Shawna Alt is CEO at First Weber, Inc., a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
in Madison, Wisconsin. She has 28-years of professional experience and oversees a company with 60 offices and more than 1,400 agents. What’s more, she believes that technology and culture work together in harmony to improve the agent experience. RISMedia caught up with her to flesh out this philosophy more.
What’s your secret to staying relevant in today’s ever-changing real estate landscape?
Being a great listener and not hesitating to make decisions. I spend a lot of time talking to our agents, sales managers and staff to see what the needs are and to help identify gaps. Decisions are then made to close those gaps. As a company, we have a very strong vision of where we want to go, and we are constantly analyzing the different paths to get there.
How do you stay in touch with your clients?
My clients are First Weber’s agents and staff, and I have several systems in place to ensure that I am personally touching as many of them as possible. We have a strong focus this year on how we communicate with our agents and our staff, so I am spending a significant amount of time personally letting people know that they matter and recognizing them for their hard work.
How have you helped your agents cope with the challenges associated with the pandemic?
We were well positioned to address the issues of the pandemic. Thanks to our IT department, we were easily able to transition from brick and mortar to remote work. Using Microsoft Teams for the majority of our meetings and training sessions proved to be one of the bright lights of the pandemic. We have a large footprint, and the use of Teams made it very easy to provide support and information to everyone statewide.
In addition, we offer multiple training sessions, business coaching sessions, mastermind groups and sales meetings on a monthly basis. We’ve also had the ability to bring in high-level subject matter experts to speak to our agents about the economy and current real estate trends.
How do you attract the top agents in your area?
It’s all about the blend of culture, support and technology. We’re a full-service brokerage, and we provide a very high level of agent support that encompasses everything, including an on-staff attorney, an in-house printshop, a full-service marketing team and sales managers with decades of experience. To have a successful career in real estate, you need the right combination of all three.
How are you setting your agents up for success as we continue through 2022?
The competition for obtaining listings is fierce, as is the competition among buyers to have the winning bid, so we’re giving our agents the tools they need to serve their clients at the highest level. We also have mastermind groups with our agents so that they can share ideas, motivate and inspire one another.
Where do you see your business in five years?
What I’ve learned in the past two years is that the strength and wherewithal of a company comes from its ability to be nimble. Who would have thought we’d be dealing with another wave of the pandemic?
Traditionally, Wisconsin has a high affordability index, and as millennials fuel the demand for housing, we’ll be at the forefront of identifying and meeting those needs. Our equity and engagement initiatives will help more people with diverse backgrounds succeed in this business and experience homeownership for the first time.
For more information, visit www.leadingre.com.