Reaching $283M with a 40% referral rate

Emily Smith, COO of Wemert Group Realty, a premier boutique brokerage in Central Florida
  • 40-agent team in Florida
  • 23 support staff
  • $283M in sales
  • 930+ families served in 12 months
  • 40% referral rate
  • Over 1200+ five-star reviews

When Emily Smith’s team leaders decided to make the move from Keller Williams team 4 years ago to an independent brokerage, they knew they had their work cut out for them. And while it wasn’t easy, it was definitely worth it.

Today, Wemert Group Realty is a premier boutique brokerage servicing 114 zip codes in Central Florida — that’s over 930 families, 40% of which are more than happy to refer them to their friends and family. Here’s how Emily helped the team make the transition, while helping her agents build lasting relationships with each and every person in their database.

The Challenge

Rebuilding real estate systems from scratch

Uprooting your entire team and starting over as an independent brokerage isn’t the right move for everyone — but it definitely worked for Wemert Group Realty.

“The transition feels like a lifetime ago, even though it was only a few years ago,” recalls Emily Smith, real estate operations ace and COO of Wemert Group. “But beyond the chaos of it all, the thing we’re most proud of was that our entire team came with us through the transition and trusted us to help them continue to find success in our new shared chapter.”

But even with trust and team unity, rebuilding a brokerage (or a “teamerage,” as they like to call it) from the ground up is no small task.

“We had to go back to the drawing board and ask, ‘Do we want to do things the same way? What kind of standards do we want our people to achieve?’ ‘What do we sound like? Look like? Speak like?’  Emily says. “It’s super freeing because you get to define all those things…but at the same time, it’s a lot of moving pieces that have to be figured out that ultimately have also work together well.”

One thing they knew they needed: A strong lead management system.

“We call Follow Up Boss our gold mine. It’s our hub where all of the good things live.”

The Solution

Supporting the right habits with the right platform

In those early days, onboarding new agents accounted for a big chunk of Emily’s time. As a result, she got to scope out the backend of incoming agents’ databases — and the experience was eye-opening.

When Emily introduced agents to Follow Up Boss, “It’d be like watching a light bulb go on during training,” she says. “They’d say, ‘Oh wow, this is way easier than what I was used to. This is great!”

The shortened learning curve is still a huge advantage — for the agents themselves, and for Emily as well. Quickly getting new agents into Follow Up Boss (and setting expectations early) helped them hit the ground running and made the transition to teamerage that much easier to manage.

Building strong habits
Now, when new agents come aboard, the leads manager gives them a little extra TLC to help them build good database management habits and accelerate their adoption of the Wemert Group’s culture code. Then, they step back and let the agents get to work.

And Emily and her team aren’t afraid to show new agents how they can pave their own path to success.

“There’s no easy path in this business to relationships. If you’re really going to build a relationship-based business, you can’t be absent from your database,” she says. “It needs your attention, it needs your time, and it needs effort. You truly do have the control of the success based on the time you spend pouring into it.”

Agent accountability
Along with serving their customers and clients, agents also fill out a weekly database tracking sheet. “We believe this helps give agents a necessary weekly look at the pipeline of their business, and holds them accountable for their success. On our end, we are looking at those numbers to make sure we can help agents accomplish the goals we have set in partnership for their year. Agents use their weekly numbers to account for their own business and help them weekly think through their pipeline.”

Follow Up Boss makes this easy as team leaders can track activities and performance right inside the database.

By consistently tracking agents through their CRM and through their reports, both Emily and the leadership team can sit down with the agents twice a year to work on ways to improve interactions with leads and clients, and to help agents find a definitive path to success.

High impact tasks
Wemert Group also has their agents consistently set tasks in Follow Up Boss, which leaves them free to focus their energy on serving the leads that most need their attention, and consistently move their business forward.

“If I run into someone at the grocery store and think, ‘I should check back with him in September because his son will be in a play’ — I can set a task in Follow Up Boss right then and there. I don’t have to worry about it, because I know it’ll pop up at the right moment when it’s time to follow up,” Emily explains.  

Tracking performance
For her part, Emily and her team regularly track the pipeline to pinpoint any areas where they might need to focus more time, energy, or marketing spend.

Wemert Group knows each agent has their own unique goals coming into the business. With multiple sets of eyes on the pipeline, both Emily and the leadership team can help agents decide how they want to reach their goals while giving them everything they need to knock it out of the park.

“We’re really careful that our pipeline and our ability to bring in more leads or help them generate from their own database is going to match up with what goals they have for themselves,” says Emily.

"We couldn’t scale our business without the lead flow flexibility in Follow Up Boss."

The Results

$283 million with a 40% referral rate

When asked why they chose Follow Up Boss, Emily says, “We call it our gold mine. It’s our hub where all of the good things live.”

But she’s not talking about leads…technically.

“We’ve stopped calling them ‘leads,’” Emily explains. “You have to care about these people for real. You have to look at them like they’re not a lead, they’re a relationship. Let’s call these people, people.”

Ultimately, everything the Wemert Group does is designed to empower agents to serve people better and create a win-win-win — for the client, for the agent, and for the team.

That service-oriented approach has paid off. By helping agents focus deeply on client care, the team has earned a whopping 40% referral rate.

“Being thoughtful about what’s really happening in peoples’ lives goes a long way in building trust in those relationships. When you genuinely care about the people in front of you, it shows. I think they’re better for it, you’re better for it. Your business will absolutely be better for it.”

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