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Name: Kim Stem

Title: Managing broker, ERA Doty Real Estate

Experience: 20 years in residential real estate, 25 years in residential development and construction

Location: Jonesboro, Arkansas

Brokerage name:  ERA Doty Real Estate

Rankings: 13th largest ERA company in the network

Team size: 160 agents

Transaction sides: 1,700 in 2023

Sales volume: $320,000,000 in 2023

Awards: 

  • Jim Jackson Memorial Award for First in Service: two-time finalist, winner in 2007, 2017, 2021
  • Circle of Light Award for Community Leadership: six-time finalist, winner in 2017
  • Gene Francis Memorial Award for Top All-Around Company: eight-time finalist, winner in 2023

How did you get your start in real estate?

With a background in interior design, construction and residential development, the segue into residential real estate was a simple decision. While in construction, I learned what to expect from a great Realtor and how to avoid a bad one. I knew which kind I wanted to be and set my goal to be just that.

My best friend encouraged me to take the class and become an agent, but I was hesitant having three young children at home. She offered to pay for my class and babysit so I could attend class. It was the best decision I’ve ever made, and I have never looked back.

What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?

I would like consumers to understand that there are ethical, responsible and valuable agents in every community that have the client’s best interest at heart. Have conversations with people in your neighborhood, friends, family and interview agents.

One agent may advertise the “best success rate” but their process to help you buy or sell may not be one you are comfortable being a part of. You are hiring them so ask questions and get the representation you expect.

What is your top prediction for the future?

I believe, as the market evolves, the changes that will come with our industry and our current compensation model will validate the fact that it is even more vital to be affiliated with a strong global brand. Affiliation with a franchise will become paramount in the success of local brokerages.

We are already seeing changes in markets where agents who previously didn’t want to pay franchise fees are leaving their small boutique brokerages for larger franchise brands because they need more than a small broker can currently offer.

What is one thing you wish every agent knew?

I would like potential, new and established agents to understand that success in this business requires a strong support system found in a brokerage that takes a vested interest in their personal success by offering a well-built training platform, profitable technology and accountability in their coaching to help them do their job ethically, responsibly and with confidence.

The commission split discussion is the last discussion that should take place. A higher commission on fewer sales leaves money on the table.

Pursue a brokerage that measures success the way you do and works equally as hard for it. Be diligent in learning and embrace change with every new market challenge. Be willing to change your personal business model to meet the needs of the consumer.

How did you choose your brokerage?

Having a design and construction background, many assumed I would choose the busiest, largest, most iconic brokerage in our part of the state. Instead, I chose the newest and smallest brokerage.

I chose the broker that I knew would work to make me better, teach me how to negotiate, pursue the tools and technology to make us both profitable and mentor me to be one of the strongest Realtors in my area.

I’ve now been here for 20 years and have accomplished nearly every goal we set together, but I’m not quite finished yet.

Know someone who should be featured in an upcoming Broker Spotlight? Nominations, please, to brokeredge@inman.com.

Email Christy Murdock

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