BreakAway Agent Episode #8 with Marcus Koss, Managing Principal Broker at Summa-Pacific Cascade Realty

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Tips and Advice To Maintain an Awesome Mentoring and Coaching Team Strategy

Marcus Koss, Managing Principal Broker at Summa-Pacific Cascade Realty in the Portland area has always been service driven. From the Marine Corps to being a firefighter in his community, his passion in life comes from serving others. As a team leader of 45+ agents with the desire to grow, Marcus knows what it takes to stand out in the market and build a team of servant minded individuals. Luckily for us, he has found opportunity to fulfill that passion everyday in real estate, and he shares his insights into how mentoring and coaching can build successful teams.

We all know that building a great team comes down to bringing the right culture of people together to support and encourage one another. Finding the right connections and the learning how to communicate and elaborate is important not only for team building, but also for team growth. Listen now as Tiffany and Marcus discuss strategies for team building that include mentoring, coaching, and serving others.

Fill A Need, Offer Something More To The Market

Marcus Koss’s role has changed in real estate over the years. He started out strictly selling commercial real estate to clients who needed office spaces. When he eventually moved across to the residential side of real estate, he was a single agent. His friend started a new brokerage and he moved into residential sales basically on his own.

The only reason he decided that making the jump from what he knew into residential with a new brokerage is that he thought they could fill a need. He believed that they could do something different than what was currently available on the market.

You Can’t Be Good at EVERYTHING.

Coming into a new brokerage from a more corporate structure, Marcus had to shift his mindset. With a corporate structure, you have experts doing what they are good at, and everyone has specific roles. He was nervous that he would be responsible for everything going into business for himself.

No one can possibly be good at everything, so they ended up creating a support team. Building a team means hiring people who are pros at what they do. His initial brokerage was set up a little different, where they built up a team of a one to one business model of agents vs staff. Supporting staff members help with some of the back end logistics, be it marketing or administrative work.

As Marcus branched out and built his team of 45+ agent, he made is support staff up of experts in what they do, from photographers to marketing pros, editors, administrative experts handling paperwork, etc. You can’t be good at everything, so always be mentoring and coaching people in their skill sets so that the team can thrive.

Ultimately, A Great Team Is About Finding The Right Culture.

When you’re building a growing brokerage, it is crucial to have a functional team environment. It’s important to have the right culture in the office. If you really want to be competitive in the market, you need a team.

Nurturing culture means connecting with and supporting each member of the team. It entails helping them real their goals and push each other into success.

In Order To Lead A Sales Team, You Need Accountability And Planning.

Marcus likes to focus on education when it comes to building a dynamite team. From mentoring and coaching new agents, to helping team members reach their goals, his team is all about accountability.

He isn’t looking for those agents who are just looking for one or two deals a year. Summa-Pacific Cascade Realty is looking for those dedicated individuals who want a full time career. Agents who are setting the bar higher focus on growth and set high goals for themselves. Marcus meets with them at least 5 or 6 times a year to check in and see what he can do to help them reach their goals.

On top of those meetings, they are constantly mentoring and coaching each other and having mastermind sessions with others in the brokerage. There are constant opportunities to build each other up and help each other succeed.


There are so many things agents could be doing to gain success, but Marcus might argue the biggest one is just doing the work. When he is interviewing, he looks for people who have the potential and drive to do hard work. It is more than just liking houses or wanting a flexible schedule, you’ve got to have drive.

Real estate is so much more involved than people think it is, and it’s important to do the work and stay consistent. It’s easy to get distracted with all the marketing techniques and shiny objects. But if you maintain consistency, and keep at it, you’ll find success.

The Purpose Of Life Is Expansion – We Always Have To Be Growing.

Marcus believes that expansion is so crucial when it comes to a successful life. It could be educationally. We should always be looking for ways to grow. If we aren’t educating ourselves, we are falling behind of our peers, our competition and even the market.

It could also be an expansion of clients and transactions we have each year. Expansion could be even unrelated to work. Maybe you’re expanding relationships and working on yourself. One way or the other, we always need to have a goal. If you’re not growing, you’re shrinking.

How Can You Solve Problems Better Than Others?

Every sale starts with a problem. No one comes to you, no matter the industry, with solution. People seek out services and experts to help them solve a problem they have.

When it comes to real estate, you can solve problems uniquely by making sure you identify what your client really wants and needs. Try to find a unique and genuine way to solve problems that makes you stand out.

With The Rise Of The Internet, We Need To Expand Our Skillset.

Nowadays, it is so easy for real estate agents to feel like they are competing with the internet. Everyone has access to listings, they can do their own research. With the rise of the internet and the fact that it is so easy to get information, most buyers know just as much about a property as agents do.

Because agents are no longer gatekeepers of information, they have to learn how to expand their skill set and provide value to their customers in ways they didn’t have to before.

Often times, real estate agents and brokers are trusted less than used car salesmen. As a team leader, how are you mentoring and coaching your team to make sure they add value? Think about how you can set yourself apart with your dedication, your professionalism.

The Most Important Things

Marcus Koss says that even know there are a lot of things to know it real estate, some things are more important. Specifically, educate yourself and stay consistent. The more you know and the more informed you stay, you will build trust with your clients.

Build a mentoring and coaching support team behind you so that you can always have a field of resources to provide your client. If you do that, you will be able to serve your client well and be a valuable asset to them.

About Our BreakAway Guest

How to Eliminate Chaos with Laura Leist

Marcus Koss, Managing Principal Broker

Summa-Pacific Cascade Realty

Marcus has always been service driven. It’s been a driving factor in his life. As a veteran of the Marine Corps and in service to his community as a firefighter, he has always believed that the greatest portion of your life should be serving others. He is proud to have that opportunity within real estate as managing principal broker.