As Smith explains it, the Wemert strategy is to start by contracting out different needs for services; as the needs become more insistent and they learn more about what’s required, they work on hiring someone who understands those components and can help them continue contracting out or hiring support staff.
For example, Smith started at Wemert doing graphic design and then stepped into a marketing director role. “Eventually I worked myself out of a job and just kept taking other pieces from the brokerage” until she stepped into the COO role to lead most of the departments.
“I would say the marketing hire is a key hire for a real estate company, and I think it's one that gets skipped because people feel like they can go do a lot of automated this and get a virtual assistant her and there and piece it all together.” That’s possible, she allows, but having an in-house hire means that a brokerage can be nimble and can create brand cohesion.
“What worked for us is, we realized we were paying a salary anyway in our expenses,” she explains. “So once we reached that point when we were already paying what it would cost us to hire a photographer full-time, then it made sense to try to hire one so we could stabilize the availability, and so we could customize our look and feel and gain some consistency.”
It’s important to keep good relationships flowing with those companies that provide you with the contract support, in her opinion. “We knew we’d still need them” for overflow help, and they continued to supplement with their contract help until they were ready to hire a second photographer because the expenses stretched to accommodate two salaries.
“The key there was finding someone teachable enough to come in," she notes, who’s adaptable enough to blend their style with what Wemert is seeking in their marketing materials.