“We certainly have much to celebrate,” said Drayton Saunders, president of Michael Saunders & Company, in his opening comments at the annual company-wide meeting, as the crowd of 600+ agents and managers eagerly welcomed a stirring morning of information and motivation.
Saunders’ words foreshadowed the overall sentiment of the event, as the stellar achievements and exciting future strategies of the company’s agents took center stage. “You clearly decided to break records,” said Saunders. “I’m amazed and inspired by all we have accomplished,” he continued. “The second half of the year is approaching, and it is time to start thinking of our new, bold goals.”
The meeting was kicked off with a video by MSC Marketing, which was based on the company’s ongoing internal mantra, “Brush Up! On the Basics.” This running theme is about embracing the fundamentals of the real estate industry and keeping agents closely connected to the people they serve. A collection of snapshots from the months-long campaign stood as the speakers’ backdrop—literally and figuratively—as each presenter emphasized the importance of remembering the industry basics when assisting clients.
Words From Industry Leaders
Change was on the minds of the presenters at the annual company meeting—Changing consumers. Changing market. Changing your approach.
Keynote speaker Steve Murray—editor of REAL Trends, North America’s leading trends and research organizational for residential real estate—presented an overview on Thriving in the Future, featuring trends that will affect the brokerage, the evolution in how consumers select sales professionals, tougher regulatory environments, and systems for servicing customers. “Consumers choose real estate professionals because they know one or because someone else referred them to one,” said Murray. “The most important thing you can do is to stay in touch with the people you know.”
Presenter Stephanie Pfeffer, executive vice president for Luxury Portfolio International, offered her seasoned advice on maximizing the benefits of working for an internationally connected company with local roots. “It’s a good time to be local,” said Pfeffer. “Consumers prefer what you represent, and you are uniquely positioned to serve them effectively.”
Michael Saunders Addresses Her Agents
“I challenge you to leave here today with the mindset of an Olympian,” said company founder and CEO Michael Saunders, who compared the feats and future ways of thinking of her talented agents to that of athletes training and preparing for Olympic greatness. “Push yourself to greater lengths. Be swifter, higher and stronger,” she added in reference to the motto of the Olympic Games.
Saunders also reflected on the success her agents have found in the first half of 2012. “To be this far ahead at this point in the year is amazing,” she said. “This is the first time in six years we are more ahead in volume than units, which means higher priced properties are selling.” She then enticed her team by reinforcing the lessons of the Brush Up! campaign, “It is all about a game plan. Going back to the basics, showing you care, personal touch, being memorable, pick up the phone and get out there.”
The event closed as it began, a celebration of the steadfast real estate agents who faced one of the worst markets in history and once again came out on top of their competitors. “In the three counties we serve, we have satisfied more customers than our competitors. You can be proud of where we sit mid-year with our results and market share.”
With her head held high and her agents listening intently, Michael wrapped up her closing remarks with an uplifting note reaffirming the words spoken earlier by Drayton. “Today, we celebrate your success.”