Getting to the Top with Smart Leadership & Powerful Tech
Sonny Downey is many things: motivated, successful, kind.
But what really stands out in a sea of successful top producers in real estate is his combination of intelligence and humility. He’s sharp as a tack and uses that industry knowledge to empower his agents. That’s why his business has skyrocketed to consistently ranking as the #1 Franchise for EXIT Realty International in the United States.
- Nearly 500 Agents
- One of the 50 Largest Brokerages in Florida
- Top 500 for Transaction Volume in the US and Top 1,000 for Sales Volume (RISMedia)
- Database of 350,000+ Leads
- BoomTown Client Since Day 1! (~10 years)
After 15 years in the industry, the number one obstacle has always been, and still remains, staying ahead of the curve with technology. Being partnered with BoomTown means having the comfort of knowing that your technology partner will handle that for you. As a leader of nearly 500 agents, Sonny understands that the success of his business ultimately comes down to the individual success of those agents. And empowering them with the tools they need to reach their goals has been his priority from the beginning.
“I’m in the system now just as much as I was back then. Any broker that doesn’t have a robust CRM is just missing out, they really are. They’re going to miss the boat.”
Aside from putting trust in a technology partner, Sonny recommends attending annual user conferences (such as BoomTown Unite) and real estate events like Inman Connect and T3 Sixty.
Making Your Systems Work FOR You
Sonny’s company has been with BoomTown for over 10 years. And if you’re wondering why he’s never left, it’s because he does all of the right things to be successful with the platform. He’s taking every important step to get the most ROI possible and use BoomTown as a tool to move his business forward. BoomTown works for Sonny Downey, and not the other way around.
Strategic Agent Training
Most successful real estate businesses have a training program baked in to cover both the tech systems as well as basic agent skills. Sonny does this particularly well, and here’s why. Not only do his agents go through basic systems training, but he also educates his agents on the modern lead flow and real estate marketing funnel. Yep, you read that right!
Being a successful real estate agent in 2020 means going beyond cold call scripts and LPMAMA. It means understanding the wealth and diversity of lead sources available, and how to work them successfully.
“During training we really focus on lead intake. How do we want to handle these leads that are coming in? Because if you’re handling them the same way you’re handling an open house lead or a referral, you’re going to go right into selling, when really you need to coddle that relationship and build trust during that 6-9 month period.”
This type of real estate lead funnel education may seem trivial, but it is a powerful difference that sets Sonny apart. We believe it plays a huge role in the wild success of his real estate business. Not having a deep understanding of this funnel of real estate leads and how to treat them is why brokers so often hear the complaint, “these online leads suck.” Sonny’s agents are trained to work the right leads the right way. (And it saves him a lot of pain in the long run.)
Focus on Lead Flow
Sonny leads nearly 500 agents. So it’s critical that the right process is in place to quickly move those agents to a point of productivity.
He solves for that problem by educating about lead flow early on and by structuring his business so that agents have “skin in the game” when it comes to leads. First, Sonny’s agents buy-in to have their own lead pool. Once they’ve completed the necessary BoomTown training they’re allowed to start buying in.
“You don’t buy the leads, you buy the opportunity. If you’re not going to take advantage of the opportunity, we’ll reassign it to someone else.”
With skin in the game, agents are more likely to stay on top of their follow-up and really work the system properly in order to build their pipeline of opportunities. And new agents have social proof when they see the more tenured, successful agents that have moved up by following the process.
“The only thing worse than a bad lead is no lead. We’re a brokerage built off of the word “no”. I think any agent success is based on their ability to get through the word “no” at a fast rate.
That’s what BoomTown allows us to do. To have the lead flow that we need to get the conversions that we want. A lot of people think they have a lead “flow” problem but really that have a lead conversion problem.”
Building a Strong Recruitment Program
If you’re trying to grow your business and hire a team – Sonny Downey’s EXIT Realty Gallery is a fantastic model to follow. Recruitment and training is a big piece of that growth, and through the years, Sonny has relied on BoomTown as a key player in that recruitment process.
The agents that his business tends to attract are younger and tech-savvy. They’re comfortable with using a technology system as the “home base” of their business and they understand the value of a diverse base of lead sources.
“In our market, it makes us stand out as one of the industry leaders. Our website is ⅓ of our recruiting presentation. The technology in our industry has changed at lightning speed. Having BoomTown was always so impressive, especially during our recruiting appointments.”
Why do agents join a team or a franchise rather than work alone? They see the value in what that environment can offer. Brokers who use BoomTown leverage it as a recruitment tool because it empowers agents with a consumer website, predictive CRM, and a healthy pipeline of leads.
Choices, Choices, Choices…
There’s a wealth of technology in the real estate space and it can be overwhelming for anyone trying to choose the right system. So why did Sonny choose BoomTown? And better yet, why has he chosen to stick with BoomTown for a decade?
Here are 3 reasons why Sonny Downey chooses BoomTown to power his business:
1. “The don’t try to be the all-in-one printer”
A lot of tech systems will promise you the world. But do they really do it that well? “The reality is with the other products, 9 times out of 10 they’re just trying to catch up with BoomTown. They’re trying to be the all-in-one printer. It does everything just okay but it doesn’t do anything really well. I like that BoomTown stays in their lane with what they’re amazing at, and they integrate with other platforms on an API for the rest.”
Sonny’s agents love using the Google Calendar as well as the Spacio integrations. Check out some of our other integration partners here.
2. It’s a system built to scale.
There are a lot of leads in Sonny’s BoomTown database… a lot. His agents have about 350,000 leads in their pipelines and many of them have been marinating since 2009.
“People love the system so much that we have their customers coming back and their agents aren’t even here anymore.”
BoomTown clients tend to triple their business within 4 years. And the reason for that is there is a direct correlation between database growth and an increase in Annual Production Volume.
3. No matter how much they grow, you still get white-glove service
Many clients have BoomTown CEO and Co-founder, Grier Allen’s personal cell phone number. That’s how BoomTown operates. It was established with one goal in mind; make real estate agents successful. That mission has remained the core focus of BoomTown for over a decade.
“I’ve always liked the transparency, being able to reach out to them and find out if there are other strategies that we need to employ. Just the personal touch of working with us and helping us work our advertising budget better.”
For Sonny, the hands-on approach from the BoomTown Digital Advertising team exemplifies why he trusts them as his technology partner. It’s why BoomTown clients dominate the REAL Trends Top 250 list.
“As big as BoomTown has grown, I still have always felt like I can reach out to someone, and I don’t get caught up in this hierarchy. I can talk to a real person. You’ve been able to maintain that personal touch.”