Bill Cunningham, The Corcoran Group

Bill Cunningham

Supporting Agents

Editors’ Note

Bill Cunningham is responsible for overseeing management of all Manhattan sale and rental transactions. Additionally, he works with Corcoran’s full management team in the development and promotion of all Corcoran agents to expand their business and reach new goals for continued growth and success.

How do you define your role within Corcoran and how do you engage with all areas of the company?

My role with the company is to insure that all agents receive the highest level of support in transacting deals, marketing and advertising, public relations, and IT. I work closely with the company’s sales managers and individual department heads to maintain Corcoran’s position as the industry leader. We are continually developing new ways to increase individual agents’ overall performance and production. Our education programs for new and existing agents have been instrumental in keeping our agents on the cutting edge of how to operate successfully in a changing marketplace.

What role does the company play in supporting its agents and what traits make for an effective agent?

Company support for the work of agents runs the gamut from concrete marketing and technological resources to the experienced advice of strong managers, to an extensive support structure of administrative professionals. In addition, the company has to build a strong brand presence in its markets, one based on a proven track record of success, ethical behavior, and trust. Corcoran’s mobilization of all of these approaches provides its agents with the best recipe for their business’ success.

Agents also have to be ethical and professional, and they need to be real people who care about other people, because their work is all about personal relationships. If someone is not a good listener, this might not be the right line of work for them. There is a lot of competition, so a successful agent needs to foster loyalty and trust with his clients.

Naturally, agents need to be knowledgeable about their field. Friends, colleagues, and future clients look to them for sound, sensible advice on what is happening in residential real estate, so they need to be armed with the best information.

They have to be able to explain pricing, the effects of inventory and absorption, and how events outside of our marketplace can have repercussions in the city, in terms that ordinary people can understand.

A good agent must be tenacious and creative about solving problems. I know several real estate agents who are successful not because they got the best grades or knew the most, but because they were proactive, persuasive, and personable.

Is this industry appropriate for those with more of a business mindset or is service and relationship orientation more important?

Every client has different needs while working with an agent – some will need to see spreadsheets, numbers, and data, and others will want a friend who can reassure and support them. Sometimes, agents need to do both. The value comes from knowing the customer and giving him what he needs.

The best agents adapt themselves to each situation. It’s up to agents to know what their weaknesses are and to work on improving their skills. It’s a good idea for an agent to forge strong relationships with complementary professionals – mortgage brokers, attorneys, appraisers, and those who work in the title industry – that can provide added value for clients when they pose questions the agent isn’t totally comfortable answering.•