Transaction-fee brokerage leader on how they refocused recruiting

In this episode of the Real Trending Podcast, Tracey Velt interviews Steven Barks, the president and COO of Worth Clark Realty, a transaction-fee brokerage. When Barks joined the company, they had five licensed salespeople. Now, they have 1,200.

Barks talks about myths about transaction fee services and explains how focusing on recruiting the right agent has helped the brokerage break even in the difficult 2023 housing market. They also explore the use of AI in real estate and the opportunities for brokerage leaders in the industry. Steven shares his aha moment and the lessons he has learned running a RealTrends 500 brokerage.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Worth Clark Realty offers a flexible, transaction fee business model that allows agents to vary their service offerings.
  • The use of AI in real estate is growing, but the adoption rate among agents is still relatively low. However, tools like AI writing assistants can help agents save time and improve their marketing efforts.
  • Brokerage leaders should focus on providing value to their agents and helping them understand their unique value to clients. Building strong relationships and communication with agents is key to success.
  • The future of Worth Clark Realty involves expanding their market footprint, exploring alternative ways to represent clients, and continuing to provide value to their agents through tools and services.

Here’s a small preview of today’s interview. The transcript below has been lightly edited for length and clarity:

Tracey Velt: What is your greatest business lesson learned?

Steven Barks: The number one thing is to ask your customers — your agents — what they want, and then experiment with it. Put something out rapidly and iterate. You’ll never have all the information and the conditions will never be perfect, but talk to your agents.

Sit down with them, call them, see them at an agent happy hour, ask them how it’s going, how they feel, what they like about their job, what they don’t like, what tools they use, what tools they don’t use and why. You’re gonna learn a lot if you just talk to them and figure out what their needs are and then put things in front of them that could be solutions to those needs. We constantly are trying to figure out what else can we do for agents.

The RealTrending podcast features the brightest minds in real estate. Every week, brokerage leaders, top agents, team leaders, and industry experts share their success secrets, trends, and lessons learned navigating this ever-changing industry. Hosted by Tracey Velt and produced by Dalton Johnson.

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