By: Tori Rosenblum
At HomeSmart, when we talk to prospective agents or franchise owners, we’re met with questions like: How is that possible? What’s the catch? We get a lot of resistance because people don’t understand how we can do what we do and provide such great value at such a low cost.
So, we want to share some stories from agents who’ve made the smart move and as a result, have taken their saved commissions and reinvested them in order to grow their business and enrich their lives.
Cherie Malkoff, a HomeSmart Realty Group agent from Central Phoenix, has been an agent for seven years and decided to make the switch after learning of HomeSmart from previous co-workers.
Read the following Q & A about the positive impact switching to HomeSmart’s 100 percent model made on her and her children’s lives.
Q: How did you hear about HomeSmart?
A: I had heard about HomeSmart from other agents, but had been warned by the broker and some agents from my previous office who said, “You don’t want to go there if you’re a new agent. You’re not going to get the training that you need and you really need to be experienced, because they don’t offer much.” I actually took that advice for quite some time, but then, as I worked in the other brokerage and was giving up a lot of my commission, I really had HomeSmart in the back of my mind.
I had a partner at the time, so my partner and I came over to HomeSmart together once we finally agreed that that was the smart business move for us. So we made the move over to HomeSmart a little over three years ago and it’s been the best move for my business that I could’ve made! Not just because of the commission, but the brokers, the support, the camaraderie, the technology -- everything has been way better than what I had before. And I was warned before not to leave what I had, so I’m glad I had the courage to go out and make a change. I’ve been very happy.
Q: Why did you switch to HomeSmart?
A: It was definitely financial. The amount of money that I was spending previously on the commission splits, the monthly fees, the marketing -- all of my business expenses were higher at the previous brokerage that I was with. So for me, it was more money in my pocket, but it was leaving what I was comfortable with. In the end it was definitely worth it.
Q: Where did your commission go?
A: My goal when I started in real estate was to be able to allow my kids, who were approaching college-age, to not be restricted to just going to in-state schools or wherever they got scholarships, but to let them go where they wanted and where they got in.
My older son, Tanner (24), graduated from Santa Clara. He had a 50 percent scholarship there, but it’s a private school up in Northern California so it was very expensive. He’s an electrical engineering major so for him to be in school in Silicon Valley, I know it was very important for him and his education, but also to be where he is today. He got a phenomenal job up there. [My saved commission] helped him to get to that point.
My middle son, Cole (21), is still in school at UCLA. He graduated highschool with a 4.3 GPA, but UCLA doesn’t offer scholarships for that. He’s on the pre-med track, so UCLA was a great location for him to get his education and be the best doctor or medical researcher he could be. My commission is a huge benefit to him being there. We could not have sent him to UCLA without my commission.
And then my youngest child, my daughter Ali (18), just started college at The University of Arizona so it’s great to have one in-state. And she’s in a great place as she just decided to be a physiology major.
Q: What makes you successful in real estate?
A: For me, it’s my sphere of influence. It’s the people I know, my friends and family and then the referrals I get from my friends and family. It’s networking within my community and getting involved in different community groups that maybe aren’t real estate based. For example, I’m in the Moon Valley Women’s Club, I was always in the Brophy Mother’s Guild and the Xavier Mother’s Guild. My previous career was being a teacher in the community in which I do most of my real estate now, so it’s having all the different circles of connections and people knowing what I do. There are obviously a ton of real estate agents, but to have somebody who knows you and trusts you, whether they have used you or not, to recommend you -- I think that does alot for your business and the growth of your business.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about HomeSmart?
A: Originally it was the commission -- that’s what brought me over. But I would say, what makes me the happiest now is that I love our brokers and the rapport with our brokers. Trudy Moore is phenomenal. Also, the agent panel -- having access to the agent panel and being able to track everything so easily right there. I can’t narrow it down to one! It’s the commission, brokers and technology.eed to run your business-- it’s all taken care of.