How to ensure you start or join a team for the right reasons, with the right structure
by Chris Raveis
In his book The Outliers, author Malcolm Gladwell notes that it requires at least 10,000 hours of focused work for one person to achieve expertise in a certain area. That makes me reflect on how we built this company because expertise is at the heart of what we do. This journey began with my dad, Bill Raveis, who spent every day in the field. And now my brother Ryan and I, the co-presidents of WRRE, have spent tens of thousands of hours in the field, in the branches, to continue this legacy of proactive engagement. Together, we have built this company to where it is today: a $16 billion, family-owned brokerage with 134 offices in eight states.
I believe time in the field is the number one most important factor for a successful brokerage, from the top down. That’s how you build culture and establish relationships. After COVID, it’s especially important for us to find ways to be together, talking with our agents, our managers, and our staff, gathering perspectives, experiences, and data.
That data includes new market trends, consumer needs, agent goals, and competitive threats. That’s how we build expertise. We apply the same deep focus to our technology platforms, marketing efforts, and mortgage and insurance businesses.
Expertise is built from practical learnings, not theory. That practice has helped instill our culture with values across our entire management team and our sales managers. It’s the opposite of a corporate approach: our management team is proactive at the ground level. We don’t have to report to a board of directors or any other activities that divert our attention from being in the field. We have a relentless pursuit and ambitious goals to help each and every one of our agents grows to their potential.
All that being said, agents who come to William Raveis Real Estate get to capitalize on our expertise that has been passed down to managers through a proactive training approach. Those 10,000 hours have been put in on each agent’s behalf, so they can build on what we’ve already finely honed as a business.
Here are some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way:
1. Build a culture from all different angles. We’re a family-owned company that is unequivocally focused on our agents as our customers. We pride ourselves on our care and compassion, and we show that with the time spent side by side with our agents, helping them build their businesses and giving them the technology and tools to succeed.
2. React quickly to market trends and competitive factors. Because we are independent, we can nimbly pivot to react. That 10,000+ hours in the field means we spot trends and implement responses to any threats that might affect business. Quick reaction time. That prevents any loss of momentum in a company that focuses on tremendous growth year after year.
3. Become an expert on how successful agents think and operate. It’s not a one-size-fits-all model. We deliberately accumulate real, practical data that enables our organization to effectively help agents grow, from top down.
As a family brand, we show care and compassion in life and in business. And we’re always learning from our time in the field. That informs new tactics, technology, and training programs. We’re not focused on shareholder interest: we’re focused on our agents.