RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

NOV 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.

Issue link: http://remag.rismedia.com/i/1042091

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Page 105 of 142

RISMedia's REAL ESTATE November 2018 101 Maria Paerson: Dan, would you please begin by giving us a snap- shot of the current state of the company? Dan Forsman: The mindset of the company is very strong. We're globally affiliated with the world- class Berkshire Hathaway name, and we're locally positioned within HomeServices, where each CEO gets a large degree of operating au - tonomy. We're a very well-integrated company, with a strong presence in the new homes and corporate relo - cation segments of the market, and we're actively growing our luxury market presence. Core services is a big part of our offering for con - sumers. We're trying to mirror the market and be innovative by serving the diverse needs of the various people who are buying property here. Since becoming Berkshire Ha - thaway, we've also grown our luxury business—it's part of the persona and image of our brand. We're an internationally known and affiliated company that operates effectively in a variety of market segments. MP: Your firm has come a long way since the downturn… DF: We were one of the few compa- nies in Atlanta that made it through the great recession. Going into the recession, the company was No. 6 in the market. When it was over, we were a beat-up No. 1. After the re - cession, there was a lot of distrust and confusion on the consumer front. They had been burned, and RESPA came along and restructured all things mortgage, but we figured it out. Our current partnership with Prosperity Home Mortgage has seen us push capture toward 25 percent, with title capture exceeding 53 percent. Our journey to provide consumers a one-stop shopping experience is on track. Giving the consumer convenience and time is providing them with more of what they want and expect. MP: So how many offices and agents does the firm currently have? DF: We have almost 1,700 agents in 26 offices. MP: What are current market con- ditions like, and what challenges are you currently facing? DF: Atlanta has become an interna- tional city that's attracting a lot of people who are paying higher than average price points. Within the city, the market is strong, and slightly better than last year for units; vol - ume is up 8 percent. Prices are ris- ing in areas with low inventory and high demand. The biggest challenge is lack of inventory for the first-time homebuyer and medium-priced seg - ment under half a million. We're meeting that challenge with new homes, where we have an incredibly successful division. That's helping the company in many ways, but we can't build new homes fast enough to offset the lack of inventory. And those costs are rising; labor and raw materials are up significantly. MP: What is your mindset when it comes to growth? DF: Our approach to growth has been primarily to grow organically and create a vibrant culture of agent success and productivity, and offer the consumer diversified services, such as new homes, mortgage, title, insurance, property manage - ment, luxury, commercial, etc. We have a sales and marketing culture here, and our goals are to continue to grow and be the market leader, to serve the consumer and continue to innovate. MP: What makes your firm different from other large real estate firms? DF: I would have to tell you it's our culture. We have a culture that em - braces going to the next level and understanding your "why," and try - ing to live a vibrant and inspirational life to help people make the right choice in buying or selling a home. We're consistently messaging our people in regard to the fact that prospecting, setting appointments and building rapport are critical. MP: How do you create this culture of inspiration, so to speak? DF: Our weekly video series, Real Estate Redefined, focuses on lever - aging your "why." Commission sales is a hard job, so anything we can do to help people be more productive, inspired and intentional is import - ant. At our firm, we innovate faster, and we say yes before no. We take a couple of international trips a year,

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