As Weichert® Affiliate Steve Wilke stands out in front of the construction site where he will build the new 5,000 square foot home of Weichert, Realtors® – Triumph Group, he can’t help but reflect on how far his brokerage has come in such a short time.
“I’ve been a broker since 2002, but my most significant growth has happened only since 2016. That was the year I became a Weichert broker. Prior to that we didn’t even have an office; my agents and I worked out of our homes.”
While Steve may seem like an overnight success story, his real estate career actually began when he was just a boy knocking around Dublin, Ohio.
“I used to cut grass for a guy whose son was a big real estate success locally. He drove a fancy car and he always wore a suit and gave off an aura of success. I kind of liked that. When I started as an agent, he’s who I went to work for.”
Dublin, Ohio is really a Columbus suburb, so relocation into this major city and surrounding areas is a big business driver. When Weichert found Steve in 2016, he was a broker running a team of about 20 agents out of his home, doing a fair amount of relocation work. Like many independent brokers, he was also still the top producer in his agency. “I wasn’t really trying to get listings, but they came to me due to the reputation I’d established over the years. Generally, these listings were from my sphere of influence.”
But in 2012, one of their largest relocation clients left them. JP Morgan Chase, a major banking client with national relocation needs informed Steve that they could only offer Columbus relocation work to brokerages with a national presence. Almost overnight, Steve lost a major source of business and began to consider what being part of a respected national real estate brand would mean for his credibility in the marketplace.
Steve had heard from Weichert in the past, but when they called again in early 2016, Steve was ready to listen. Through prior contacts with Weichert and personal observation, Steve already knew Weichert was the only real estate franchise he would consider affiliating with. In a few short months Steve was ready to sign, but only one small problem remained. Weichert requires affiliates to have an actual office address. So for the first time, Steve rented office space in a local building and moved himself and his team in.
Finding His Way With Weichert
Steve’s agent team welcomed the change to Weichert. The Weichert “Fast Track” training program and its methodology around the automated DOORS listing presentation really sealed the deal. In Steve’s words “As a broker for almost 15 years I thought ‘what are these guys going to teach me that I don’t already know?’, but the bottom line is that you don’t know what you don’t know. I learned a ton.”
In short order, Steve got back the relocation work from Chase. Then he added relocation work for companies like Disney, Pepsico, Lowes, Black & Decker, Dupont, Scotts Lawn, etc., all referrals to his brokerage through Weichert Workforce Mobility, a national source of referrals for Weichert brokers who are operating in relocation markets.
In the almost 2 years Steve has been with Weichert, Steve grew his agent team from 20 to 52 agents following the Weichert strategies for recruitment and training. Steve attributes the growth primarily to the increased credibility that being part of the Weichert brand has brought him. His brokerage is the place to be and attracting and keeping agents has become much easier.
But even more amazing is Steve’s top line growth. In his first year, sales rose a respectable 18%. Then as his team became experts in delivering the Weichert sales methodology, the Weichert Lead Network driving more business opportunities, and the DOORS listing presentation driving even more listings and closings, sales in his second year are up over 500%.
And so, Steve finds himself looking at the grounds that will hold the beautiful new home of Weichert, Realtors® – Triumph Group, an office he is building from scratch. “I could rent, but I’m in this for the long haul. Having my own place from which to run the business is really a dream come true for me.”
For more information on how Weichert helps put brokerages on the path to growth, call our team today at 877-567-3350 or visit our website weichertfranchise.com.