Kim and Cindy’s story focused on Kim taking over Cindy’s business as she transitions into retirement in Florida was featured in Indy Top Producer magazine’s January 2017 edition. Here is the article:
Retirement! It is mostly a favored word that emerges in the minds of everyone at different times in life. Often after a difficult day or week, people drag themselves home and grab the nearest calendar to figure how much time is left. People attend events and the usual break room cake time when someone says, “I think I have done what I came to do.” Everyone is familiar with the invitations that all receive to attend the seminar on how to save for this special time, and some even make some preparations by buying that special home, saving for the boat or golf clubs, or clipping pictures of some travel plans or geographical move. After all that work, what if you continued to see your years of “building a business in realty” keep going? It makes sense. It is a concept that is done in other areas, but Cindy Marchant and Kim Carpenter have colluded to demonstrate how valuable it could be to the Realtors.
Cindy recently spoke with Indy Top Producer to share the process. It involves a few steps, so note-taking is a must. First, one must start thinking about these plans before retirement arrives. It is time to put away the pictures of the boat or travel spots and get serious about what happens next. Identify your database as a very valuable commodity that could continue to provide quality leads for others. Marchant’s philosophy about her database is slightly different from most. She only keeps her closest of clients which is comprised of mostly those who have purchased from her (some multiple times) or who are lead generators. Over 15 years of sales that has reached 400 million makes the list of almost 300 quite powerful.
Secondly, Cindy notes that you must set yourself on a mission to find the perfect person to sell the concept/business. She describes them as someone who works and values the same things. It is important also to use a personality test to assist. Some people started the process with her, but changed along the way. It may seem to be apparent early on, but this step is not only crucial but time consuming. Kim originally trained Cindy and at one point was on her team. Even with the familiarity and appreciation for each other, there have been many challenges to work through.
Thirdly, a contract must be originated with the involvement of lawyers. Issues such as the length of the contract, the parameters, the split of commission and geographical concerns are among the long list of details that are essential to the fairness and integrity of the agreement. While few enjoy this part, the more that is explored and settled, the better the relationship and expectations.
Fourth, marketing is vital. Clients need to begin seeing both parties on the signs, and over-communication is a must. For six to twelve months, clients must see that the transition is secure and smooth. Cindy made every effort to not only inform but to make her treasured friends feel secure in good hands.
Finally, the literal transitioning of clients or the merging of two businesses takes place. Cindy refers to this stage as the “nuts and bolts” of selling the business. Both parties guide everyone through, but the largest share falls upon the buyer of the business. At some point, he or she will increase literal closings and listings which is a significant challenge to balance. Marchant notes that client events may be helpful, but at some point, the new person must take the reins. The hope is that somewhere between 50 and 80 percent will make the shift.
Per Marchant, the future looks very bright for this concept. For some one million agents in the U.S. with an average age of 57, the prospect of this transition could become a well-sought-after model. As the boomers age, many will want to leave their clients in capable hands and reap the benefit of a life-long pursuit of building a company. It does not hurt at all to make something extra for all that effort!
Cindy Marchant built her business on personal contact. She describes her goal of 26 touches a year. She sends out a well-constructed newsletter every month, conducts 4-6 client events per year, provides 4 small gifts in the mail per year and sends special cards to name a few. Her desire is to keep that same service coming after her retirement, and she is convinced that Kim Carpenter can deliver. Many of her clients are the second generation of her early sales. A realtor achieves that by fostering the relationship with buyers and sellers over the long-haul. In a sense, she is not only handing off her client list but also keeping the philosophy of service alive.
So, the next time you grab for your retirement folder, insert Marchant’s plans inside and begin thinking about the possibilities. Like most things, it will come quicker than imagined, and like the seminar says – you need a plan!
SOURCE: INDY TOP PRODUCER