Names: Gabe Dusharme and Brian Voigt
Company: RE/MAX of Chico
Official Titles: Gabe Dusharme, Broker Associate, RE/MAX of Chico; Brian Voigt, Broker/Owner, RE/MAX of Chico, and Broker/Owner, RE/MAX of Paradise
Years in Real Estate: Gabe, 12; Brian, 15
Region Served: Chico and Paradise, Calif.
Number of Offices: 2
Number of Agents: 2
Brian Voigt, left, and Gabe Dusharme of RE/MAX of Chico
As partners, you have a unique business setup. Can you tell me a bit about your team and your focus?
Brian Voigt: Right now, it’s the two of us, and we’re workers. We answer the phone at 11 p.m. if we have to. Currently, Gabe answers every single lead, and this year we will have about 135 closings between the two of us. Now, our phones are ringing without chasing leads. We’re not just salespeople; we’re counselors, guides. We’re guiding our clients through a huge emotional move for them—the most important investment they will ever make. We have little taglines, like, “As a buyer, the more houses you see, the better buyer you will be.” We have talked people out of buying homes that aren’t a fit for them if they’re getting side-tracked from their goals. It’s about taking care of clients, not just looking for a check. Everything else will follow if you take care of your clients.
Gabe Dusharme: Our business model is a combination of what’s in your heart, living with the golden rule and how you move toward your goals.
What are your current team goals?
BV: One of our main goals has been to sell the most homes per year in our county, which we have achieved for the past three years. Every transaction counts, both big and small, because they all allow you to meet new people, and the more you’re meeting people and taking care of them, the more referrals you will receive.
How has your growth been over the past few years?
GD: It’s been tremendous. Our referral process has really expanded. It turns out, people do not want to keep their REALTOR® a secret. They like telling people about their experience with us.
BV: Before I was working with Gabe, I could never get to 100 buys a year. I would get to 80 or so, and I couldn’t top more than $20 million in sales. There wasn’t enough hours in the day for me to do any more. Adding Gabe to my team has been huge in our growth as a company. We’ve shot up to $33 million in sales per year. Prior to our partnership, I would be listed as the top 7 broker in the county, but now, we’ve been the No. 1 in annual buys, and this year we will be the No. 1 in sales dollars for the year.
How are you landing your leads?
BV: We spend a decent amount per month with realtor.com®, and it always pays off. Of course, part of that success is because our partnership is set up so Gabe can focus on being as responsive as possible. That’s key.
GD: When clients reach out via realtor.com, they know what they’re getting into. They are expecting to get a REALTOR® to respond when they reach out through the website, so those leads are high-quality. We follow up as fast as possible; it has a huge impact.
Why did you begin using realtor.com’s Local ExpertSM product?
GD: The way the product advertises us as the expert in our area allows us better placements on search results automatically, so it just made sense for us. The carousel property feature allows us to be sticky on the realtor.com front page, and we leverage this to attract both buyers and sellers.
What has the experience been with Local Expert thus far?
GD: With this product, we can take a seller’s listing and stick it to search results in our area. This is a nice strategic way to use this product, and when we present it to our sellers, they like it quite a bit.
BV: Onboarding was simple and easy, point and pay. Our rep jumped into our account, chatted with me quickly and set it up for us. Frankly, it was turnkey.
What does the future look like for you?
GD: Most people get into this industry wanting to be successful, and we’ve had a good streak. We’re currently No. 1 in our area, so we’re hoping just to sustain our business model as we grow.
BV: We are looking at adding a new team member—one extra addition, essentially 50 percent team growth—so that will be somewhat new for us.
What is your best tip for brand-new agents?
GD: Don’t follow the money. Take care of your clients and the money will come.