For our very first Sisu Spotlight, we interviewed Ron Rocz. He's the broker/owner of RE/MAX Nexus in Birmingham, Michigan—a suburb of Detroit.
With nearly 20 years of real estate experience, we asked Ron to take us through the ins-and-outs of how he runs his business and what specific tactics led his team to a place of sustained, consistent growth.
Continue reading below to see the highlights from our conversation with Ron.
So Ron, can you tell us a little about your team?
I am the broker-owner of Nexus Realty as RE/MAX Nexus - we are part of the RE/MAX brand. Right now we are just shy of 50 agents. Over 20 of them associate with the team that’s referred to as “Nexus Group”.
The brokerage was founded as a place to house my team, and then over time, we had other agents that came into the brokerage.
Currently, we are in a unique position where we are growing steadily, and we have become pretty intentional about it.
We have a small, dynamic leadership team and we are growing consistently and staying profitable.
What is a "Teamerage”?
Sisu: So, we heard you refer to your brokerage as a "Teamerage" - can you tell us what that means?
Ron: “Teamerage” is a new term that’s being defined as operating as somewhere between an "independent brokerage" and being a “team”.
I.E. - not operating under the direct supervision of a brand or brokerage because we own & operate this brokerage.
That's how we operate the brokerage at Nexus Realty.
What did production look like last year (final count) - and what are you shooting for this year?
Last year, the team did $89 million in volume for 325 units. The brokerage did $189 million for 615 units.
Our goal this year is 800 total units. We are currently at 300 units Y-T-D:
We are in a northern territory, in Michigan, so our 2nd half of the year is significantly busier.
And the great thing is that we actually have the data to support that with Sisu.
By looking at our Sisu dashboard, we can look at our closed transactions YOY and see that most of the business occurs in the 2nd half for us.
Not only that, but we can clearly see within the data that we are already trending higher for closed units YOY than we were doing in 2021.
We are definitely hopeful to complete the year at 250 million dollars and 125 million of which is the target for the team.
Technology: What’s your stack look like?
So as the brokerage grows, naturally so does the team, because they become aligned and engrained with the systems, tools, and support that our team provides.
That was where we felt there was something missing, on the technology side.
We utilize a CRM: It’s the lifeblood - for lead capture.
After lead capture, we then categorize the leads from a funnel approach.
- Time-frame of buying?
Kind of an A-B-C, Or “Hot-Nuture-Watch”.
We hold our agents accountable for working those systems. When someone funnels down into the pipeline and we tag them appropriately, everything then synchronizes over into Sisu.
Sisu becomes the cornerstone of the business from that point forward
We utilize Sisu as the cornerstone of the team's accountability system, support, structure, and as our business intelligence dashboard.
It also lets us know where we are at for our goals and for our weekly huddles (1-on-1s with our agents).
Many times, I find myself having conversations with my agents and they say, “I feel X way, or I feel Y way about our business.”
I respond with:
“Your feelings are important, but let’s make decisions based on data.”
As in, let's look into the Sisu dashboard and see:
- Appointments Set
- Appointments Met
- Contract Signed
- Listing goes pending
- Buyer goes under contract
Our transaction team will then take it from contract to close.
We call them our "Client Care Team". They will help with the listing to get it ready. Marketing, photography, 3D rendering, matterports, the copy, social media posts, open house promotions—all of the above—are handled by the support team for our agents.
What challenges did you have for your team and brokerage before you chose to partner with Sisu?
To me it boils down to that before Sisu, we didn't have one single source of information, truth, etc.
Answering the question:
“What did we do today?”
If an agent “feels” really busy, it makes them just focus on the simple details of this business. My philosophy ties back to the book 4 Disciplines of Execution:
- Focus on the Wildly Important
- Act on the Lead Measures
- Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
- Create a Cadence of Accountability
The book touches on how as a sales organization, your agents should focus on the KPIs that are going to bring them the most money.
We use the Sisu platform to keep them on track towards their goals. If they are reaching or exceeding, they’re living their best life. They become our walking testimonials.
They are our billboard. So, we work with them, we coach them, we help them realize their dreams.
As a result, they help us realize ours by attracting new talent to our office. It comes full circle.
If you’re helping agents stay accountable to their goals, they’re going to be happier in your organization and ultimately will draw more talent to your brokerage.
How exactly do you hold your agents accountable for their goals?
In our weekly huddles, we will have assistants pull certain information. Like the number of showings agents did, new transactions, just the typical pipeline reports.
I'll ask: "What did you add to your pipeline?”
Often I get in response: Either "Well, I thought I had more" or "I didn’t realize that I had so many because I was busy.”
And, I usually joke around and say, “Are there 52 weeks this year? Did you work last week? Are you working this week?”
Time flies and if you’re not careful, you can look up and a month is gone.
Sisu is a built-in business coach. You simply just use the system and the system will make sure you know what you’re doing.
It’s like the Apple Watch or the Fitbit of your real estate business. It’s a great tool. We refer to it that way.
Because what you track in your business, you improve.
Do you have any tangible results since you implemented Sisu?
We launched Sisu prior to the pandemic, when we began working from home.
It allowed us to quickly work offsite and have great transparency to what was going on. It also quickly reduced the amount of duplicate entry within different systems, and it started to change the order of operations to the way we do things.
We would originate things in Google files, share files, and now we turned that all upside down.
We went from this:
Our workflow looks a little like this:
- Agents will do transactions in the digital signature application
- All that information is put into Sisu Task Management
- We do task management for all our tasks; whether it's pre-listing, buyers contract-to-close.
- We will do a "huddle" with each transaction, and then re-assign the task based upon who will be best able to handle it.
Why do you do a quick huddle for every transaction?
For example, maybe there's a different level of sensitivity with a particular client, or an agent wants to be more engaged with a particular client.
So then, we will reassign the tasks at the onboarding process.
Since we push all of our agents back inside Sisu, we have access to all the documents, and we will know all the pertinent data to a transaction.
In our huddles, we will pull the URL within Sisu with the transaction ID and send it to the agent and reference it.
- Do we need pending info?
- Do we send that to them?
- Do we need listing info?
We are bringing everybody back into the same real estate operating system, time and time again.
By driving all the agents into the same source, and the more we use it, the more the agents get out of it.
In your own words, what does Sisu Do?
It’s a business intelligence dashboard to analyze where you are going as a business.
Sisu filled a void in the industry.
It's a single, centralized source that can answer questions like:
- What’s your revenue this quarter?
- Who is / isn’t performing?
- What metrics need improving?
- Are our listings down?
Most of those tools were traditionally only available to big, enterprise-sized companies.
Now teams of all sizes have access to the same types of tools with a platform like Sisu, that allows us to run like a world-class organization.
What would you say to someone who is considering Sisu for their business?
Do it—and absolutely jump in with both feet.
Don’t just try to scratch the surface. Burn the ship. Let it become the source.
I see a lot of people say, “I’m going to use it, but I’m going to only use it for Admin."
But then, the agents aren't really engaging with the platform because they are still using Google Forms or what not to fill out something.
Originally, we weren’t getting the type of adoption that we wanted without getting people to use it.
We then realized that we had to drive everybody back to the system - you pull up your dashboard. Work with them on their 1-on-1s. If they have a question about something on their platform, we say “show it to us.”
Everything we do, we drive them back to Sisu.
Jump in. Go through the onboarding process. White-label it and people take ownership in something that looks like us (Nexus Realty Group).
We've got it branded toward our company. This is my company’s app - it’s not some third party. It has our logos on it.
Go all in. The more you go in with it, the more you’ll get out of it.
Give it a true go and you’ll wish you would have done it sooner.
Wrapping up Ron Rocz' Sisu Spotlight.
Ron divulged a lot of interesting info in his interview. We are happy that his "Teamerage" is on track to exceed the level of growth he had in 2021.
Also: Ron recommended everyone who uses Sisu to do the onboarding process.
We want everyone to succeed from Day 1 with Sisu. That’s why, we've now made the onboarding process simple and easy — by offering free onboarding for all new customers.
If you're curious about what Sisu can do to help your team scale, request a demo today.
So, what did you think of Ron's tips?
Let me know in the comments.