A Culture of Training, Starting at the Top
If you asked the teenage Jim Fite, now the president and CEO of Century 21 Judge Fite Company, if he’d ever get into real estate, that answer would have been a definite “no.” As the son of two real estate agents, this fifth-generation Texan never imagined he’d end up in the same profession as his parents.
“I remember at 16 years old, they were talking real estate at dinner, and finally, I got sick of it,” Jim recalls. “I slammed my hand down on the dining table, stood up and said, ‘I’m never going to be a REALTOR®.’”
Just two years later, after realizing college wasn’t his thing, Jim eventually did get into real estate, becoming the youngest person in Texas to do so. However, in exchange for quitting college, Jim had to promise his father, Judge Fite, he would stick to two conditions.
“You will sit in a classroom one day a month, and you will read, study and think an hour a day, five days a week for the rest of your life,” Jim recalls.
To this day, he has honored his father’s request to practice lifelong learning, and that has had a tremendous impact on the business Century 21 Judge Fite Company has become. Started by Judge Fite in 1937, the company is now one of the largest real estate brokerages in North Texas. With more than 800 agents, they have built relationships with title and mortgage companies as well. Their commitment to professional development is tough to beat, as every new agent who joins the Judge Fite family is automatically enrolled in The Pathway to Mastery®—Essentials training program from Buffini & Company.
“With that foundation, they learn how to develop business, generate leads, work those leads, give quality service, negotiate for the benefit of the client and ultimately make a friend for life who will give them referrals,” Jim says.
At Century 21 Judge Fite Company, agents have made millions and upped their quality of life simply by adopting the Working by Referral model learned in training. Bill Steddum, the company’s director of training, says the power of these programs is apparent for both rookie and veteran agents alike.
“We’ve seen these programs take experienced agents and move them several levels up, and our new agents are able to successfully close business,” Bill says.
Investing in top-of-the-line training has also increased retention at the offices. Agents recognize the leadership team’s commitment to their success, which has made them feel more empowered on the job. Bill explains that by building up individuals and giving them the necessary tools for success, everybody wins.
“It increases our retention rate, slows down our turnover and provides better service for buyers and sellers, while also increasing the quality of life for our agents,” Bill says.
With an executive team so dedicated to agent success, Judge Fite Company is the embodiment of leading by example. Agents are exposed daily to their leader’s message of personal and professional development, and this has inspired them to achieve at the highest levels. For Jim Fite and his team, investing in agent success is an important part of strong leadership.
“Leadership is helping people get to a place that’s better than where they were,” says Jim. “I love the ability to help people achieve goals they didn’t even know they had when they got into our industry. You can achieve whatever you want right here.”
Lead your own office toward success with Buffini & Company’s training program, The Pathway to Mastery®—Essentials. Get certified to lead a course for your team today!