Rogers Healy, CEO at Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate join Propy’s CRO, Joe Budelli and Gwyneth Iredale, the head of Propy’s customer success team in this week’s webinar.
Rogers Healy, CEO at Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate join Propy’s CRO, Joe Budelli and Gwyneth Iredale, the head of Propy’s customer success team to discuss how to put the safety of agents first when returning to the office. Also discussed are leadership tips for helping agents cope with a hot market, and the long-term outlook on the Texas real estate market.
Healy has been in real estate for 40 years, having started in the business in college. He opened his DFW based company, Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate in 2006 with the mission of wanting to change the way real estate was sold. That mission has grown and now he wants to change the way real estate people operate. At Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate, they lead with kindness, humility and love, and they work hard. His success has been a combination of grit and faith.
Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate is the largest independent brokerage in Texas, and 15th largest in the United States. The Fort Worth magazine ranks them as one of the 100 fastest growing companies in the DFW area. Dallas Business Journal and Dallas Morning News have voted Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate the best place to work for 10 years in a row.
A passion for putting agents’ safety first
On March 11, 2020, Healy took the bold position to shut the office down, and sent the staff home with their computers. Keeping his people safe was his top priority, but it goes even deeper for him, as his wife is severely immune compromised.
He continues by saying that as a business owner, there isn’t insurance coverage for something like a pandemic. He decided that he would do whatever he could to help his agents be protective of one another. At the end of the day, his responsibility as the CEO of a business is to mitigate risk.
Taking the approach to put safety first cost his business revenue, but while real estate is a valuable business, Healy doesn’t feel it is essential. He states that people always come first, not paychecks.
Preparing the office for return to work
Healy explains that pre-COVID, the office space was crowded, and while there were opportunities for collaboration, there were also a lot of distractions.
Healy states that he collaborated with Vari, a Dallas based company (formerly called Varidesk) about how to retrofit the office space from an open floor plan to cubicles within the open floor plan. They took all the touch points in the office (ice machine, coffee maker, etc.) and removed them. All desk space is 6 feet apart with plexiglass that goes from floor to ceiling between each desk. As part of their intentional reopening, desk space can be reserved for up to two hours at a time with a desk reservation system called Skeddy.
Masks are mandatory in common areas, and before anyone comes into the office, they have to sign a waiver. This is another way that Healy mitigates risk. When people are in the office, they are focused on work, and they feel safe because of the systems he has put in place for their protection and safety.
All of his decisions on how to create a safe work environment for his team has cost money, but he has actually quadrupled his staff since June, and has tripled their office space since October. While most companies are looking to sublease, Rogers Healy and Associates is expanding.
The impact of COVID on the social aspects of real estate
Healy believes that real estate agents need to learn to network with intentionality. To be successful, agents need to be comfortable with self-promotion, and be able to introduce themselves to a stranger in a coffee shop. If an agent is not able to do this, they won’t win a deal.
COVID has provided different perspectives on how to network. Healy states that agents have to figure out how to do things differently. If you can’t network in person, then you have to do it online, pick up the phone, or connect on social media. You have to go back to basics and have genuine conversations with people.
Feedback from his agents
Healy states that they have a very comfortable office environment, and welcome feedback and constructive criticism from the agents. His team knows that he cares about them, and they also know he wants to make as much money as possible. When the hard decisions are made, such as closing the office, he believes the right people will stay when they know that you care about them.
The people leading their online trainings are stepping into leadership roles and presenting information based on their success on the topic, and agents appreciate having more “meat and potatoes” training instead of pep rallies.
Leadership advice for agents
As a realtor, an agent wears a lot of hats, and the reality is anyone can open the door to a house and point out the features. As the saying goes, people don’t remember what you said, they remember how you made them feel. Now more than ever, it’s critical that agents be empathetic with their clients and prospects. Managing expectations is crucial in this hot market, but agents have to be genuine with their communications. Over-communicating with more sincerity will create a lasting career for agents.
Healy shares that,
“Real estate agents are like therapists, and we have to be able to listen to our clients and handle the times they use us as a punching bag.”
Helping agents cope with the pressure of bidding wars
Healy explains that training and education are the keys to success during any transaction, but especially during bidding wars. He prides his brokerage on having an impeccable training program, and knows they’ve taken every opportunity possible to train their agents to cope with the challenges and pressures of the industry.
The agents who are prepared, educated, and proactive are going to maintain relationships and win the deals. He believes that education breeds confidence, and states,
“When you are confident as a salesperson, you’re lethal. We want them to go out there and use those weapons every single day.”
Agent motivation as they come back to the office
Healy explains that some agents need the stimulation of being around other agents to stay motivated, but in the long run, those people won’t succeed in this industry. He states that when he was a full-time realtor, he was in the business of making money. If he saw someone selling a $10 million property, he was going to sell an $11 million house. The agents who are self-motivated and don’t need a push to get out of bed in the morning are the agents who will rise to the top.
“Iron sharpens iron,” Healy states, “and right now people need to go seek out iron.”
Expectations for the Texas market and Rogers Healy and Associates Real Estate
Healy explains that Texas is a big state, but not that many people live there. He likens Texas to a modern-day Sim City, and says it is exciting to see the growth that is happening. The beauty of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex is they have the infrastructure to expand, where cities like Atlanta, Houston, LA, or Austin don’t, which results in terrible traffic. That’s not an issue in Dallas.
For his own company, his mission will remain the same as it has been since the first day he opened: Work hard, be different, and love everybody. He said the result of his approach of being the tortoise versus the hare, and keeping his head down and focused on work are the awards and recognition his company is getting now. With their different approach to selling real estate, they have become magnets for other people who also want to change the world.
He encourages people in real estate to stay the course. Don’t let facts like there’s twice as many realtors as listings right now get in your way. Healy states that,
“People like me make money off people that quit.”