Role of Leader Is to ‘Make It Rain’, Says Minnesota’s Platzke


Above, Ryan Platzke

Growing up in Michigan, Ryan Platzke took an interest in a neighbor’s real estate and insurance business—so much so that he majored in Real Estate Sales and Marketing at Ferris State University.

An invitation by his uncle took him to Minnesota, where he joined Coldwell Banker in 2002 and the rest, as they say, is history, as Platzke today leads the Platzke Real Estate Group, a 32-agent group based in Eden Prairie, Minnesota that closed out last year with 423 transactions and $246 million in volume.

The team is consistently in the top echelon of Coldwell Banker companies and has earned the International Society of Excellence designation, placing them in the top 1% of all sales teams nationwide.

“I got lucky when I began,” said Platzke—“or maybe I just had a unique advantage, because the internet was just making its way into real estate, and I had the training to build my own website and the strategies to drive people to it. Before long, I was getting 200 unique visitors a month and I found myself giving leads away.”

When the market took a nosedive in 2008, Platzke said, he got on a plane and headed to the headquarters of Fannie Mae in Washington D.C. and Freddie Mac in Virginia, where he offered to handle their Minnesota assets.

It was then that he hired an assistant, Emily, who is today the team’s head administrator and lead manager, and with 212 active listings to manage, he knew he needed to build a team.

Barbara Pronin: How soon did you get your team off the ground, Ryan, and what were your criteria for recruiting?

Ryan Platzke: Between 2008 and 2011, I never took my foot off the gas. I looked for bright people who needed to work and were willing to hustle, who believed in being the best version of themselves and had a great attitude and a passion for doing the right thing. Experience was less important to me than a positive outlook and a willingness to learn.

BP: And how big is the team today?

RP: We have 36 agents, four full-time administrators, a part-timer who does odd jobs we need done, and Emily, who is awesome. I believe I have the best staff in the industry. Our people know the market like nobody else, we have five agents on call every day to handle phone calls and emails, we handle all our own marketing and communications, and our admins do a great job handling and assigning leads.

BP: What areas does your team serve, Ryan, and what is the average sale price?

RP: Eden Prairie is a suburb of Minneapolis—St. Paul, so we draw from a fairly large area—and the average sale price is $619,000, although it’s quite a bit higher in some neighborhoods.

BP: How do keep a group this size organized, Ryan? How do you stay in communication?

RP: We have a monthly meeting the first Tuesday of the month – what I call our Power Hour. We talk about trends, marketing, industry news, ideas about how we can do better at what we do. There is a lot of give and take and good strategies come out of it. Also, Coldwell Banker has a weekly sales meeting and everyone attends that as well.

BP: In your opinion, what makes your team so consistently successful?

RP: I think it’s what we call ‘The Platzke Promise’ – and that’s our total commitment to the clients we serve and our tech-savvy approach to the business. Everything we do is on a client-first basis and doing unto others as we want to be treated. As the Number One Coldwell Banker team in Minnesota, we know the market intimately. We stay ahead of the curve on housing trends and fluctuations, and we pledge to make that work for our buyers and sellers. And our agents are deeply involved in the communities they live and work in. 

BP: In what ways?

RP: We support any number of local charities, and for the last 12 years, we’ve been very involved in Special Olympics. On the first Saturday in March, we hold a Frozen Ice Hole fund-raiser. We cut holes in the ice and people get sponsors and jump into the frozen lake. It’s a lot of fun for everyone, and we’ve raised more than $147,000 for Special Olympics over the years.

BP: Ryan, what advice do you have for large-team leaders – or for leaders of any size team?

RP: First, I think, be sure you have the right people doing the right things – the best marketing people, the best photographers, the best schedulers. Success takes 100 percent teamwork, but it’s important to make the best use of experts in every area. It’s my job to be sure my team has the best training, the best resources, the best support. I am responsible for their success. My primary job is making it rain. 

To visit the Platzke Real Estate Group online, click here.

Platzke Real Estate Group Listing

18887 Magenta Bay, Eden Prairie, MN 

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