Shawna Alt grew up in the real estate business, having watched her mother run her own company. Even though she didn’t initially have the desire, she found herself following in her mother’s successful footsteps.
After graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in psychology, Alt returned to Madison, Wisconsin, to determine what her next steps would be.
She met with one of her mom’s friends and colleagues, Jim Imhoff, who was CEO of First Realty at the time, and he suggested that she give real estate a try.
Today, Alt serves as president of First Weber, Inc., a company where she’s been part of the leadership team going on 17 years.
About three years ago, Alt sat down with the team to do what she describes as a “typical planning session.” One of the things discussed? Whether or not the buyer, the seller or the agent was their actual client.
“When we took a step back and looked at what we all did every day, it was very clear to us that the agent was our client,” Alt says. “From that point on, we focused on what we were doing every day to help our agents build their business.”
That led to three primary questions: “What do we do?” “How do we do it?” and “Why do we do it?”
“Every type of policy we have—and every tool we utilize—comes back to fulfilling those questions,” Alt says. “We focus a lot on being a resource for our agents, getting feedback and identifying what it is that’s specific and unique to each agent. We then customize the tools we offer based upon the needs they have.”
While some agents are focused on achieving a specific volume or closed unit goal, others are more concerned with achieving the elusive work/life balance. Then there are those who are more mobile oriented as opposed to those who prefer to continue working with paper files.
“We reach out to them on a regular basis so that we can provide them with the tools that best meet their needs,” says Alt, which ultimately laid the foundation for their utilization of Main Street, a suite of front office tools under Constellation1—the platform that drives everything.
“This is where we work with Constellation1,” explains Alt. “It does everything—all of our contact management, our marketing, all of our document and transaction management. We’re able to customize everything from print pieces to electronic marketing pieces as well as the way in which the transaction management piece functions with the agent and interacts with the First Weber app.”
The firm also has its own print shop, where graphic designers create the marketing and direct mail pieces utilized by the firm. All of this comes from the content database that Constellation1 offers, and is one of the primary reasons behind the firm’s success.
“One of the biggest benefits that Constellation1 brings to the table is their willingness to customize their products to meet our needs,” Alt says. “Their approach to meeting our needs melds perfectly with our approach to meet the needs of our agents.”
As of August 2021, there were approximately 1,100 agents at First Weber.
“What makes a good agent is someone who has a growth mindset and is dedicated to helping others,” concludes Alt. “We bring the necessary training and tools to support the business of our agents. They bring the motivation and desire to serve their clients.”