RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

AUG 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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RISMedia's REAL ESTATE August 2018 53 What do people enjoy most about working at your firm? MW: Even though we're a large firm spread out over a large part of Ohio, we strive to and succeed at maintaining a family atmo- sphere coupled with pro- fessionalism and positivity. Although each office has somewhat of an individu- alized culture, those indi- vidualized cultures provide an overall positive culture. I believe in starting at the local level and trickling up, as opposed to starting at a macro level and trickling down. Ed Forman: A Reputation for Success Before entering the real estate business in 1972, Ed Forman served on Senator Her- man Talmadge's staff in Savannah, Ga., and for the U.S. Senate in D.C. for eight years. While he "bumped" into real estate, For- man has been a leader in the industry for 45 years, and now serves as REALTOR® Emeri- tus and president of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Watson Realty Corp. How would you describe the Jacksonville market so far in 2018? Ed Forman: The market is strong, but the challenge is listing inventory. In fact, we have some areas where there's 30-days inventory. In some markets, the in- ventory is impacting our productivity. What are some of the biggest opportunities out there for the firm? EF: One of the things we've been working on—and this is our opportunity—is try- ing to capture a larger share of the pie. The pie has shrunk, and we're look- ing at how we can differen- tiate ourselves, meet the needs of our buyers and sellers and bring greater value to the transaction. Some sellers are afraid to put their home on the market because they're worried that they won't be able to find a home, so we recently introduced a guaranteed sales program to alleviate some of those fears. The program allows sellers to list a property, and, if buying a property from us, we'll guarantee the sale of their existing property so that they can purchase as a cash buyer and not worry about losing the home they want to buy. This gives us a competitive advantage. Can you talk about your firm's recent growth and your plans for the rest of 2018? EF: We're coming off a very successful merger/acquisi- tion last year, which includ- ed an insurance company, five offices, association management and a school. We bought a site in Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville in Ormond Beach, and we're going to build a freestand- ing office there. We also bought a site in Lake Nona where we plan to build a new office. What's your competitive differentiation ? EF: It all starts with the people. We have an ex- tremely qualified leader- ship and salesforce. We work hard to find extraordi- nary people and compen- sate them well. We have a trusted name with 52 years in the business, and our founder still works ev- ery day. Our reputation is pristine. I'm sure all of that plays into agents wanting to be part of the firm. What else attracts them to the company? EF: We have a great track record of helping people become very successful. We have a large training department, a large mar- keting department and a great support team, and we feel that we're a stake- holder of our agents' suc- cess. There's a large level of commitment to anyone who joins our team. You mentioned training earlier. What are some of the things you offer to your team? EF: We have two weeks of training for people start- ing their career with us, in addition to advanced training classes for expe- rienced people, which is a huge advantage that we offer. We recently launched a new CRM, and we offer two training sessions a day so that 100 percent of our people are trained on it and can utilize it as best they can. What do agents enjoy most about working for your firm? EF: It's a pretty cool place to work. Everyone is treat- ed well and respected, and we're a solutions-based company. If there are is- sues, we look for the best solution. It's a very collab- orative and cooperative environment. It makes it really nice to be part of the team. RE VITALS: Watson Realty Corp. Years in business: 52 Size: 52 offices, 1,500 agents Regions served: Jacksonville to Greater Orlando to Port Charloe 2017 sales volume: $3.445 billion 2017 transactions: 15,912 No. 43 in sales volume in RISMedia's 2018 Power Broker Report www.watsonrealtycorp.com

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