"No Broker Would Hire Me, And Everyone Laughed At My Idea. Now Over 1,000 Agents Join Realty Connect Every Year!”

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Amir Bakian   Contributor

An interview with Dana Jensen, CEO & Principal Broker at Realty Connect

As many new agents quickly discover, navigating a successful career in real estate can be full of challenges. In fact, almost 90% of all new agents exit the industry within their first 5 years. But regardless of whether an agent has been selling real estate for 2 years or 20 years, there comes a time in every agent’s career when they no longer want, or are unable, to continue in real estate sales.

However, agents invest a significant amount of time, money, and resources into their career, and the thought of letting their license expire or become inactive is not appealing. But it doesn’t make sense to continue paying thousands of dollars in MLS fees, Association dues and Realtor expenses for these tools every year if they’re no longer selling. At this point, what does an agent do with their license?

This is the dilemma that Dana Jensen tried to solve with his company, Realty Connect. Like most agents, Jensen started out helping people buy and sell homes when he became licensed in 2003. But when the housing market crashed in 2008, Jensen found himself in a difficult position. He enjoyed real estate but was not getting the return on investment he needed to continue as a traditional agent.

Jensen explains, “I wasn’t prepared and had to take a break. I wanted to keep my license, but couldn’t afford all the MLS fees, Association dues and Realtor expenses. Without these, no broker would hire me. Why would they? I couldn’t sell real estate.”.

When he looked around, Jensen saw thousands of other agents just like him who were caught in the middle. This gap in the market became the inspiration for his company, Realty Connect. When the market recovered a few years later, Jensen opened his first office in Reston, VA.

However, Realty Connect is different from most brokerages. Although his agents hold Active real estate licenses, they do not engage in helping clients buy or sell homes personally. Rather, they refer their clients into his network of over 50,000 top-rated agents, who represent the client and conduct the entire transaction. In exchange, his agents earn 25%-75% referral fees.

This innovative business model allows Realty Connect agents an affordable way to keep their license Active for only $100 a year without MLS fees, Association dues & Realtor expenses. These items typically cost agents $2,000 a year. Jensen adds, “When I first started this company, everyone laughed at my idea. They never thought it would work. But we were able to prove the concept, and now more than 1,000 agents join Realty Connect each year!”.

The average referral fee his agents earn is $3,200. Since they can refer in all 50 states, most agents make 2-3 referrals each year. Jensen states “Most people don’t know that over 70% of all real estate transactions in the U.S. are generated by referrals every year, so we’re just trying to own that space.”.

And it’s working. Since launching in 2015, Jensen has expanded his company to 7 additional states (CO, CA, FL, GA, MD, NC & TX), making Realty Connect the largest independent real estate referral brokerage in the United States. However, Jensen still has ambitious growth plans and will be in 16 more states (AZ, IL, IN, MA, MI, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, UT, WA, & WI) by the end of 2022.

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Amir Bakian   Contributor

Amir Bakian is a public relations, marketing and strategic brand expert who has executed social media and strategic marketing campaigns for a variety of large companies and small businesses.