RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

JAN 2019

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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58 January 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Jennifer B. Shemwell: Staying Open to New Ideas With 25 years of experience selling real estate, Jennifer B. Shemwell, president of San Antonio, Texas- based Phyllis Browning Company, has long loved meeting new people and making connections for them. Known for selling luxury homes in the area, she has successfully and strategically marketed some of the top ad- dresses, most presti- gious properties and elite estates through- out the area. How did your market fare in 2018? Jennifer Shemwell: Our 2018 market was strong and full of optimism. We're still operating in a seller's market with a slight short- age in inventory. What is your growth strategy for the next 12 months? JS: We're always growing. I've always believed that if we don't keep growing, we'll go backwards. We're in the midst of adding agents, as well as launching a commercial divi- sion and expanding our land and ranch sales. Over the last 18 months, we've re- located each of our offices to new spaces, which is very exciting. What most sets your firm apart in the marketplace? JS: We're cutting-edge in marketing and often the first to launch new trends. We also offer highly per- sonalized service to our clients. What are the biggest chal- lenges you're currently facing? JS: I think training new agents is always challeng- ing. Today's real estate agents need to know so much. They must be much more sophisticated and skilled than was necessary when I started in the busi- ness 25 years ago. How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of to- day's consumer, especially first-time homebuyers and millennials? JS: I travel a lot, and I think it helps keep me open to new ideas. I don't believe we know it all, and I believe in watching the next gen- eration and taking note of how they make decisions. They will be the market in the future. When I see something that I believe is a new trend, I talk about it in the office and incorpo- rate it into our training. How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? JS: We're constantly up- dating our technology. We just switched to a new cloud-based transaction management system that not only stores documents that belong to a transac- tion, but also related text messages and emails so that nothing gets lost in recording the transaction. We also provide our agents the latest in customer re- lationship management systems, and train them to use these systems to build their businesses. How are you attracting new agents to your firm and re- taining top producers? JS: This is done mostly by word of mouth. New people come to our firm because they have a friend who rec- ommended us to them, or they know of our reputa- tion. This is the best type of feedback, as we know we're serving our agents when they recommend us to friends. We make ser- vice to our top producers (and all agents) our high- est priority. Our agents know that we value them, and we're always willing to do whatever it takes to help them increase their business. We also believe in building culture through regular office meetings and social and business par- ties throughout the year. What do you look for in someone new coming into the company? JS: I look for someone who is goal-oriented, driven and motivated. It takes a cer- tain amount of personal discipline and sheer will to make it. I also look for indi- viduals who truly love peo- ple, communicate well and will treat clients ethically. by Keith Loria {Power Broker Perspectives} VITALS: Phyllis Browning Company Years in business: 29.5 Size: 4 offices, approximately 200 agents Regions served: South and Central Texas, including the areas surrounding San Antonio, Boerne and New Braunfels 2017 sales volume: Approximately $750 million 2017 transaction volume: 1,668 units www.phyllisbrowning.com

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