Erica Christoffer is a multimedia journalist and contributing editor with REALTOR® Magazine. In addition to writing print and online articles, Erica oversees the magazine's Broker to Broker content, co-manages the 30 Under 30 program, and manages the YPN Lounge. Connect with her via email: email@example.com.
The Teamwork Mentality Pays Off
Learn how one Miami practitioner, who went from a sales agent to team leader to broker-owner, is building a real estate empire through collaboration and social sharing.
April 27, 2017
On the morning of David Kurz’s interview with REALTOR® Magazine, he caught a ride to his office using Uber. The driver looked back at him from the front seat and said, “I know you. I follow you on Facebook.”
Kurz isn’t a famous actor or musician; he’s the owner of Kurz Real Estate in Miami and a prolific user of video marketing. Even if there are more than two or three degrees of separation between you and Kurz, his Facebook Live streams may show up in your newsfeed. He posts eight to 10 times per day on his personal and business pages, shooting live video from conferences, sharing photos of family and friends, and celebrating his agents’ achievements. He admits he uses social media “like there’s no tomorrow.”
So, it probably won’t surprise you that Kurz’s real estate company is as omnipresent in Miami as he is on social media. He recruited 79 agents within five months of opening his doors last August, and his company is still growing. With the goal to close $1 billion in sales this year, Kurz hired a recruiter to find agents who are the right fit for his team.
Kurz is no stranger to achieving big results. In 2005, the Bronx, N.Y., native moved to Miami after serving in the Marines for 11 years. He started at Keller Williams Realty, where he learned how to put together a real estate team. From there, he went to Douglas Elliman, where he developed a strong team brand under his name. About a year ago, he attended a conference in Las Vegas where a friend who owns a title company asked if Kurz thought about starting his own brokerage. By July 1, he signed a lease, and on Aug. 3, he opened the doors of Kurz Real Estate with five team members.
Kurz is now a noncompeting broker who focuses on agent training through what he calls “K Coaching,” which he’s continuing to develop. Kurz hosts his own radio show every Thursday at 5 p.m. ET on Miami station 880AM, which is syndicated on iHeartRadio. He also acts as publisher of his company’s quarterly print publication, Kurz Real Estate Magazine. Plus, he’s writing a book.
Their office also includes a video production studio where agents learn how to shoot and edit video using iMovie on mobile devices and computers. Video comprises a large portion of the company’s marketing techniques. “Most agents will put a listing on the MLS, post a sign, and pray someone calls them on it,” Kurz says. “When we get a listing, we’re on it. We do a video and post it on social media, making sure those links hit our website and capturing those leads. We also build agents’ social media pages through video.” The company also does quarterly mastermind sessions and conducts informational sessions on working with veterans. (Kurz currently serves as president of the Miami Chapter of the Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals.)
This harkens back to the culture of education Kurz mentioned, and he prides himself on being available to his agents whenever they need him. “I’m there every single day, including weekends. They can feel comfortable asking whatever they need to ask me,” he says. Kurz’s personal office is near the front entryway, so everyone has to pass by him when they come in. Kurz has assigned four agents to be “brand ambassadors” who are available to help when he’s busy.
In January, the brokerage was awarded “Entrepreneurial Start-Up Business of the Year” by the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce. That same month, Kurz recruited former Seattle Mariners player Mickey Lopez to spearhead the launch of Kurz Commercial Real Estate. And as of publication of this interview, Kurz was looking to bring on a former Detroit Lions player. Although he isn’t specifically seeking retired athletes, he’s found their skillset to be a good match for his company. “It’s been amazing to see these guys come in and embrace the team spirit. They get it; they understand the meaning of teamwork,” Kurz says.
His company has been successful in the nine months since it opened its doors because Kurz laid out a detailed budget and a clear and concise business plan. Growing a small, boutique firm also means hiring the right people, he says. “Learn about hiring, or use someone who’s an expert in hiring,” Kurz advises. Also, brokers shouldn’t get too caught up in keeping a top producer if they’re toxic to the office culture. He looks for agents with hearts who are willing to take action—those who will embrace his education on sales and closing tactics and apply them in real situations. “All are welcome, as long as they’re willing to learn,” Kurz says.