In conversation with Jan Repa, Executive Director, Global Development, Re/Max, who spoke about the training sessions given to business associates and franchise owners of the brand.
The team of Re/Max India, the world’s largest real estate brokerage firm, recently conducted a training programme for its business associates and franchise owners to learn and understand all the tools that the company has developed in order to strengthen and expand their ventures. Jan Repa, Executive Director, Global Development, Re/Max elaborates on how such training sessions are making a big difference.
What kind of training are you providing to your business owners (BOs) and broker associates (BAs)?
We have been talking about what it takes to succeed and how to be profitable while running a franchise. We talked about all the steps and tools it takes to succeed in India or anywhere else around the world with the same principles. The principles are the same while recruiting BAs, grooming them to become leaders for the BAs, how to respect them, how to help them move up, how to help them accomplish their dreams and I think these principles work around the world. If you are a leader for your BAs, support them, show them love, and show them that you care. The same goes for the clients in India, China, United States and other countries around the world.
What is your approach to the challenges you find in India?
Sometimes the complaints and challenges of the BOs are different but mostly they are common – like they blame the economy and global crisis. There are some common challenges that our BOs face around the world such as the difficulty in recruiting good BAs and the right application of leadership principles. These are not unique to India but they apply to the world. It’s a global phenomenon and I don’t think India is any different from any other economy. We want us to be leaders, we want to know and understand what the BAs want and if you apply those simple principles, it is a marvel.
What are the opportunities that you have identified here?
Opportunities again are more or less the same. The general public wants to have a nice place to call a home. Then there are BAs who want to work in a respected sphere and so we help them work in a field or industry that gets respect and where they can actually make a good living. Then we have BOs and we help them by giving an opportunity to own a business, become a business owner with a proven model and call it Re/Max franchise. It’s been done 3,000 times around the world and lastly, through all these things we help revolutionize and professionalize the real estate industry which is going to benefit everyone – the brands, the people, the general public, the BAs, the BOs, the regional team, us. We have a model that says ‘everyone wins’.
What sets you apart in offering premium quality real estate franchise?
We are different from the others. We love our brand. We believe it’s one of the best brands in the world because when people see the balloon (Re/Max logo) they know it represents trust and professionalism. Our BAs know what they are doing, we always believe that the more you learn, the more you earn and we focus a lot on training, education and support. There are several events going on around the world and us being here today is a good example that we will be showing them all the required tools and other companies probably don’t even have these tools. We have a global network. BAs in India can sell real estate all over the world. They don’t have to travel, nor speak any specific language; they have additional trained BAs around the world working with them and for them. So, clients in India have property in New York, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Germany, and so on. They have colleagues all over the world who can help them. So we help each other, work for each other and its fun. That’s what makes us different. Other companies cannot do this. We connect with people all over the world and it has been made simple because of these tools that we have developed.
What kind of exposure do you give your franchisees?
We give them a platform to connect with each other. Every BA has a profile with a picture and information so that they can be easily discovered by the client or any other BA. The portal literally connects them around the world and it becomes really super easy for the client to find another BA. We give them an educational platform and we have 2,000 training videos on any topic so that our BAs can sit comfortably in their homes or office and go through topic-related charts and clauses for say, independent vendors or learn how to do business relations, etc.
Apart from the videos, what other strategies do you use or are going to introduce that would attract new BAs?
We are teaching our BOs in India how to be leaders. Regardless of what tools we have and being the best brand with the best network and the best of everything, if the BO is not a leader in the eyes of the BA, all these tools make no sense. If you are not a leader that the BAs can look up to because you cannot help them, support them and do all these things then no one is going to join you.
So Jan, what according to you differentiates a good leader and a bad leader?
We were playing a game and I asked five BOs to come up on the stage and asked them to recruit me as a BA. They all have the same rank as they all have the same brand – Re/Max, same network training, all of it but now ‘why should I join you? I am looking for something more unique. It was interesting exercise because different people were offering me different things. Somebody offered me a great business, somebody offered me a great location, somebody offered me free parking or a language course to join, etc. So we teach them to be creative and offer different things in order to be unique.
Which quality or skill in particular do they need to polish up and become differentiated leaders?
Confidence! Be confident; know how to serve as a professional. Every BA who joins a new BO has three questions in his or her mind – can I trust this BO, is this BO good at what I do and what does this BO care about me? So everyone is looking for love, trust and care and passion. Everyone thinks that I have to promise money; if you are going to join my office, you are going to make a lot of money but I teach them that it shouldn’t be so and instead you can promise them a lot of commission. If you as a BO can help the BAs achieve their dreams then you can succeed. It is not about money, it is not about real estate, it is about being happy. If you have happy BAs, you are going to have happy BOs.