The Gwaltney Group is like “the perfect recipe,” Robin Gwaltney says—a finetuned mix of people and personalities, all collaboration, no drama.
“We have one of the most unique, hybrid teams you’ll find, because all of our staff are all agents,” explains Gwaltney, who helms the Rochester, Minn.-based team, affiliated with RE/MAX Results.
Gwaltney and her husband, Scott, have been in the business for 20 years, beginning as a duo in the late ’90s, then branching out to a four-person team, and now, as leaders of the Gwaltney Group, with 29 members on the team. They grew organically, but carefully evaluated hires with the Clifton Strengths Finder, an assessment of a candidate’s strengths, to build synergies within the team, according to Gwaltney.
” team is so dynamic,” she says. “We have so many people that are Strategic Thinkers, so many that are Activators, so many who have empathy on the team, so many people who care. What sets us apart is we care about the place that our clients are buying and selling houses in. We’re the kind of team that our clients become friends with, and we’re really relationship-based.”
Here, Gwaltney discusses the dynamics of her team, and her goals for this year.
Suzanne De Vita: Robin, you had an interesting introduction to real estate. How did you get into the industry?
Robin Gwaltney: I was working at Mayo Clinic and at the time, my husband and I were running a nonprofit in Rochester. I was asked to speak at the annual rotary meeting about the nonprofit, and afterward, I had a man approach me and say, “I want you to work for me. I own a Coldwell Banker. Would you sell real estate?” I said, “No thank you!”
Then, my husband found himself in a position where he was not able to go back to his job, and I said, “Well, maybe you should go work for this guy. He seems to want people.” He did and he loved it, and he was doing fantastic. I started to get really jealous! I decided to dive in with him and I got my license. We were a team from day one.
SD: As I understand, you both grew from there…
RG: It’s grown organically—I have done zero recruiting. We have three admin that are licensed agents that work as assistants to the whole team. Of our 23 agents, half are full-time and half are part-time. We have a mentor program here when a new agent comes on, and if they haven’t left their other job, we pair them up with one of our full-time agents and they work as a mini team.
SD: How has the Clifton Strengths Finder helped in the hiring process?
RG: It identifies a person’s top strengths based on the DNA makeup of the person’s brain. You want to make sure that person is a good fit with your team. We have experienced some team members that were just not a fit. It’s like having a cancer on the team, and it affects everybody’s productivity. Right now, our team is the perfect recipe. We want to make sure we don’t add too many nuts!
SD: What benefits do your clients gain in partnering with your team?
RG: There is power in numbers. From a listings standpoint, it’s that attention we can give. From a buyer’s standpoint, if you want to go looking at houses today at noon, the answer is “yes”—it might not be me, but someone on my team is going to be able to show you those houses. In a market where things fly off the shelves—where our inventory is so low that our average days on market is 16—if you don’t have an agent that can get you out there right now, you don’t stand a chance in getting that listing.
SD: Robin, what are your goals for your team this year?
RG: Our goal is $100 million—last year we sold just shy of $92 million. I feel we are on track. Another goal was to be in the top five teams in Minnesota, and all year long, we have stayed there. Always, our goal is to be extremely committed to and involved in our communities, and, of course, give our clients excellent service.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.