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Robin Dickson: Meeting Challenges With Training and Technology

Robin_DicksonThose who live and work in San Francisco’s luxurious East Bay understand that when a home goes on the market in the area, it doesn’t last very long, and the price is usually high.

Robin Dickson, executive vice president of J. Rockcliff REALTORS®, has been working in the area for a long time, and has been charged with helping thousands of people find their dream home.

“Our market is fairly consistent, but we’ve been suffering from low inventory like many others,” says Dickson. “I know this area really well, and not only are we No. 1 in our market, but we provide full-service opportunities for our agents.”

Dickson first started in real estate after leaving another career to have a baby, wanting something to “support her Nordstrom’s habit” while her child was in preschool. She quickly became a top seller and realized that she had a calling for the job and the industry.

“I love that every day is different in this industry; the situations are different, the people are different, even the market is different,” says Dickson. “I love the challenges each day brings, and the satisfaction I feel when a challenge is successfully met or a problem is solved.”

The 30-year-old firm currently has five offices and an agent count of a little more than 400, and while Dickson notes there are no immediate plans for big growth in 2017, she’ll never close the door on a good opportunity.

“Someone once said, ‘you can’t plan an opportunity.’ That being said, we prefer to keep our footprint smaller and be the go-to company, taking a deep dive into customer service and marketing,” says Dickson. “We’ll more than likely grow within our current footprint by increasing agent count, but you never know when an opportunity may arise.”

Because the average sales price of homes on the market is north of a million dollars, there’s not many millennials or first-time homebuyers coming into the office. That said, the firm ensures its agents get the training they need to understand who their audience is and the different tools they can use for each buying segment. And it all starts with education.

“We provide an in-depth, eight-class training course designed for new agents, with each day building on the previous one,” says Dickson. “There’s a day in between each class where agents must go out and apply what they’ve learned in a ‘real’ environment. We also offer weekly legal updates by video, weekly sales meetings and monthly market activity analytics. Additionally, we offer personalized coaching and accountability groups in some of our offices.”

Dickson is also proud that J. Rockcliff REALTORS® has been “a technologically advanced” company for 10 years. In addition to being paperless, the firm holds weekly technology training on everything from social media to using video. The firm is also in the midst of transitioning its phone system to RingCentral to ensure total mobility.

“A lot of agents realize it becomes more expensive, and they spend too much time doing ‘staff work’ in a high-split/low-service environment,” says Dickson. “And they find that they actually make more money in a company like ours where they have more time to do what they do best: represent buyers and sellers. We have a culture that attracts and retains the cream of the crop. They know that we’re a family and that we care.”

Vitals: J. Rockcliff REALTORS®
Years in Business
: 30
Size: 5 offices, 400+ agents
Region Served: San Francisco East Bay
2016 Sales Volume: $2.7 billion
2016 Transactions: 3,000
www.rockcliff.com

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