By Susan Doran
Brandon Polsinello, 29, is among the new breed of sales reps who views technology as a gift rather than an obstacle.
Licensed for just five years, Polsinello manages the Re/Max Realtron Polsinello Realty team, which is headed up by his father, Frank. Brandon was partly drawn to real estate because of family connections. Besides growing up watching his father succeed in the business, he had a ringside seat to the dazzling rise of his uncle, prominent real estate coach Craig Proctor.
The Re/Max Realtron Polsinello team is based in Newmarket in the Greater Toronto Area and ranks #35 in Canada for Re/Max and #71 world-wide.
Re/Max’s PR and communications department tells REM that Polsinello has “a fresh, young perspective” and is newsworthy “given that millennials and technology seem to be at the forefront of many conversations these days.”
The company continues: “Brandon Polsinello’s secret to success lies in the very thing that has real estate agents fearful for their future – technology. The industry is split right now, with agents who still remember using binders of paper to display listings, and then you’ve also got technology disrupters starting to nudge their way.
“Brandon offers a unique perspective on why technology needs to be embraced in the industry… because without it, we won’t be able to reach or relate to the largest upcoming demographic of home buyers and sellers.”
What does Brandon have to say about this praise?
“Wow. They’re really talking me up,” he says, laughing. “I don’t like the millennial thing much, maybe because I am one. A lot of agents are still using traditional methods and I don’t want to knock them. But I do think you will see those methods start to stop working, including cold calling. And there will be less and less of those traditional agents…If you aren’t keeping up with the direction the industry is moving, you are going to get left behind.”
And probably soon, according to Brandon and his father.
“I think that in the next three years, traditional agents will disappear,” Frank Polsinello says.
The expanding Polsinello sales team is currently comprised of 20 sales reps who are trained to stay ahead of the competition by leveraging technology. Strength in numbers is also a key part of the strategy.
“We’ve really ramped up this past couple of years. It’s our belief that teams are the way of the future,” says Brandon. “Teams combine agents and resources together. An individual agent is just not going to have the resources to compete as we go forward, financial or otherwise. We are able to invest back into the business and generate more leads due to the size of the team.
“We are building an army.”
Brandon has been pivotal in helping the team grow and change with the times. He and his father have focused intently on developing and implementing new systems, creating a uniquely structured office.
“We have processes in place for everything,” says Frank, who believes that real estate is all about lead generation, conversion and follow-up. “Everything is systemized. Most teams rely heavily on admin assistants. In another brokerage a team of 20 would normally have four assistants. We have only one. We are able to do that through the use of online technology.”
The exact nature of this technology is a well-guarded secret. “We don’t want to give away the farm,” says Frank.
Consequently, although Brandon informs REM that he is responsible for handling the technical side of new agent training, he’s reluctant to elaborate on what that involves … which makes trying to get information from him a little like interrogating James Bond.
He admits that, “We have a number of different sources/systems that we use for generating leads. (There’s also a team communications platform.) And we have a central system, our contact management system, which all leads are funneled into for distribution to agents. All the processes, everything the agents need, is built into the system by us so that agents know how to work the leads they’re assigned.”
He adds, “We track everything – every contact, every call that an agent on the team makes is recorded…It’s an automated system that determines who is next in line for a lead. We spend a lot of money on generating leads, so we expect a certain number of calls per week by each agent.”
The intention is for the sales reps’ focus to be “talking to and following up with clients” and getting new business.
“If they deal with the contacts that we’ve laid out for them, it’s going to be hard for them not to be successful… The processes and systems we have developed make it easier for the agents to manage their business and ultimately, write more business,” says Brandon.
He and his father consider social media and digital marketing to be far superior to any other current form of business generation.
“We could send out 10,000 branded postcards or spend the same amount on digital marketing, and the response is significantly higher with the latter,” says Brandon. “It’s a much more cost-effective way for us to generate business…Technology allows us to get in front of a huge amount of people. The number of people on our database has grown at a rate we’d never be able to achieve with traditional marketing, and allows us to target areas and demographics more specifically and expand our market base.”
That said, both father and son still believe that nothing will replace the phone.
“The industry will only get more and more competitive,” says Brandon. “We believe that we have some of the best technology in the business, but the best technology is not going to replace real person-to-person interaction.”