Taking Education to the Next Level — RISMedia

Tru Realty
Years in business: 12
Size: 8 offices, 133 agents
Regions Served: Arizona and eight states
2021 Sales Volume: $268,698,924
2021 Transactions: 680

Sarah Richardson started her career in commercial real estate back in 2006. When the market crashed in 2008, she quickly pivoted into residential fix and flips, and founded Tru Realty in 2010. Over the next four years, she experienced a great deal of success and decided to transition more into residential real estate. Today, as CEO of the firm, Richardson has assembled a strong and dedicated team that closed more than 450 deals in the brokerage’s first six years of operation. Here, she provides insight into her rapid rise to success.

It’s been an interesting last two years. How is the market looking in your area so far this year?
Sarah Richardson: It’s been super strong. The state of Arizona sees almost 20 offers on every single property, and I think we’re insulated to some degree, even with talks of interest rates going up. We have 200 – 300 people moving in my county every single day. I know the rest of the nation is doing awesome, but we are really, really strong. It’s a full-blown seller’s market and there’s no end in sight.

How did you have to adjust the way the firm ran during the pandemic? 
SR: When you work with new agents, the challenge is always pivoting into listings, because many of them are getting eaten alive on contracts, and no matter how much we train and mentor them, it’s really about working the art of negotiation. We’ve been really focused on that since the pandemic.

Tell us about the Tru University platform you offer in Arizona.
SR: We take agents directly out of school and put them through a vigorous two-year program, which helps them become a lot more confident and competent than a lot of agents out there. We’re taking this education platform into other states in 2022.

What is the firm’s unique value proposition that attracts agents? 
SR: It’s back to the education component. Our program is a requirement, not an elective. If you are a new agent or have been in a business and done less than six transactions, you have to go through our training. That attracts a certain type of agent, one with a growth mindset and the ability to want to constantly learn and better themselves.

As a strong woman in real estate, how do you champion other women in the industry? 
SR: We are very active in the Women’s Council of REALTORS®. We know that 65% of agents are women, from a C-level and corporate perspective, we have a lot of work to do.

You were the first REALTOR® in the U.S. to execute an investor cash transaction using blockchain. How do you keep up with tech innovation?  
SR: We are very nimble when it comes to tech. Our tech stack is very robust and forward thinking. Arizona is where most proptech companies go to test their models. I look at what would be a really good tool for our agents’ toolbox.

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