If Kate Broddick has ever helped you buy or sell your home (and you have the slightest interest in real estate as a career) don’t be surprised if you end up on her team!
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration.
After all, the number of homes the Brantford, Ont. real estate agent with Sutton Team Realty has sold far surpasses the number of people she has on her team. But still, there’s something uncanny about the fact that of 11 people on her team, fully eight of them are former clients.
“I like to think we grew organically and it wasn’t because I was looking for them, it kind of fell into place,” says Broddick, though she acknowledges that a close bond often develops when helping people make major life decisions such as buying a home. Sometimes that continues beyond the actual transaction.
But there’s another tale here – one about an incredibly supportive and close-knit team of Realtors and administrative staff.
“The thing that sets us apart from all other teams is the constant positivity that all the team members have for each other,” says administrative assistant Mary Carvalho. “We are all each other’s biggest supporters, each other’s sounding boards and above all else we are always cheering each other on.”
“We promote each other online on social media and even offline,” says sales rep Jessica Brennan. “We share each other’s wins.”
Several team members, including sales rep Lisa Sly, give examples of how they also offer each other concrete help. “If I’m busy and have to pick up my kids at 3 p.m. I say, ‘guys I have a client who needs something,’ and I’ll set it up for them to help me out. And we all do that for one other,” she says.
When Nicole Slade joined the team, she says other members showed her how to run her business successfully. “If I’m struggling with a deal, I know I can reach out to them any time of day. That’s how we work.”
The camaraderie extends outside work too. All say they are close friends and their children play together. “Our friendships are paramount,” says Slade.
Perhaps it helps that they share a few important things in common. All are women
(though Broddick says that wasn’t intentional), and most of them are wives and mothers of young children and are juggling home and work life.
But there are dissimilarities too. There’s a 20-year age difference between the youngest team member and the oldest, and the personalities, says Broddick, are “all very different.”
And yet it works.
Meanwhile, most team members marvel at Broddick’s high level of productivity. They refer to her alternatively as a “machine” and “superhuman” for the amount she seems to accomplish in a day.
“Kate treats each client like they’re the only one and she treats each team member like that too,” says sales rep Ally VanderHarst. “Kate is like everyone’s mom and I don’t know how she does it.”
Broddick admits one of the biggest challenges is to satisfy every agent. “They lean on me for experience and guidance. You can feel pulled in many directions,” she says. “I have six other women to be there for plus four support staff. Anytime you have multiple personalities there can be clashing. It’s a matter of being transparent and being able to communicate.”
But Broddick also appreciates the benefits. “To have the support of 10 others who have my back, I think that’s a rare thing.”
Members speak affectionately and appreciatively of their leader and their teammates. Some say they feel like they’ve been “uplifted;” that they’re “part of a family;” that they work in a “positive environment.”
This bonding seems to have translated into professional success. For the past six years, Broddick has rated No. 1 in Brantford for number of transactions and total volume sold while the team as a whole has been rated No. 1 in Brantford for the past six years.
But what is the secret ingredient that makes this team bond so well? Perhaps Broddick has a knack for picking the right individuals. “Kate is not wrong about the people she meets,” says Slade.
“We’re all very different, but we all want to help and make people feel good and resolve things similarly,” says Broddick. “We all have values.”
Some may wonder if an all-female team may be one reason for the uniquely supportive environment. Not necessarily, says Brennan. “I’m a women supporting women type of person. Sometimes we don’t cheer each other on. That’s starting to change, and our team is a great example of what you can accomplish.”
Does Broddick feel she could replicate the team she’s created with a totally different group of individuals?
“I think 100 per cent it’s about your people,” she says. “One person could change the entire dynamic. You need people who understand there’s sacrifice on a team. They have to come together on a goal, have experience and professionalism,” she adds. “I think the team I have now is doing it.”
That seems to be a rare combination. It’s not often you hear people rave so highly about their workplace and their colleagues.
“I’m a firm believer that good staff and good colleagues are not a dime a dozen,” says Broddick.