Name: Barb Betts
Title: Broker, owner, CEO
Experience: Selling real estate since 2003, team leader since 2007, licensed broker since 2017, opened RECollective in October 2017.
Location: Headquarters in Long Beach, California with branches in Yorba Linda, California and Palm Springs, California
Brokerage full name: The RECollective
Team size: 14 agents, 3 staff
Transaction sides: 2021: 142 closed sales, YTD as of September 2022: 128 closed sales
Sales volume: 2021 sales volume: $130 million, YTD as of September 2022: $111 million
What are 3 reasons you should be in the Broker Spotlight?
I believe I am unique. I believe I can inspire others that brokerage can be done differently. That you don’t have to be the big brand or have the big name to be successful.
How did you get your start in real estate?
The same way most agents do. We bought our first home and didn’t have the expereince that I thought we would. It was stressful, frustrating, challenging and I always felt like I was one step ahead of my agent.
I was young, had children young, forewent college and always wanted to have some ownership in my career — a license, or something I could be an expert at. After that real estate transaction, I decided that this could be my path. I could get my license and then build a business where I could be that amazing momma, be present in my life, and have a great income. I never imagined it would be what it is today but I am sure glad I did it.
What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?
You don’t have to be anyone else but yourself. You don’t have to conform to how anyone else expects you to show up every day. You get to be you, and authenticity sells. Clients want to work with a human, not a real estate robot. They want you to be authentically you.
If you don’t want to wear a suit to a listing appointment then don’t (now don’t show up like a slob) but show up as who you are. You do not have to have a fancy car to sell real estate. You can bring your kids door-knocking with you if that is how you can get it done. You can be whoever you want to be. There is a niche for every single real estate professional out there. Your job is to go find your people.
What’s something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
Every agent who gets in this business, or who already is in this business needs to understand that they are in the lead generation business and not the real estate business. You have to realize you are in sales, you are a salesperson and generating leads has to be your daily focus, every single day. If you don’t want to do that on a daily basis then you quickly need to realize maybe this business is not for you.
What’s your top prediction for 2023?
It’s the professionals’ market. Clients are actually going to care about who is helping them with the largest transaction they are going to have in their life. We need to think differently. We need to add to our marketing plans and lead generation plans. What worked in 2022 is not going to be enough for 2023 and beyond.
The agents who are pros, show up to get educated, have a foundation of working relationally, show up on social media, have systems to ensure they are delivering great client experiences and talk to as many people as they can about real estate on a daily basis are going to thrive. There is opportunity in this market, but you are going to have to work hard to go find it.
Tell us about an epic fail you’ve experienced since you’ve been a broker.
Thinking that I could start my brokerage with the agents on my team and function as a team. And then when I brought on additional agents they could be on a “different” service plan and comp plan. That failed miserably.
Quickly the new agent realized that she was not getting all the benefits and services that the other agents were. We quickly focused and realized that one model for all is the way you create happy agents and an infectious culture.
What makes a good leader?
Humility. Being able to walk in their shoes. Admit when you’ve succeeded and admit when you have failed, or done wrong. Being transparent with my agents about the good, bad and ugly of our business has been super helpful to let them know that they are not alone. That even veterans have bad days, and bad transactions.
Too many brokers try to be perfect and present this perfect front to their agents and it’s just not reality.
What’s one thing you wish every agent knew?
That this business is all about relationships. Relationships with your clients and customers, and relationships with others in the industry, especially agents in your own community. If agents are not making working relationally the foundation of their business, they are working too hard.
Relationships have sustained my career for 20 years and I could not imagine doing business any other way. Making relationships the foundation and priority of your business ensures that you are never starting over, ever! It’s something that if done right and systematized you can continue to rely on year, over year over year.