Randy Carey of National Realty Guild in Minneapolis, Minnesota shares his views on running a successful brokerage in this exclusive interview.
Established in 2002, National Realty Guild is known today as one of the top real estate brokerages in the Twin Cities. Broker and Owner Randy Carey, over the years, has perfected the formula for success that many real estate companies may have overlooked. But before we get to that, he recalls how he led his company to become the successful brokerage that it is today.
“This business is real estate,” he said. “And about 17-18 years ago, I decided to get into the industry from Minnesota here via St. Paul and Minneapolis. I have been here all my life basically, I started out real estate life in 1997, but it took into 2005 where I came up with an idea that created a referral group and a brokerage to hold licenses for several agents.
Speaking of the company size, he explains that the company is composed of 160 agents who either work independently or are part of a team. The teams range in size with some being high-producing while others only do a few transactions at a time.
But regardless of the size of these teams, they all enjoy one thing in common—National Realty Guild’s unique and genuine 100 Percent Commission Program.
100 Percent Commission Program: Why National Realty Guild offers it.
The program sounds too good to be true and Non-NRG agents are usually skeptical about it because there are brokers who take as high as 30 percent from their agent’s commissions. Only National Realty Guild offers 100 percent commission to all of its agents with no strings attached.
“What’s the catch? There is no catch,” Randy said.
And that decision was accidental. The program was implemented while Randy was looking for a unique but dynamic way to grow his brokerage. Randy noted that big companies do indeed offer high-quality services, but most take a large portion of the agent’s commission.
He thought that hundreds of agents could benefit from that percentage for several reasons. An example, he said, is that agents can use the additional income to “put back into building their own business.” That is how he became convinced that offering a 100 Percent Commission Program was a good move.
… I bring in an agent into my company and I put them on a 100 percent commission program, they may only do a few transactions, but the worth of that person is much more than just a few hundred dollars.”
100 Percent Commission Program: When it started
It was not initially 100 percent. Sometime in 2010, he offered something similar. It was also around that time that the agents were required to pay $200 per month to be a member. Also back then, he said that his company was more of a “niche boutique, real estate company.”
After years of reflecting on the type of services that they were offering, his original goals and how much he wants his company to grow he eventually decided to remove the monthly dues and, at first, offer a “98 percent commission program”
“We used to have something close to 100 percent—like a 98 percent program,” he recalled, “Whereas, I could take 1 percent and allocate to insurance, and 1 percent and allocate it to a [few] broker staff.”
Inspired by selling real estate in the past himself, his true intention was to find a way to add more value as a brokerage in addition to being able to recruit more agents. It was in early 2016 when he decided to offer the TRUE 100 percent Commission Program.
Giving agents full support
Besides the current program that attracts agents to his company, there are two other things that set National Realty Guild apart from other brokerages in Minnesota. No other real estate company gives its agents the kind of support that Randy Carey’s National Realty Guild does.
The broker revealed that there are other brokerages that offer 100% percent commission but agents are still somehow not satisfied—either they are hesitant to work with those companies, or they try it and then leave. As to why this is happening, Randy explains, “The biggest one I think is that they feel there isn’t enough support…”
He understands that a lot of times, agents need help in their profession. By adding a support staff to fill that need, he has made the 100 percent commission program work perfectly for the company.
“So what we have done is we have added a handful of staff to help accommodate anybody,” he explained. “We are able to economically afford this because the majority of our staff can be answered through the phone and via the internet just like this and do screen shares anytime, which basically helped any agent.”
In other words, not only does NRG provide its agents with a physical space where they can get local help with certain tasks, but the company has also provided them with a help desk so they can do certain work, such as prepare contracts, remotely and conveniently.
Further, he explained, “For example, I am the broker, I help everybody craft their purchase agreement if they need help and they don’t have to drive to the office and sit down to do it.
“They can call me on their cellphones from their car or their house and I can walk them through the PA. So now our staff will also do the same thing, they can help them craft addendum and counter offers and send them around to their clients if they need to.”
Technology and agent-support
NRG uses every means possible to provide support to agents wherever and whenever. Help can be attained over the phone or online. Randy shared that they even have an employee who strictly works with agents “when they transfer over, create their signs, business cards, transfer their logos, and build themselves with a website so that they can have a professional online image and attract new customers.”
“These technology things and these design things, I don’t want those to be the headache of somebody who says, ‘I just want to sell real estate.’”
He even has provided a very easy to use website—a transaction management portal, where agents can submit contracts for compliance reasons. Every time a document is submitted, the NRG broker and another employee receive a copy through email.
He explained, “So whichever one of us decides to look at the agreement first can get back at them and let them know maybe they are missing a page, maybe their scan did not go through correctly…it needs to be legible, or maybe it needs a signature, we can get back to them. Or maybe add a couple of suggestions or add some other verbiage to their contract. So we have that level of support here, too.
And the formula for success in the real estate business is…
Providing value, true compassion for the agents and working with great people are the things that give National Realty Guild its solid foundation. Randy looks at the company’s 100 percent Commission Program not only as a magnetic tool that attracts more agents and grows his business but a practice that makes the agents feel what they truly mean to National Realty Guild.