RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

DEC 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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130 December 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE A Structured Platform Key to Continued Growth by John Voket Joel Carter Broker/Owner CENTURY 21 J. Carter & Company Gulfport, Miss. www.jcarterandco.com/realestate/agent/ joel-r-carter-jr Region served: The Mississippi Gulf Years in real estate: 4 Number of offices: 1 Number of agents: 17 No. 1 tip for determining the best listing price: Use market trends and current inventory levels to fore - cast the future value of your seller's property. Most effective way to motivate agents: Positive reinforcement and recognition. Most creative marketing idea: We promote the concept of four REALTORS® for the price of one. My three siblings (sister Christina and brothers Jake and John) and I team up on every transaction. Top tip for getting buyers and sell - ers to work together: Put yourself in each of their shoes and work the transaction as if it were your own. You are described as a true family business. What's your best advice for other siblings mulling a real estate partnership? Go ahead and address the elephant in the room—or, more specifically, the fact that someone has to be the leader and the company's spokesperson. This can be hard to identify in a highly competitive family. When we decided to launch our company together, all four of us had to dig deep and identify our strengths and weaknesses. After we had that candid conversation, we were able to focus on our strengths and assume responsibilities. You can't let pride influence the way you communicate. Your company was an independent shop until you recently decided to affiliate with the CENTURY 21® brand. What prompted your deci - sion? Not only were we paying a premium for technology services that the CENTURY 21 System offers when you affiliate with their brand, but we also saw another huge op - portunity in terms of training. In or- der to grow, our family firm needed a structured platform to train and recruit new agents. And perhaps most importantly, we simply needed a national brand. With independent brokerages opening on every corner in our market, it was time to make a separation. We felt that we were competing for the same bucket of business locally and missing out on a big chunk of the pie. How do the region's military instal - lations and defense contractors affect your market and the way in which CENTURY 21 J. Carter & Company does business? Defense and tourism are the big economic drivers in our market, which leads to a lot of incoming and outgoing personnel. In addition, we have a big military retirement presence, as a lot of the people who have been stationed here come back to the area to retire. This keeps the inventory moving and the rental market strong, as well. Housing is very affordable and more often than not, it's cheaper to buy than rent. Most people around here say that the Mississippi Gulf Coast is a hidden gem. Why is your market perfect for someone looking for a great vaca - tion home or retirement option? First and foremost, the cost of liv - ing is very affordable. We also have every coastal amenity you could imagine, from restaurants, fishing spots, golf courses and gaming. I frequently hear visitors say, "We had no idea this place existed." This is why a lot of military couples come back to our market to retire. For more information, please visit www.century21.com. the quality of the leads—aka, the price range of a property—based on their performance so that they have a double incentive to get paid on the lead itself. They know that their closing ratio determines the qual - ity of leads they get in the future. Have you ever had an agent think they might be better off somewhere else and then decide to come back to your company? We've had 18 people over the last several years that have started with us, left us for a promise somewhere else, and have come back to us. Our industry is evolving rapidly, and there are all these promises of easy money or new business elsewhere. More often than not, once an agent leaves, they real - ize that the new company's culture is different, the leads are different or nonexistent, and the support and training they receive are different, so they realize that maybe they took the things they got with us for granted. There's not a doubt in my mind that one rea - son people are coming back is because of the leads. What are you doing to get your name out in areas in which you're not yet well-known? When we're endorsed by realtor.com® as a go-to company, that's good enough for most people. Since we have a strong pro - file based on what we've done, we carry that with us wherever we go. The availability of clicking on an agent on realtor.com® and seeing a strong profile allows us to go to places where we're not yet entrenched in the market. For more information, please visit hub.realtor.com/team.

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