Gina Rautenberg is a marketing consultant and writer who specializes in the real estate industry. Outside of her work with the National Association of REALTORS®, Gina has collaborated with T3 Sixty, Inman, realtor.com®, Edina Realty, HomeSpotter, RateMyAgent, and many brokers and associations. To get in touch, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Broker With a Public Servant’s Heart
Noel Rendon is a broker-owner and a Dallas police officer who’s highly focused on best practices for meeting his agents’ and clients’ needs during the pandemic.
March 30, 2020
If you ask Noel Rendon, policing and real estate have a lot in common. They’re each rooted in public service and have the potential to build and strengthen communities from the inside out.
While it may seem like an impossible task, Rendon has committed to both careers, full-time. By day, he’s the broker-owner of Rendon Realty, a flat-fee brokerage in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. By night, he’s in his 18th year as a police sergeant for the southwest sector of the Dallas Police Department.
Here’s how Rendon and his wife and business partner, Christie, navigate his dual role and their growing presence and commitment to their local community.
Rendon says he’s fortunate to work the night shift on the police force, freeing him up for the majority of the business week. “For my police work, I work four 10-hour days, Thursday through Sunday. Most of the time I work the evening shift, which is 5 p.m. to 3 a.m. After that, I head home and get five or six hours of sleep before heading into the office around 9 or 9:30 a.m. So, it’s manageable and I have most of the business week open to run the brokerage.”
On weekdays, Rendon focuses on advising and supporting his 75 agents, either with private consultations or through larger training sessions and meetings. In the era of the coronavirus, he says their new normal is to operate virtually as much as possible. “As the broker, it is my responsibility to train and educate our agents even during this crisis. We still have weekly and monthly meetings,” he says. Rendon believes that his agents value this personal attention even more than the technology solutions or the flat-fee structure that the firm offers.
Rendon spends most of his days consulting one-on-one with agents, but the firm also hosts group training opportunities to keep their sales agents sharp. In his weekly roundtable meeting, called Power Hour Wednesdays, Rendon covers one or two hot topics via Zoom, then opens the forum up for questions. “This virtual meeting platform allows us to talk face-to-face and continue real estate training and education,” he says. The goal is hands-on, tactical instruction; past topics have included topics including filling out specific forms like lead-based paint addendums, developing scripts for handling objections, and confidently developing CMAs for potential seller clients.
While they’re abiding by each county’s shelter-in-place order, Rendon has stopped all open houses, and they’re now offering a virtual showings and open house options. “I am using this time to teach and train our agents to get organized, utilize a CRM, work on individual business websites, and increase their social media marketing,” he says. “When the shelter orders are lifted, our agents will be more than ready to continue serving clients.”
Christie, a licensed real estate agent, takes over some of Noel’s real estate tasks on the weekends—including meeting with his active clients—so he can catch up on sleep and remain committed to agents who may need his direct assistance. She also manages community- and culture-building activities for Rendon Realty, planning their four annual events and agent team-building activities.
A Focus on Community is Paramount
While REALTORS® have long seen the value of entrenching themselves in their communities, Rendon believes that a renewed emphasis on community policing is bringing this idea back to the forefront of law enforcement.
A concept first developed in the 1980s, community policing is the philosophy that law enforcement can reduce crime by building up trust and cooperation with the community or neighborhoods they serve. A federal task force report, commissioned during President Barack Obama’s term, stated that “community policing starts on the street corner, with respectful interaction between a police officer and a local resident, a discussion that need not be related to a criminal matter.”
Through his real estate role, Rendon is able to engage with members of the community he may not meet in a law enforcement capacity—including clients, fellow real estate professionals, event attendees, or the beneficiaries of charitable donations like the Thanksgiving meal delivery the brokerage organized last fall.
Community policing naturally aligns with selling real estate because they are both rooted in the same concept of public service. “I’ve always been a public servant at heart, so anything that I can do to serve people and help people and interact with the public … that’s just something that I enjoy doing,” he says.
The current situation involving the COVID-19 pandemic is a significant moment for real estate professionals, Rendon says. “We must continue to provide professional and ethical real estate services. We need to educate ourselves on best practices and alter our services to adhere to county and state orders. We must then educate our clients and advise them on how to deal with the crisis and still be able to accomplish their desired goal of buying or selling real estate.
“Real estate is still very much a public service if you think about it. You provide a service, you’re… giving [families] the hope of the American dream.”