"To be successful in today’s real estate world, it helps to have a unique advantage"
When it comes to companies offering a discount model, there is plenty of competition. Brokers and agents have long understood that sellers want to pay lower commission rates. But they also want full service, notes Ryan Elliott, vice president of Assist2Sell, and that’s his company’s premier distinction. Founded in Reno, Nev., in 1987 by a pair of independent REALTORS® who saw a shift in the industry, Assist2Sell was created to marry the two concepts—low commission and full service—in an advantageous way... as a full-service discount business model that exceeds consumer expectations while offering unlimited opportunity to a growing cadre of agents and franchise owners. “To be successful in today’s real estate world, it helps to have a unique advantage,” says Elliott. “There has never been a better time for a business model like Assist2Sell.” In this exclusive interview, Elliott shares the company’s unique vision and the strategies that help their franchisees become front-line competitors.
Barbara Pronin: Tell us a little more about the founding strategy of the company, and how the concept took off.
Ryan Elliott: Actually, the original motivation the founders Mary LaMeres-Pomin and Lyle Martin had was based on their frustration in spending 80 percent of their time looking for their next deal. They were successful agents with a strong base of repeat and referral customers but struggled with adding new business. Theirs was a small, traditional office—just the two of them and a support person. When they did get a chance to pitch a new seller for a listing, they would sometimes lose the listing based on their small office size. Sellers perceived that an office with a lot of agents meant those agents would all be trying to sell their homes. We all know that’s not true, and that the MLS levels the playing eld, but convincing sellers was a challenge. When they decided to try to attract more business by lowering their fees, and took the bold step to advertise this, all of a sudden, the sellers didn’t care about the number of agents in their offce. The concept was pretty simple, and it hasn’t changed: If you charge home sellers a very competi- tive fee, provide the same services your competition offers, and deliver results, you can increase volume more than enough to make up for the lower fees. That’s what Mary and Lyle started with and it’s what has helped us grow into a familiar brand with hundreds of offices all over North America.