Gateway’s Year in Review…now on to 2010!

As the Leadership Team at Gateway reflects on the year that was 2009 and to see where we need to go to achieve our goals for 2010, we thought we would share our accomplishments and significant events that shaped 2009 for us as well as let you know what we want to accomplish in 2010.  We also want to share with you, RE/MAX’s Vision of 2010 and show you how we are aligned with their goals which is pretty exciting in my opinion!

RE/MAX Vision:

The number one goal is – Increase market share and associate production through recruiting, retention and franchise sales.  We have on our plate for 2010 to open at least one new office – Brambleton in July.  Additionally, we are looking to expand our operations to take advantage of the extended downturn in the real estate market and grow strategically through partnerships with area industry leaders.  Additionally, Gateway has increased agent count and productivity over the last year which is a testament to your hard work and efforts. 

The number 2 goal is – Overwhelm the competition with strategic Regional advertising to maximize Brand exposure.    We have seen the growth of Social Media and have embraced this form of marketing to communicate our vision to the public as well as our agents.  Additionally, our extensive email marketing campaign has been extremely successful through constant contact.  And lastly, our post card campaigns highlighting the affiliation of new agents has increased our market presence.  We believe our marketing efforts are second to none in the industry…we are always out there! 

The number 3 goal is – To aggressively pursue and complete the fold-in, merger or conversion of quality independent franchises into our existing RE/MAX brokerages.  As you know, our recent acquisition of Signature Real Estate in Culpeper may possibly lead to additional acquisitions in that region for Gateway.  Through contacts with Signature Real Estate, we have the inside track on the merger with 2 small boutique operations in Culpeper that we plan on diligently pursuing.  We are also looking at other opportunities and are happy to discuss any that you are aware of and want to be a part of going forward.

Under the Regional Office Priorities:

Recruit top 25% in each MLS.  Through the use of our subscription of Broker Metrix, we have determined who our target list of prospects is for our offices.  We have had strategic discussions with several agents in the areas near our offices and we are looking to enlist the support of our agents to help acquire these agents and others they are aware familiar with to affiliate with Gateway.  Our plans are to communicate with these agents through our “Get to Know Gateway” events, our Real Estate Exchanges, Social Media outreach and constant contact email campaigns detailing our educational programs, our competitive compensation schedule, RE/MAX initiatives and upcoming Gateway events.  By utilizing this continuous and persistent recruiting plan approach, we are confident we can capture the market share RE/MAX is hoping to attain.  Additionally, the benefit to you is that you get to work with the best and most respected agents in the business who want to help you succeed.

Facilitate networking and retention programs for existing agents.  Through the use of our emails, blog posts, our weekly Friday trainings, monthly Real Estate Exchanges (March of 2010 marks our 5 year anniversary of these events), quarterly meetings with nationally recognized speakers (Paul Muolo is slated for March’s meeting and Amy Crews Cutts, deputy Chief Economist for Freddie Mac is slated for June’s meeting, Stephen Fuller – his office’s 4th consecutive year – is on our September schedule and we are working on our year end meeting speaker.  This past year we had Doug Duncan, Stephen Fuller and Dave Stephens – under secretary of FHA) along with our awards party, agent appreciation events and annual Christmas party, we believe we have been able to retain our great agents such as yourselves as well as recruit several other top producing agents to our offices through this level of communication.  We want you to feel appreciated for being part of our team and we look forward to you continued participation at these and other events we host for you.

Partner with Broker/Owners to analyze and identify profitability models.  We have conducted thorough and extensive research of the market through an independent marketing firm – Verasolve – to determine the offerings of our competition and to place Gateway at the forefront of our marketplace in terms of education, trainings, and competitive compensation models that lead to profitability.  Through in depth discussions with Gateway’s leadership team, we have come up with a compensation/profitability/accountability plan that works for us as well as our recruits.  We have presented our model to our agents as well as our recruits and the model has allowed us to attract top talent from our competitors.  Also, by providing feedback opportunities to our agents, we have shown our transparency to our agents which has allowed us to maintain higher retention rates.  We are always open to receiving your thoughts on how we can serve you better as our valued agents.

And lastly, Award Franchises.  We couldn’t agree more – we are looking to grow, help us achieve this goal!

Under Brokerage Priorities:

Continue to reduce overhead/increase revenue streams.  As you know, we have closed the Great Falls office and we still have achieved a net gain of 14 agents this year at Gateway.  In addition, we have relocated our Gainesville office to a more visible location in our building with a better floor plan.  Additionally, we have incorporated training centers into both of our Chantilly and Gainesville locations.  We plan on doing the same in Brambleton as well as our future office locations.

Recruit the top 25% producers in your MLS.  Through the use of Broker Metrix, we have determined our ‘Hot List” of prospects that we want to join Gateway.  As such, we have just recently recruited several top producing agents which is great exposure for both Gateway and RE/MAX alike.

Optimize the use of the RE/MAX system in your office.  We have been incorporating the emails from the region into our regular communication with our agents and have utilized recent RE/MAX events such as Demand Success Today to educate our agents on RE/MAX offerings as well as a recruiting tool.  If you are unfamiliar with what RE/MAX has to offer, please attend our next New Agent Orientation to learn more.

Generate a high level of PR in your local community.  Through my recent election to the Board of Directors of NVAR, we have been introduced to Ann Gutkin, the head of Public Relations for our association.  She has connected us with several newspapers who request articles to be written for their respective papers.  Our quick responses to her requests as well as the newspapers have given our agents the ability to get published as experts in real estate.  In addition to this, we have established relationships with newspapers through our charitable contributions – most recently – Breakfast with Santa for our Toys for Tots campaign.  In conjunction with these efforts we get press releases published on a regular basis in business publications such as The Washington Business Journal.  Additionally, we are heavily involved with the Top 5 in Real Estate network and have achieved great PR success with RISMedia as a result of our affiliation.  In addition to this, we have a Director of Social Media which enables us to get maximum exposure, consistently out to the public as well as agents through Social Media outlets such as Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter.  Lastly, our leadership team is also deeply involved in our local associations which results in great exposure to the real estate community.  Brett, Jason and Kate are involved committees.  Additionally, for 2010, Kate is the Chair of the Convention committee as well as Vice Chair of the Education committee – outstanding exposure for Gateway.   Help us, help you get more publicity for you and aid in growing you as an expert in real estate!

And Persistence…our continuous emails, communication and our business plan (which is attached)are evidence of this desire!

Franchise Growth Strategy:

Expansion Franchises:

Existing locations must be in full compliance.  Just so you know, in short, we pay and pay on time consistently and comply with all RE/MAX requests promptly.  We have exceeded our quotas in each of our locations and we attend RE/MAX events locally, nationally, and internationally on a continuous basis.

Under Final Details:

Recruiting Business Plans.   We will be happy to provide you with our recruiting plan of action we have in place if required.  Many aspects have already been discussed in this email as well as the business plan but we can provide you with the specific plan for your review if requested.  We are looking to grow and thrive in any market and would love your input on who can help us be the best.

Quota adjustments – none needed – we are compliant and far exceed the requirements outlined in our franchise agreements.

Business Continuity Planning – provided over a month ago per your request to be compliant with RE/MAX.

Statistics Reporting provided monthly through Lone Wolf with our monthly bill payment to remain compliant with RE/MAX.

Membership Profiles provided as agents affiliate with our office.  Each agent in MRIS and at DPOR with Gateway is also in the RE/MAX system to be compliant with RE/MAX.  Also, all agents are agents – not listed as licensed assistants to be compliant with RE/MAX rules and regulations.

Children’s Miracle Network was at our year end meeting and we have signed up in hopes of becoming a Miracle Office.  We are also extremely involved in other charities and can provide a specific list of continuous involvement with these charities upon your request.  Life with Cancer, Susan G. Komen, Toys for Tots, Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, and many others are on our list.

In addition to the items listed, we plan to embrace the New Events for 2010 proposed by RE/MAX and look forward to participating in these events.  Most notably, the Swing for Success, Broker/Owner Boot Camp, Broker/Owner Retreat 2010 (we have relationships with exceptional speakers that are reasonably priced if you need suggestions), New Agent Orientations (we have one for our agents if you would like to review or implement items from our presentation) and all the others listed in the email.

As you can tell, we are passionate about our franchise as well as the expansion of Gateway and believe that we have presented a compelling case for us to be noted as one of the best franchises in the RE/MAX organization.  Our commitment to our agents, Central Atlantic Region and the RE/MAX brand as a whole is evidenced by our desire to build the best franchise in the network.  We have put together a strong group of agents who are dedicated to each other’s success.  We will continue to grow, evolve as a franchise, and tackle the challenges of the real estate market head on!  We will not remain complacent – this is our commitment to you, our Gateway Agents. 

Below is a brief list of our accomplishments in 2009 and a look ahead into 2010!

Here were just a few of our Charitable contributions this year…

Golf tournament raised $6,400 for YouthQuest Foundation

We fielded a team for the 5th straight year and walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Nearly $2,000 was collected for Life with Cancer

273 toys were collected at our Breakfast with Santa for Toys for Tots – 5 years running!


New Path to Excellence Seminar Series started…

Leadership Seminar

Team Summit

2nd annual Successful Business Planning Retreat


Our Distinguished Speaker series blossomed…

Doug Duncan – Chief Economist for Fannie Mae

Steve Fuller, PHD  – Head of GMU Center for Regional Analysis

Dave Stevens – Under Secretary of FHA

America’s Home Rescue, Michael & Stacey Spickes

In addition to these events we experienced…

16 net new agents

Closed our Great Falls location in a cost savings measure…needed to tighten the belt in 2009

Moved Gainesville to more prominent location on first floor

Incorporated training rooms in all offices as trainings became better attended

Received approval for Brambleton office from RE/MAX – office due to open in July of 2010

Scott was elected to the NVAR Board of Directors

Hired a Director of Social Media

Incorporated Social Media in all aspects of the office: Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for all offices

Group designations CDPE and CDRS both for short sales and both were excellent in their own ways!


As far as the calendar of events for 2010 – here you go!

February 11th Get to know Gateway – Logan’s Fair Lakes

March 12th Paul Muolo: Quarterly Company meeting (not confirmed)

March 19th Golf Tournament

April 21st Gateway Awards Night

May 12th Team Summit

June 5th Race for the Cure

June 16th Get to know Gateway – Gueseppi’s in Haymarket

June 18th Quarterly meeting with Amy Crews Cutts

July 17th Company Picnic – Scott’s court

August 4th Leadership Seminar

September 17th Quarterly Meeting

September 22nd Get to know Gateway – TBD Brambleton

October date TBD Flu Clinic

October 22-24th Business Planning Retreat – potentially Kingsmill Resort

November Food Bank Collection due date November 19th

December 3rd Year End Meeting

December 4th Breakfast with Santa for Toys for Tots

December 9th Gateway Christmas Party

As well as all of our other regularly scheduled trainings and Real Estate Exchanges – keep an eye open for your monthly calendar!  You are guaranteed to experience more at RE/MAX Gateway!

Now, go sell something!