They said it couldn’t be done.  They were wrong.

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 The Perfect Storm

What do you get when you combine a team of techno-geeks, with a hand-picked team of top national real estate gurus?  Okay, I’ll get there…but first, let me set the stage.

This all started with the techies.  These aren’t just your basic, every day, run-of-the-mill geeks.  These are the high tech all stars who built a world-wide technology company that was so successful it was awarded Microsoft’s Global Partner of the Year…right before Microsoft bought them out.  They could have bought their own private island.  But instead they decided to buy a real estate company…and break all the rules. 

What they found was a company with 500 offices throughout North American, that had been doing it the old fashioned way since 1925.  That company, called United Country Real Estate, was successful by any measure, but had two huge opportunities.

First, they had no technology.  The techno-geeks loved that!  ‘Cause, you know, technology was kinda their thing.

The second opportunity was that United Country had very few offices in large metro areas.  In fact, their business model had been to avoid big cities.  So when they eventually rolled out stores in major metro areas (and they knew they would) they would not be shackled to a legacy of overhead, bureaucracy, and stagnant thinking.  Instead, the technology team could develop systems that match the way the world, and especially the highly successful agent, works today.

It was a chance to take the real estate industry by storm.  Some might even say, The Perfect Storm.  (See…I told you I’d get there)

The Perfect Opportunity

This is Dan Duffy, the head of the
techno-geek team. Okay, I’ll admit
it… I searched a while to find a
picture that made him look this
geeky. But rest assured, it’s a fair
portrayal. Dan is the CEO of
United Real Estate. He’s also a
pretty darned savvy business man.
Dan was named to Inman’s Most
Influential Real Estate Leaders
in 2009, and to Swanepoel’s Most
Powerful Real Estate Leaders in
2014. This guy’s got the goods.

I know you’re probably not as geeky as these guys, but imagine for minute that you were in their shoes (probably Birkenstock sandals…with socks).   You have 500 functional, working offices — and those offices are mostly technological virgins.  And your team is one of the world’s best at rolling out integrated tech solutions down large, national and international pipelines.  You can build and tweak and test in real time, with a real world group of successful real estate offices.

And once you have the technological backbone in place you have nearly all of the country’s metro areas available, where 80% of Americans live and buy and sell homes, a vast, wide open, clean slate … with no rules, no bureaucracy, no burdensome legacy.

It was a techie-business-geek’s dream.

The tech guys knew they had an amazing opportunity to change the way real estate works.  But to do that, they needed some real estate industry horsepower.  So they did what any good entrepreneurial tech firm does. They raided some of the top firms in the industry.  Companies like Realogy (owner of Sotheby’s, Coldwell Banker, and a half dozen more top brands), and RE/Max.  They hand-picked the forward-thinkers, and poached the top executives with the ability to see their vision.

The combined team decided to name the metro-market version of the company United Real Estate. This wasn’t going to be like those other companies.   This was going to be a game changer.

The Perfect Fit

The geeks and the real estate execs got to work, forging their mutual vision into a business plan.

Any good businessperson knows that when it comes to technology, the size of the buyer pool determines the price.  More buyers of the product means more sales to spread that initial cost over.  The same is true for real estate offices.   An office with just a few agents has to amortize the cost of the office and the broker over just those few agents.  This is how real estate was done for decades.  In fact, for centuries.

Franchise fees have become just as bloated as broker fees.  In fact, most of the legacy-based national franchise systems have huge fees in both areas, leaving the agent footing the bill.  The result is the old-school thinking of rather abusive broker splits.

This is Peter Giese, the President of
United Real Estate. He’s the leader
of the real estate guru team that was
largely poached from competitors.
But don’t let that corporate
red-tie-white-shirt portrait fool you
–this guy gets it. Peter drives the
company’s agent-centric model,
which is something he just couldn’t
do when he was with the other guys.

The world has gone mobile.  And the typical real estate agent is more mobile than most, just as happy to work from their home office, or from their favorite coffee bar, as they are to drop in to their broker’s office.  So why the emphasis on the office?  Instead, what the agent needs and relies upon is technology, support, training and marketing.   You can see how the United Real Estate team saw a fit.

The United Real Estate vision is simple.  Keep costs contained.  Spread those costs over as many agents as possible.  Provide the agents with the tools they really need to succeed. And build those tools with the economy of scale of a national real estate franchise, so the costs are not prohibitive to broker or to agent.

This allows United Real Estate to utilize a 100% commission model for its agents.  No splits.  None.  Oh, and no franchise fees either.   Instead, agents pay a low monthly fee and a low transaction fee when they have a closing.

Of course, the 100% model has been bounced around with varying degrees of success by various regional companies.  But they all lack the financial heft to build the complete technological and marketing systems of a major franchisor.   So until now, the agent had to choose—did they want a top quality broker experience at the expense of punitive broker splits, or did they want a 100% commission plan at the expense of any meaningful brokerage systems?   With United Real Estate, you don’t have to choose.

It’s simple.  Get more.  Pay less.

Just like the old legacy brands, United Real Estate provides full offices when you need them, with a live broker, and with outstanding technology and support for every aspect of building your successful real estate career.  Beyond most of the other major brands, United owns its own exclusive real estate marketing company which provides world-class collateral materials, including internet and social media based systems for your listings, and even for branding yourself.  And United provides not only leads, but also the complete system for incubating, landing, and closing those leads.  We have the systems, technology and support to help you land more listings and make more sales than even the old-guard companies.  We just do it on a 100% commission plan.

They said it couldn’t be done.  But United Real Estate did it.