Phil Puma Offers Agents a Business Model Where Everybody Wins!
Puma & Associates
Written by Allison Parker
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
Imagine coming to work every day and focusing on what you like to do while someone else takes care of all the rest. That’s precisely how Puma & Associates Realty founder Phil Puma designed his firm. With six agents dedicated to selling real estate and nine support staff managing paperwork and processes, Puma & Associates sold $123-million last year.
“We operate as a team instead of individuals on islands of their own,” Phil says. “This approach keeps both our clients and our team happy. Everyone here gets to do what they enjoy doing – whether that’s sales or operations/process. As humans, we’re usually good at one or the other. Most of us aren’t wired to enjoy doing both. Personally, I’d rather do anything besides paperwork all day! But I’ve hired a lot of great people who truly enjoy paperwork and process, freeing our sales team to spend their time in front of clients. It’s a win-win situation.”
Puma & Associates Realty began as a traditional brokerage in 2003, with agents working as independent contractors. When the market crashed five years later, Phil started looking for a new way to do real estate that gave his team members the security of business and income without the risks and expenses of running a business. He discovered the Core Training program and switched to the team model in 2012.
“When a lead comes in, it goes to a buying or listing specialist who focuses exclusively on sales,” Phil explains. “We always start with a client consultation, explaining how we work and why it’s a successful process. As the transaction advances, the client also works closely with an operations specialist who handles all of the following details and steps until closing. But we all work hand-in-hand through the entire process. Every day starts with a team meeting to keep us on the same page, and clients get contacted regularly to let them know how things are progressing. Our model is an efficient way of giving each client the same amazing experience, and our team members earn income that’s a lot more than the average agent’s, without having the headaches and expenses that typically come with doing real estate on your own.”
Communication is key. Puma & Associates are in constant contact and use an innovative CRM system that helps database management and makes the sales contract-to-close process flawless. The customizable workflow process automatically sets tasks and due dates for people who need to do the next step and shows their progress and accountability. “Agents using our CRM across the country tell me they can handle three times the amount of files with our CRM system,” Phil says. “It’s super simple, inexpensive, and customizable. And any agent or team can benefit from using it. Call me to learn more or visit REHomebase.com. I’d be happy to talk about it.”
Today, Puma & Associates Realty is a tight-knit group that treats each other like family. “Most agents go into real estate thinking they can do it on their own, but they don’t realize how much is involved in being successful,” Phil says. “My best advice for new or struggling agents is to get on a team at whichever brokerage they chose. There are a lot of good ones out there. You need great people around you to get to the next level. Our team takes care of each other while being a part of something bigger and working together in a fun atmosphere. We treat our team members like family so they can treat clients like family, turning them into clients for life.”