Linda O’Koniewski on what real estate brokerages really need
Today’s HousingWire Daily features a crossover episode with REAL Trending, a podcast that focuses on interviewing the brightest minds in real estate. In this episode, Tracey Velt, managing editor at REAL Trends, a HousingWire sister company, interviews Linda O’Koniewski, CEO of Leading Edge Real Estate in Boston, discussing the lessons she learned after finding out her former franchise pulled the plug, and they had to rebrand overnight. Five years later, the company is on solid footing, regaining some of the agents they lost and introducing new initiatives like the LEAP program, which offers a plug-and-play system for virtual teams and brokers.
Here is a small preview of the interview with Linda O’Koniewski, which has been lightly edited for length and clarity:
Tracey Velt: You’ve got a new program out called LEAP, it stands for Leading Edge Affiliate Partner Program. I thought it was a really interesting concept. There are some companies doing that, but the only thing they’re doing is branding, allowing the teams to be powered by their brand, rather than part of their brand. Before we go into detail about what the program actually is, I wanted to get a little bit of insight from you on the thought process behind the whole thing, and how did it come about, how did you develop it?
Linda O’Koniewski: Just over a year ago, I woke up and went, “Gosh, it’s taken me two decades to get my act together.” It takes 20 years to put all the pieces in place. We started as a six-person company when I became the broker-owner. You don’t have the money to even have a compliance and financial team. You don’t have coaching, you don’t have education, you don’t have a technology platform, you don’t have your services in place, you don’t have a marketing team. You have to build. You have to get big enough, and bring in enough money to create the services to really compete. I thought, “If I had what I have now, 20 years ago, can you imagine where we would be? What we could have grown?” I have seen so many teams, small brokerages…they can’t wait. I know this is for so many people, they go, “I’m going to own my own brokerage.” But they have to keep money on the table, and they have to go sell. They don’t have time to create, and adopt, and implement all these systems. It takes an enormous amount of time, and a lot of mistakes and failure until you start to get it right. I thought, “What if we could give everyone a head start?”
HousingWire Daily examines the most compelling articles reported from the HousingWire newsroom. Each afternoon, we provide our listeners with a deeper look into the stories coming across our newsroom that are helping Move Markets Forward. Hosted by the HW team and produced by Alcynna Lloyd and Victoria Wickham.