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A Slice of My Life…Together We Accomplish More


A slice of my life

Sitting in a coffee shop with a past client, several years ago, my friend Bruce told me one day I would have a big TEAM. “No, I said,” emphatically. “I don’t like to manage, and I just don’t see it.” I really enjoy working with both buyers and sellers.

That statement has come to haunt me, as I now have a rather large team. I never really planned to grow a team, but when you get so busy you can’t take care of the clients you have, the past clients you want to stay in touch with, and the leads that come in you are forced to leverage.

Growth was necessary.

The first person I hired was an Assistant to help with the follow-up of contracts, the showing feed-back, scheduling my own home tours, client appreciation parties, sending out birthday and anniversary cards.

As the internet became more of my focus, my Assistant starting uploading all my listings to our web-sites, sending out the electronic newsletter, and all of our new listings (if they checked the box to receive new listings.)

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Then one day, out of blue, my daughter came to me and said she wanted to work with me and get licensed. Ahhh… my first Buyer Agent. We hung around like this for a couple of years and all was good. But, then I started my Pay per Click campaign and once again, we just couldn’t handle the business so I hired two more Buyer Agents. Ahhh………life is good. I’m doing the listings and the marketing and they are working with the buyers. I had a life back.

Fast Forward.

Fast forward the last two years, and in a very struggling Ann Arbor Area market I had to hire four more buyer agents. I am currently interviewing for two more buyer agents. Growing a TEAM is a step-by-step process, I had no plan to do it, no goal to do it but it became necessary to handle the leads.

Last Friday, I taught at a seminar (on blogging) at the Keller Williams office in Ann Arbor, we had lots of agents from outside companies come and someone asked me, “How do you have time to blog with all the other things you have to do in Real Estate?”

My answer was blogging IS my job. I love what I do, I love to make it rain. I’m not an expert in growing a team, it just happened. It was important to me to not only grow wide, but grow deep. We grow deep by maintaining the relationships with past clients and continuing to serve them after the transaction. We get our lives back when we admit we can’t do it all and we hire people to help us.

The Shift

My stats in past years were approximately 82% past clients, 18%  buyers or sellers from the internet. That has shifted dramatically over the last few years with this year the stat’s being currently 45% new internet buyers and sellers and 55% past clients or people referred to us from our sphere of influence.

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We have had to adjust as more people in my market are not moving up to bigger and better homes with the economy as it is in Michigan. So we had to reach out and find those buyers moving into our community.

Sometimes our plans change, we do things we didn’t think we would ever do. We market differently, we grow, we change, we shift. We find a way to make life work both personally and professionally.

And that is a slice of my life.

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Written By

Written by Missy Caulk, Associate Broker at Keller Williams Ann Arbor. Missy is the author of Ann Arbor Real Estate Talk and Blog Ann Arbor, and is also the Director for the Ann Arbor Area Board of Realtors and Member of MLS and Grievance Committee's.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Holli Boyd

    October 27, 2008 at 11:12 am

    Missy great article. I am in a similar position – added an assistant and have 2 buyer’s agents coming on board. Never thought I would have a team but times are a changin. I am also with KW and teach a blogging class. I have other agents from other offices who have expressed interest in coming to the class. How do you get them to come without the fear of being recruited? Do you do it in a neutral location?

  2. Missy Caulk

    October 27, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Holli, my team leader sent an announcement out to all the agents. No we did it here in the office, it was a great turnout. Even some people who heard on Twitter came. I think people were curious about blogging, because of my SERP’s.

  3. Paula Henry

    October 27, 2008 at 12:01 pm

    Missy – You are an inspiration to me. I follow your guidance and see the growth, only I am going a bit slower and on a smaller scale. It is all coming together; like you, I like to make it rain. I actually never thought of that as my job. I recently hired someone to upload all my listings online and what a time saver. Thanks for sharing a slice of your life, both here on AG and personally.

  4. Teresa Boardman

    October 27, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    LOL I have been asked the same question for three years . . where do you find the time and I give the same answer. blogging is my job or sometimes i say my blog is my business and my business is my blog. I have felt the same shift. all but one of my sellers came from the internet this year and all of my buyers.

  5. Missy Caulk

    October 27, 2008 at 2:44 pm

    Paula, ahhhh thanks.

    Teresa, you could have heard a pin drop. I guess they were thinking IF they wanted blogging to be there job.

  6. monika

    October 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Missy..Isn’t nice to see the fruit of your labor? Better yet when your “labor” is something you love to do..like blogging and working with people you enjoy. I’m so happy for you!

  7. Bee | Writing Articles

    October 28, 2008 at 1:50 am

    Blogging is an integral part of branding yourself when it is done correctly. It is a great way for potential clients and customers to see you in a way a typical web-site cannot show. It allows you to share your expertise while allowing your target market to interact with you through commenting on your blog.

    When your blog has become an authority site in your niche, you have really made a name for yourself.

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