If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that 2020 was unpredictable in just about every way imaginable. But as people rapidly altered how they lived, worked and survived, there was one thing that stayed noticeably the same: the stuck-in-time residential real estate market.
For years, the “way of doing things” in residential real estate has remained stagnant, even as technological advances and changing consumer wants and needs threaten realtors into irrelevance with increasing urgency.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. To survive in the real estate market of 2021 and beyond a new, proactive and disruptive approach to differentiating yourself is necessary.
This realization was what drove us to take a leap out on our own and start Flex Realty a few years ago. At the time, all of us were working together at a local Keller Williams office in Burlington, Vermont. Collectively, we saw that the industry was getting increasingly saturated, and adhering to the status quo was not going to be enough to stand out in a sea of realtors amidst the tide of technological advances barreling toward real estate as we knew it.
If we wanted any chance at success, something had to be done. We kept returning to an idea that some saw as radical, but to us, was clear cut: a full service product that could be offered at lower rates. A fundamental belief that sellers should not have to choose between paying too much for status quo agents or low cost, low service firms.
We were convinced it was possible that agents could differentiate themselves and vastly increase their listings by providing excellent service in a way that was both affordable and enticing to potential customers.
To us, this was the only way forward. And while it ruffled some feathers among our fellow agents, the discontent only encouraged us to double-down on our conviction that this new approach was the key to success.
Doubling down led us to branch out, founding Flex Realty around our core belief of a full service for less model. It also led us to developing our signature variable rate commission structure, a three-tier design that is just one of many tools enabling our agents to offer exceptional quality service in a manner that is accessible to a greater number of potential customers.
And with the flick of a switch, we began seeing results that confirmed what we already knew: the market was ready for something different.
Despite being a new player in a market filled with established national realty brands, we quickly found success. Sellers in Burlington found the full service for less model appealing and were reaching out to us with increasing frequency. By the end of our first year in business, Flex Realty was ranked as the #1 realty team in the state of Vermont.
Flash forward to today, and the days of cold calling potential sellers - even in a low inventory market - are history. Nowadays, our phones are ringing constantly. If we had to hedge our bets (and we would), we’d say that they’re ringing more per month now than they did in the previous 10 years combined prior to founding Flex.
The full service for less approach has enabled our team to work smarter, not harder. Though our model offers lower rates to clients, the volume of transactions we are able to complete has enabled us to flourish. There’s rarely a listing appointment that fails to convert into a done deal. We’ve closed 350 deals, compared to the 120 closed during our last collective year at Keller Williams, and have had a peak listing inventory of 89, more than tripling our peak of 27 while at Keller.
The higher volume of listing inventory has proven fruitful in several ways, particularly in that we no longer spend time and thousands of dollars chasing down buyers and have drastically reduced our reliance on paid buyer leads from platforms like Zillow or Trulia. Because of the size and scope of our listing inventory, we’re consistently generating a greater number of free buyer leads, putting more time (and money) back in our pockets.
The Flex model puts success back into the hands of the realtor, allowing individuals to take the reins and set themselves apart from the oversaturated status quo. And we passionately, without any shadow of a doubt, believe that the results we’ve seen in Vermont can be recreated in any other real estate market.
The industry is evolving, and realtors must adapt in order to survive. If you’re an agent looking to start your own business or bring life to your independent real estate brand, there is no better time than right now. Flex is offering the opportunity to gain instant differentiation through our brand licensing opportunity, a comprehensive brand-in-a-box offering that gives individuals exclusive rights to use the Flex Realty brand assets in their own geographic market, access ready-made, results-generating advertising campaigns, and learn how to sell with the Flex Plan variable rate structure, all while maintaining autonomy to run your business as you wish.
There’s no upfront fees, no franchise agreement and no man-behind-the curtain shadiness. There’s just results.
Interested in learning more? We’d love to talk – schedule a consultation with us today.