True to the title of the book, Swick has worked the seemingly impossible, not only surviving but thriving in a rust belt area that was one of the hardest hit real estate markets in Ohio during the recent economic downturn. As recently as the Spring of 2013, when the national foreclosure rate had dropped 23 percent from the same time during the previous year, Ohio saw a 73 percent increase in scheduled foreclosure actions compared to a year earlier, recording a 68 month high. Swick says that within the state, Dayton has been among the top five cities for foreclosures over the past several years.
Despite these trends, Swick and her team of RE/MAX professionals (dba Denise Swick & Company (http://www.daytonrealestateonline.com/
So how did Swick crack the code? By looking at the future of real estate and realizing the only way to get to the next level is by surrendering the “one woman show” mentality that had driven her success over the previous two decades and embracing the power of the team concept. A perfectionist by nature with very high standards for those she surrounds herself with, she’s fond of saying, “our mediocrity is everyone else’s excellence.”
Ultimately, however, she began building a successful team by sticking to a few key concepts. The most important aspect was hiring the right people who share her same core values and work ethic, and creating a whole culture around that. There has been occasional turnover of people she came to realize were there only to make money and who didn’t make serving clients their #1 priority.
“The agents I work with have fun and work hard,” Swick says. “We’re all driven to succeed but when we take time off, we like to enjoy each other’s company as well. Honesty and integrity are the foundation of everything.”
Swick, a native of Columbus, believes that the team concept benefits both the buyers and sellers in multiple ways. Under the old model, one agent tries to do everything: prospecting, marketing, bookkeeping, providing ongoing personalized service to clients, lead follow-ups, negotiating, showing and listing property, etc. “But there’s that level of production,”
For Swick, having a full team is a logical extension from the days when she did most of the tasks herself but also worked with a listing manager and contract manager, who helped facilitate customer service and closing sales. Building that team helps professionalize the industry while providing more business for individual agents because of stronger lead generation systems and comprehensive training to provide professional service. The inside sales department takes care of making outgoing and incoming calls and takes care of the prospective buyers and sellers that come to the company, operating like a company inside a company. Other team members are buyer specialists, listing specialists, and executive assistants/customer service reps, and Chief Operating Officer.
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