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Evolving a Blooming Business with Murray Carter

With Murray Carter RE/MAX Regency

With 31 Agents and 50 Staff overall, Murray know the value in looking after his sales force.

Murray Carter established RE/MAX Regency in 2008 with a strong background of over 25 years’ experience in property and development. Since then the business has grown into one of the most successful RE/MAX offices in Australia, consistently placing in the top five for both Australia & New Zealand.

Murray says, “We started with just my wife and I, and slowly recruited our first agent. That took us to a period where I was not sure where I wanted to take the business. I always wanted to grow a business where I didn't sell myself. I had a business of agents that ran their own business within my business. It took me a long time to figure out that model.” His biggest breakthrough came a few years ago when he brought on Justin Miller as a business partner to introduce property management into the business.

He explains, “I knew that property management was an essential part of our business - I wouldn't touch it, so we had a strong sales team and we were sending our managements out. By introducing Justin, I had somebody that I could simply hand over that entire side of the business to and never have to think about it. For us, it's allowed me to simply focus on our sales team."

It’s been a massive achievement for Murray to let go of complete control and as a consequence the business has flourished. He says, “I was a typical business owner in the early years. It had to come through me, it was my business, my neck was on the line, my name was on the door, my house was on the lease, and then I started to realise that when different tasks are performed by individuals, it makes a massive difference. When we decide to do something in the business, I'll bring the people that have an interest in that into a meeting - we'll discuss the pros and cons, and as we're going down the road, they will add value to it until we get that thing right."

With 31 agents and 50 staff overall, Murray knows the value in looking after his sales force. He says, “My business is reliant upon agents, so the agents in my business - we refer to them internally as my clients - so my clients could leave me at any time. I want to make sure that I'm constantly providing them with service that will make them stay with our business or attract them to our business."

Murray is of the firm belief that the culture of the business is its biggest asset. He says, “I know a lot of people throw the word culture around and it's used a lot, but I strongly believe in it because we're in an open plan office environment, and it is common that an agent will overhear a conversation with a buyer or seller, and that will springboard into a conversation with an agent about how to deal with that particular block if they're going into a listing presentation or how to overcome an objection, or overcome any situation that may arise. Someone in the office has dealt with that and that open forum, I think, is our number one asset we have."

 

It's Competitive out there

Real estate is a tough environment. Murray says, “We've had to compete with our competitors upping the commission split that they give agents. We stick to our guns - we make sure that the commission split for the agent is good for the agent but also good for the business, because I still want to be in business in 20 years, and I make sure we control those expenses and make sure that the agents that come into our business see the business the same way we do."

Murray ensures the business is constantly evolving, as he wants good staff with entrepreneurial flair to stay. Determined to offer career paths and leadership opportunities so he doesn’t lose great agents, he challenges himself and offers a range of business models to appeal to staff that want varying degrees of flexibility and control. Even though there is a dedicated agent coordinator on staff and technology that sets the group aside from competitors, Murray found that good people were leaving.

He says, “We brought in agents that were getting along in their careers. They had constant growth over previous years - we were finding that they were with us, they were growing to this next level and then they were leaving us and opening up their own businesses and running really successful businesses.” So he started talking to the agents who had left. He says, “I said, ‘Well, tell me about it. Why would you have stayed?’.“ He found out that if there was more flexibility in the way the business was run and the day-to-day elements, some of the individual agents would have stayed. Murray says, “So we decided that the blended model for us would work best because that would enable individuals who aspire or have that entrepreneurial spirit to have the flexibility to spread their wings within our business."

 

Value the workplace environment

The office is located in a shopping centre and there is an LED New York Stock Exchange message scrolling inside the office. Murray says, “If we were talking about a new dialogue, I'll have it running across there, or an event at the office that we were hosting, it scrolls, or a congratulations or anything like that. The message runs subliminally all day long and staff don't forget that.” The office is also open plan, which Murray believes is a positive feature. He says, “There's no private offices. I don't have a private office myself. It allows us to have a laugh at a joke that one particular person said, that could stream across the office, or help in a situation that has arisen. It's a fun place to be. It has to be fun, otherwise I wouldn't enjoy going there myself."

Murray’s formula is clearly working.

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