While they haven’t yet isolated the gene for real estate success, Weichert affiliate Brandon Long may be the perfect test subject. Brandon inherited his mother’s love for the real estate industry and more than a little of her drive for success as well.
“I grew up in a real estate family,” mused Brandon, on a typical busy day that took him between two of the four offices of Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company, in northwest Arkansas. “My mother started a brokerage back in 1974 when I was just 4 years old. In those days, you could just get a license and open a storefront. She’s been at it ever since and is still the largest independent broker in her market.”
When he was in his late twenties, Brandon took the plunge and got his real estate license, too. After a few years as an agent, Brandon knew that owning his own brokerage was where he wanted to be. Brandon and his good friend Carter Clark, started an independent brokerage focused on the residential market in and around the Northwest corner of Arkansas in 2003. “Our market is in an area with some of the largest corporate headquarters in the county. Walmart and Tyson Foods are based here and every vendor that sells to them has a presence in the local area,” notes Brandon. “We are in a beautiful corner of the state and many of those employees decide they want to settle out here.”
While achieving some growth from 2003 to 2007, the housing crash propelled Brandon and Carter to consider some of the challenges they were facing as an independent brokerage in a highly competitive market. “Recruiting and training agents was a big challenge for us,” says Brandon, “We had nothing formal and weren’t sure how to develop it.” By late 2007 it was getting harder and harder for them to see a way forward. They decided to consider a franchise relationship.
In researching possible franchise affiliations, Brandon and Carter looked at literally every real estate company out there. “It came down to Weichert and one other company,” says Brandon, “We chose Weichert because they were the only company that really cared about how we would make a profit.”
In late 2007 they signed on with Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. In their first couple of years, which was in the midst of the housing crash, the brokerage grew from 20 to about 70 agents. Their success did not go unnoticed by other local brokers and they were presented with an opportunity to merge with another large brokerage in the area. The Weichert corporate team assisted with due diligence throughout the merger and Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company was born. With the help of Weichert and through other acquisitions over the subsequent years, the brokerage grew steadily. In January of 2018, their company will open its fourth office in Fort Smith, adding another 35 agents to the roster.
The Weichert® System Today
As a franchisee for a decade, Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company continues to derive great value from the relationship with Weichert. Some of their favorite benefits include the Weichert Listing Presentation system aka “DOORS”, which has become an indispensable part of the agent selling process. The sales team uses it on almost every listing presentation. In addition to creating a powerful and accurate presentation, DOORS is facilitated by online tools provided by Weichert which make creation of the material easy. “If I go up against another broker with our Doors presentation vs. whatever they bring, I’ll win the listing 95% of the time,” says Brandon.
For Brandon, another great benefit of the Weichert affiliation has been the coaching and training–for Brokers. “I’m always learning something from Weichert Training. I never miss the “Saw Sessions” and I’ve gone three times to the Weichert Management Academy.” The endless opportunities for coaching and learning through Weichert continue to allow the company to stay ahead of changes, technology and opportunities in the industry.
But according to Brandon, no discussion of the Weichert System would be complete without mentioning the Weichert Lead Network. “We develop a huge amount of opportunities through the Weichert Lead Network. In 2017 we anticipate that 90-100 closings will happen through these leads.” Brandon points out that the National Association of REALTORS® says on average it takes 48 hours for agents to respond to leads and 50% get no response at all. According to Brandon, “With the Weichert lead acquisition and technology systems, the leads are pre-screened and transferred to a live agent on my team within 3-5 minutes of receiving a call or online form. This makes an enormous difference in our ability to be first in our market.”
In 2007, Brandon’s brokerage was looking at the most depressed housing market in a lifetime. After instituting the Weichert System, he was able to more than triple his agent team in just under two years. His success attracted opportunities. After a merger, and several acquisitions later, Weichert, Realtors® – The Griffin Company has increased its agent count by almost tenfold since it affiliated, has 4 offices in northwest AR, and business is booming.
Brandon sums it up this way, “We couldn’t have survived without Weichert and we continue to succeed because of their active commitment to our success.”
Visit Brandon and the team at http://www.weichertgriffin.com/
For more information on franchise opportunities with Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. visit https://www.weichertfranchise.com/