If there was one thing I wanted Voyage Real Estate to be when I started the company in 2016, it was different.
I didn't really know what that meant at the time, and to be honest, I still don't entirely. But I knew that I wanted to do more than simply follow the model of countless other brokerages: "Sell as many houses as you can". That wasn't the kind of company I wanted to build because there was much more important work to be done. What does that even mean though? Can a real estate brokerage survive if it’s not singularly focused on maximizing sales?
I won’t delve too far into the minutiae of the traditional real estate brokerage business model, but I learned pretty quickly as a broker/owner that motivations were skewed. Agents are incentivized to sell. Brokers are incentivized to recruit. And Brokerages are incentivized to tout their sales and recruiting. Ultimately, the clients and community that brokerages serve benefit, but they're hardly at the center of the model. Isn't that what it really should be about?
To be fair, there are plenty of agents, brokers, and brokerages that care deeply about their clients and community. I'm not questioning their intentions or downplaying their contributions. However, what if they were incentivized to serve? An agent reading this would argue, "We are incentivized to serve! What do you think I do all day?" I'm not arguing that good agents don't serve their clients well, but what if an agent's compensation was tied to how well they serve? What if brokerages valued service over sales? Imagine how the real estate industry would change, and how the communities they serve would be impacted. This is one significant way a real estate company can be different, and that's the kind of difference we are trying to make at Voyage Real Estate.
While no one could have anticipated the challenges 2020 would bring, it's also presented tremendous opportunities for growth and change. From boot-strapped startups to the largest, multinational corporations, all businesses have had to adapt and reassess. The way companies connect with their customers, the way products are produced and delivered, the future of every industry has nearly turned on its head. Real Estate was already on an evolutionary path, and COVID has only pushed us further down it. I guess what I'm getting at is it felt like the time to make a change was now, so we've been realigning our company to do just that.
So much of what's required to be a successful agent is the ability to problem solve. It makes sense then that a successful brokerage, made up of successful agents, would have tremendous problem solving ability. At Voyage, we're talking about how we can leverage that ability for the benefit of the communities we serve. We want to go beyond simply chasing sales. We want to tackle the underlying problems our clients and community face. Issues like housing affordability and accessibility, needed public improvements like bike lanes and sidewalks, and the highest and best use for surrounding vacant parcels. When you hire us, we won’t just be agents. We’re advocates.
We want to start a dialogue with the community, and it starts here. We’ll be sharing topics that we think are important, and we want you to let us know what issues you think need to be tackled. This is the kind of company we want to be.
The next time you ask us about what makes Voyage different, know that it will always be the difference we make.