RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

FEB 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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by Keith Loria {Power Broker Perspectives} 60 February 2019 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Mary Lynn Stone A Steady Focus on Service While attending the University of Maryland, Mary Lynn Stone went for her real estate license between her junior and senior year, and started to work in her parents' office im- mediately after gradua- tion. It didn't take long for Stone to realize the income potential of the job, and she enjoyed the opportunity to work for herself. She and Todd Hether- ington joined CENTURY 21 together in 1998, and the two have led C ENTURY 21 New Mil- lennium to the top of the industry, recognized as the No. 1 Century 21 firm in the world for four straight years, serv- ing clients in the D.C. Metro region. Today, as president and co-owner, Stone is gearing up for further success in the year ahead. What sets your firm apart in the marketplace? Mary Lynn Stone: Consis- tency. Teamwork. Single- mindedness of purpose. Since our beginning in 1998, our company has grown, carefully and steadi- ly. We expanded to add in-house core services: mortgage, title, insurance, worldwide relocation and commercial. With the help of strong leadership, we have added some of the best agents and staff in the industry. We are always looking for ways to improve the level of service we pro- vide our clients while main- taining a balanced quality of life for our agents. The successful working of all these things together has helped set us apart in our marketplace. How did your market fare in 2018? What factors contributed to this? MLS: The greater D.C. area market has remained healthy, although inventory has been low in some ru- ral areas. There are signs, however, that buyers may have more to choose from in the coming months as the trend for close-in walk- able housing is reducing the number of interested buyers in some of the more expensive, estab- lished communities. Are you planning to grow your firm in the next 12 months? MLS: We will continue to be alert to new opportuni- ties for growth through the addition of new associates and new offices, but we will never outgrow our empha- sis on customer service. Our focus will remain pri- marily in the Maryland, Vir- ginia and D.C. markets. What are the biggest chal- lenges you're currently facing? MLS: Our biggest chal- lenge is to avoid distrac- tion. We need to be able to sift through all the new ideas that inundate our industry. We must be dis- cerning in our choices, and only select those products that are of the most value to our clients and agents. Being able to cast aside the shiny objects, while not missing something of real value, continues to be a challenge. What are the biggest op- portunities for increasing business right now? MLS: We are fortunate that our market supports 15 ac- tive military installations, and we are very excited for the new Amazon HQ2, which will undoubtedly bring new customers to our area. We also empha- size staying in touch with our past client base. We know that our biggest op- portunities will be gained through a combination of building relationships with new customers and main- taining relationships with repeat customers. How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of to- day's consumer? MLS: Salesforces have al- ways faced the challenge of adjusting to changing consumer expectations. Today's buyer lives in an online world of information. To meet, and exceed, their expectations, we must also live in that world and speak the language. But, most importantly, we real- ize the need for immediate response to the consumer. We are continually updat- ing our technology tools and educating our agents to help them stay out front in the fast-paced eRace. How are you updating your technology and training to provide the resources agents need to succeed? MLS: At a company level, we're constantly evaluat- ing potential tools and sys- tems to determine which ones may provide tangible value. This year alone, we've established partner- VITALS: CENTURY 21 New Millennium Years in business: 20 Size: 18 offices, 875 agents Regions served: Central Maryland, Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. 2017 sales volume: $3.1 billion 2017 transactions: 7,800 units www.c21nm.com

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