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Business Observer Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 3 months ago

Real estate firm aims to bring in more agents through million-dollar plan

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Mark Coppens runs downtown Sarasota-based Living Vogue Real Estate with his wife, Jamie Coppens.

A little over a year ago, Mark Coppens started a real estate firm. Now he’s trying to draw more agents to his firm through a program he dubbed the Million Dollar Agent Plan — which aims to turn agents into seven-figure stars. 

Coppens runs downtown Sarasota-based Living Vogue Real Estate with his wife, Jamie Coppens. Mark Coppens tells Coffee Talk they created the Million Dollar Agent Plan after talking with new real estate agents. They discovered agents were paying for several out-of-pocket expenses, including costs associated with marketing properties. For each of their listings, that could mean photos, videos, a website and more. “Those expenses will run up to several thousand of dollars,” he says. With his plan, that risk factor is reduced. “I take that financial burden,” says Coppens.

From conversations with agents, Coppens also learned they had been well-trained in areas such as contracts, but when it came to marketing themselves or knowing how to use social media to their advantage, they hadn’t received as much training.

Coppens, who says he did $35 million in sales volume in 2019, developed the Million Dollar Agent Plan around those two needs. “The focus is learning how to get new clients and interact with clients — real-world things agents will face,” he says.

To attract agents, the firm offered a $10,000 signing bonus over the holidays with a two-year commitment. For the new agents Coppens recruits, the firm will pay for licensing, too. “We’ll take on a lot of that financial up-front responsibility,” he says.

He's brought on five agents so far through the Million Dollar Agent Plan, being picky about who he chooses. “I’m very selective,” he says. “I really want to protect the brand we’ve established in a short amount of time.”

The goal is to build the firm’s presence and sales volume. “I need a few more agents to join the team in order for the plan as it’s set to be viable long term,” says Coppens. “I’m willing to make that investment up front in order to grow. I look at this as any other business. Adding on agents is an investment — an investment in time, and in my case, expenses.”

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