What we learned in talking to Elite Agents and Teams across the nation is that there’s little attention to what’s going on in the industry. That’s why we’re here standing up to keep you abreast of what’s affecting our industry. We care about new rules affecting the industry and being at the table when decisions are being made. It’s just brokers at the table now, not the practitioners so we never get a voice. We’re fighting for standards because the current standards are VERY low. We’re going to establish these standards, and lead the pack to deliver on them.
So what exactly are these standards? Let’s take a closer look at the five standards that will save the real estate industry.
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Standard #1: Elite Level Performance
We believe that agents that do business should be held at a higher level than those that don’t.
In order for agents to be a member of LEOPARD, you must have 10 listings or 20 transactions with 5 listings a year (not a month, a YEAR). This helps differentiate between agents that are doing business with experience and those who are brand new. Using a beer analogy, beer has a “fresh” date. It’s easy to see what’s freshest. You have the option to choose what’s freshest. Or when you go to buy a new car, they ask if you want to buy last year’s model. If you do, you get a discount. The consumer has a right to know the “freshness” of agents, to know who’s an elite performer.
One of the reasons why we think there’s a need for standards on performance is that when you do a large amount of volume you get to see the changes happening in the marketplace and industry. You are sharper and better now than you were before. To stay afloat on what is going on in the marketplace, the more transactions you do, the more you’re on the up and up with marketing and providing a better experience to the consumer.
Standard # 2: Verified Team Certification
It’s almost a joke when you see who’s out there that’s a team. What IS a team? Don’t you think that in order for a team to be recognized there has to be some level of standards that a team has so that they can be certified? Teams are taking over but there’s a “wild west” of what makes a team a team. The idea of a team is to improve the level of customer service and be a specialist to clients, not to make the team leader more money. While clients may want one person to talk to, you actually need specialists, not just a team lead with several agents. A good team consists of someone who’s great at listing agreements, another person who’s great at marketing… they make a well-rounded team in addition to the agents out in the field.
Standard #3: Customer Service Reviews
Have you seen an association or a brokerage or a team survey every client and publish the results publicly? Why not?
You need to maintain a Net Promoter Score which is a single survey question asking on a scale of 1-10 how likely are you to refer us to your friends or family. You ask EVERY client after a closing to get your score and then you calculate your yearly average. If you opt-in to allow every single one of your transactions to be surveyed, then you’ll meet the standard as long as your average is above 9. If the agent allows every single transaction to get a review, you’ll then get a “trusted badge”, kind of like a “verified” icon on Facebook or Instagram.
The problem with reviews today and why they’re not valuable is because the agent only picks the client that liked them the most to write a review. They don’t ask for a review from a client they know will say bad things about them. When you see agents with 1000 transactions and only 7 reviews, it’s clear there must be something wrong.
Standard #4: Client-First Transparency
It’s time to break down the walls that hide listing agents, commissions, disclosures, inspections, and offers. And why are ethics complaints hidden from the public? This standard will have a public display of ethics complaints and provide much needed transparency.
The current associations such as MLS and brokers have not provided us with tools to make this possible. We’re offing a free tool to make for any LEOPARD member to help you achieve client-first transparency. This alleviates contention and frustration from the clients who are wondering why they lost if an offer was too low. They’ll SEE that their offer was low because of this transparency. As a member of LEOPARD using this tool, you’ll be able to upload a SPUDS. When someone comes to the house and makes an offer they can review the SPUDS and see what other offers were made on the property.
Standard #5: Bar Raised Apprenticeship
Let’s implement a side-by-side apprenticeship model instead of having new agents fail forward. Stepping up on the level that agents need to be trained when they come into this business. They need a “newbie tag” coming in. No more not knowing who’s new.
In the apprenticeship program, they’ll work side-by-side with a seasoned agent for 2 years or 24 deals. We believe that if the commission was fixed and they knew they had to do 24 transactions, we’d see a much lower agent count. It sets a higher standard, focusing on the quality of a new agent, rather than the quantity. When you raise the standards, you raise the performance.
Considering the average agent sells roughly 4 houses, we believe when they go through this program, that number will jump to 10-20 deals per agent. We’d then be performing at a higher level for the consumer.
The reason we’re doing this is to get teams recognized at the state level. Most of the brokers don’t sell homes, they get too far away as they focus on risk reduction and mitigation. The service should be at the highest level and trained by people at the highest level.