Hello WomanUP!® Community!
This week's wonderful welcome is for Susan Monette:
Susan is the Managing Broker of Key Team and she joins us for a conversation around building a successful team of 8 at Leading Edge Real Estate in Windham, NH.
When you think about that person you can depend on to get something done, you think about Susan. She's on top of every detail, meticulously ensuring that everyone involved is aligned and there is no miscommunication. But don't mistake her for a back-end ops person. Susan is a go-getter, a risk-taker, and a visionary. After working in the industry as an agent and a Sales Manager, Susan took the HUGE leap to join Leading Edge as the FIRST LEAP partner. She opened her own office, decided on a name, and started recruiting agents. In just one year, she went from zero agents to a team of 8 powerful, savvy, lioness real estate professionals.
Talk to any single one of those women, and they'll tell you, Susan keeps them calm, focused, and laughing EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. Susan epitomizes what it means to be a servant leader. She is 100% invested in her business, and it shows by the love, guidance, and support she gives to her agents.
It's not surprising because Susan's had a ton of practice as a proud mom of 5! She's not someone to boast and doesn't like a big fuss, but anyone who knows Susan knows, she's one-of-a-kind. Susan’s experience, but more importantly, her passion for helping others is a trait that can be seen in her daily activities and interactions.
Click the image below to watch the replay.
Tell us about the journey to your current leadership role? What was your first role in the real estate industry?
I started in the banking industry, specifically commercial lending about 30 years ago. My entire family was in banking so it seemed like the right place to start. When the bank had bank owned property I would help with the marketing and meet potential buyers. Fast forward to 2013 I had the opportunity to obtain my real estate licenses in MA and NH and began my career as a REALTOR. I loved every minute of new agent training and once I had a solid foundation under me, I began to train new agents for my brokerage. I found this so fulfilling and loved helping agents become successful. So much so I was focusing on this more than my own business which became tricky as far as income. During this time I was offered a salaried position as Director of Agent Services at a new brokerage where I could train and help agents while earning a salary. I jumped in with both feet and loved it. Helping new agents grow and seasoned agents get back to basics was great. I did this for a couple of years and then added the Managing Broker on to my title at this same company. Things were great there and I am very thankful for the opportunity I was given to grow and add to my skill set but I felt I needed to do more. That is when I started researching how to open my own brokerage or team office and now I am 15 months in and loving it!
What made you decide to join Leading Edge as the first LEAP partner? What IS a LEAP partner?
When researching how to make a move and where and what my next step should be lead me to Linda O at Leading Edge Real Estate. We met and talked a lot about my goals and where I saw my future going. This is when I learned about a brand new program Leading Edge was launching called LEAP, Leading Edge Affiliate Program. I had worried about having time to open and grow an office while having to handle all the back end things like marketing/design, systems, platforms, commission payments and escrow accounts. I think it’s important to recognize what you are good at and not so good at so you find a solution that supports what may be your areas of weakness. We can’t all be good at everything and that is why teams work so well and why I decided to join the LEAP program as their very first affiliate partner. They handle all of the back end things that would keep me stuck in the trenches. This allows me to be available to support the team and train new agents as well as recruit. Since leaving my past brokerage as a team of 1 ( god that was scary, and walking away from a guaranteed salary to the unknown yikes) we have grown to a team of myself and 8 other agents. The office location is my responsibility as far as fit up, rent, utilities, and all other business related expenses but then we have the Leading Edge brand power to support us with all the other aspects, a design team, a finance team, administrative support, the ability to use any of the Leading Edge 12 office and they can use the Key Team office as well as having support from the owners of Leading Edge to be able to bounce things off and get their opinions. For me it was a win-win, I feel like a boutique brokerage with a powerhouse brokerage behind me.
What advice do you have for those considering building a team? (3-5 Best Practices)
First I would say, save money from your commissions and put it into a separate account and grow it to a point where you will be comfortable paying the bills for several months so you don’t have the added stress of being able to pay for things while making a move to something new.
Second, I would say to make sure you have done your research on what other local brokerages are offering for compensation packages so you know what your competition is.
Third, when looking to build your team make sure you are connecting with like-minded agents to add to your team. I am so grateful that our team is very like minded, we are all so different but we all have the same values, we wouldn’t just add someone to the team to have another team member. We all work so hard that it's important you enjoy your team members because they are really a second family.
Fourth, get involved in your community. There is no better way to attract business and potential team members. We just completed participating in the Harvest Fest in Windham and we set up this great Candy Land theme scene and the children in the community came out for trick or treating. We had a huge line the entire time and all the kids wanted photos taken of them with us. We had a ball, helped the community and got that facetime with people we haven’t been able to have in a long time.
And fifth I would say, make sure you get comfortable being uncomfortable. That is where the magic happens. : )
How did you keep your team connected during the pandemic? What changes in communication or process are you taking with you into the next season?
Our team has team meetings every Monday. During the height of the pandemic we met on zoom. As a part of the larger Leading edge umbrella we had the opportunity to join in on socially distant walks and lunches and even some outdoor trainings which can be tough in New England and the weather.
I think the biggest change that we will always keep around is the ability to facetime or zoom when we need each other. In the past I’m not sure why but we would always set up a time to meet in person which could take a few days sometimes with schedules but now it is so acceptable to not meet face to face and I think that is important. Everyone’s level of comfort with in person events and meetings are different and for me it is so important to respect each person’s views and level of comfort and doing what works for them.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I think in closing I would like to share that growing a team can be hard and scary and you may even doubt yourself. You will have great days and maybe some days that you don’t want to get out of bed, but you will because you need to believe in yourself and your abilities to be able to do anything you put your mind to. I have a sign I read every day that says “believe you can and you will”
What is the best way for the community to connect with and support you?
Managing Broker, PSA, RENE, SRS, ePro, C2EX
Key Team at Leading Edge
25 Indian Rock Road, Suite 4, Windham, NH 03087
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