visit UnitedRealEstate.com or UnitedCountry.com.
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