Jonathan Lickstein’s Path to 3,000+ Realtors, 5 Billion in sales and the Top 13th Independent Real Estate Brokerage

April 3, 2024
Client Spotlight

How do you grow a brokerage to 3,000+ realtors, reach 5 Billion in sales and rank #13 of all independent brokerages in the U.S.? According to Jonathan Lickstein, COO of LoKation Real Estate, there is no “magic bullet” but it's a unique combination of mentorship, digital marketing, and an integrated real estate “tech stack” that has allowed his real estate brokerage to not only survive but thrive in the recent volatile real estate market.

Having been in real estate since shortly after he became a legal adult, Jonathan has seen the real estate industry become increasingly digital over the past 17 years, which is why he leads his brokerage with and eye on the future. He sat down with HomeStack to reveal the real estate tools that have allowed him to recruit top luxury realtors for their new division, how leveraging tech can free realtors of living deal-to-deal, and how you can get in front of 6.4 billion people to scale yourreal estate business.

“The digital marketplace has transformed how real estate agents generate business. My focus at LoKation Real Estate is how can we harness MLS data, put it into the palm of a consumers hand and give them a tool to directly interact with the real estate agent. We live in an an on-demand world: I want it now, I need it now, how can you get to to me with the least amount of friction as possible and that is what our real estate agent apps built by HomeStack has allowed us to do.”

Realtors need to be marketers first and sales people second.

Jonathan coaches the realtors at LoKation to think of themselves as "marketers first and sales people second" and psychologists and therapists, haha…he stresses that "as a marketer you need to understand you cannot just go in one direction. If all you are doing is paying the websites that begin with and “R” and a “Z” and expecting your business to flourish under that single source of lead generation, you are sorely mistaken. Realtors need different avenues to take that consumer, create a rapport with them and then move them to a platforms where all roads lead back to you to control their experience. That’s where mobile apps for realtors like HomeStack come into play."

“ A branded app for realtors at our brokerage has allowed them to engage with consumers on the phones they look at 24/7. Agents being able to communicate with consumers in their real estate app and that information flowing into their CRM allows for a seamless process. The consumer needs an easy tool to stick with their real estate agent on their home search journey. Our HomeStack real estate app gives both the agent and consumer a unified experience throughout this process resulting in more conversions and transactions.”

Jonathan dives deeper into why so many real estate agents get stuck living deal-to-deal and how they can break this cycle.

"Some real estate agents are fine doing that 1-2 transactions per year, I’m not but some are. Doing that word of mouth marketing is fine for those agents, but if you want to scale and release that unlimited income limitation or build a team and not have to go deal-to-deal for the rest of your life. You have to diversify, and not simply work off personal referrals. You have to think of your business as a “retail store” if you open a store, and you don’t bring anyone to the store, you don’t sell anything. You will never grow to the point you truly want to grow. You have to diversify and include a mix of social media, digital ads and you sphere of influence."

Last year a whopping 6.4 billion users were accessing mobile apps compared to being on their computer.

While Jonathan was coaching the real estate agents at LoKation on lead generation through social media and paid ads, a few years ago, he had his a-ha moment where he knew he need to build a real estate app for realtors at LoKation. "I kept seeing trends on the usage of mobile devices. We’ve talked about it since 2015-16, that more and more people are searching for homes on a mobile device but now in 2023, they are not only using mobile devices, but mobile app usage and engagement has increased by 5%-10% every single year since 2014! When you talk about the scale of that - last year that was 6.4 Billion users accessing mobile apps compared to being on their computer. It gets harder and harder as an agent to stay top-of-mind. If you can get in front of 6.4 Billion users, where they already are on their phones and have the control to send push notifications and mass messaging to them - boom - endless possibilities! So that is why we went down the pathway of creating apps for realtors at LoKation."

If you can get in front of 6.4 Billion users, where they already are on their phones and have the control to send push notifications and mass messaging to them - boom - endless possibilities! So that is why we went down the pathway of creating apps for realtors at LoKation.

When strategizing how to recruit top realtors at LoKation, they knew it was crucial to form a Luxury division.

"Establishing a luxury brand was big for recruiting real estate agents that work in a higher price-point. What comes with a luxury feel is efficient tools that deliver up-to-date, relevant and personalized information. The consumer does not want to do the work they want their realtor to do the work for them. Creating our LoKation Luxury App with HomeStack, allowed us as a brokerage to demonstrate to top real estate talent that we  offer them a tool they can leverage to create that white-glove home search. And then for the agent, the way their app integrates with their CRM seamlessly, in our case kvCORE, allows the them to continue to cater to their consumer. It is this high level of service makes them more likely to transact and refer more friends and family to that agent."

Not every single advertising method has a direct ROI, but don't stop using them, there is a level of intangible value there.

"As a realtor, you need to have your name appearing in many different avenues. It will expands your reach if people see you in a social media video, on a bus bench or in a magazine - avenues which may not have a direct return on investment immediately. It creates a confidence and familiarity of your real estate brand, so when the time to buy or sell does come up, you become the more safe and secure person and more recognizable as a “household name” in real estate. Same goes for your real estate tech tools, it may not have an instant ROI, but if you are using it and it is helping to build your brand familiarity, don’t cross it off just because it does not balance on your bottom line, it might be doing that and you just don’t know it."

If all of your real estate technology doesn't integrate together your leads will slip through the cracks.

Jonathan explains that, "One thing HomeStack does really well is integrate with the major real estate CRM’s. With real estate agents having leads coming in from various different sources it is important to have them filtering into a central CRM. When a lead comes in from our app, it feeds into our CRM, and then it triggers automations and campaign's from the CRM, it is an automated process. Plus if a consumer is in your app they already know who you are, you don’t need to send impersonal generic emails and texts to try to build the relationship, you already have it. Now how do we double down and get them to respond and adore? Get them to a home, get them to that next step and thats where all of your tools and these integrations really play in nicely together."

Follow Jonathan for more real estate growth strategies @thebrokerlick and LoKation Real Estate @lokationre and Listen to the No-Bull Broker Podcast Here!

Ready to crush your goal of building a top brokerage and recruiting and retaining top real estate talent like Jonathan? Book an app demo HERE to learn more. We can’t wait to help.

Learn more about building a white-label app for your real estate team or brokerage.


See All