By Maria Patterson
Standing out in the real estate market can be tough. In an industry that bears—fair or not—a reputation for being overcrowded and somewhat cookie cutter in nature, achieving a sustainable level of success requires tangible differentiation, a certain amount of boldness, and an ability to take decisive actions today in order to seize a leadership position in tomorrow’s market.
You have to be willing to disrupt the status quo and challenge conventional thinking.
Having that kind of impact requires a willingness to look at the market from a fresh perspective, to buck established trends, challenge industry norms, and reinvent a business model that applies to today’s real estate professionals and the market. That’s exactly what Carrington Real Estate Services, LLC has done. And based on the success the company has had, retooling the way the real estate brokerage business works has turned out to be a very good move.
All Great Movements Start Somewhere
Until now, Carrington Real Estate Services has been known as Atlantic & Pacific Real Estate, LLC, a national, full-service residential brokerage firm with licensed agents across 22 states and the District of Columbia, and a recognized leader in the disposition of institutional real estate. Through its parent, Carrington Holding Company, LLC, the company has direct access to Carrington’s family of businesses. By leveraging those connections, the company has transformed from a start-up to one of the largest residential real estate brokerages in the U.S. And while its initial focus centered largely on the distressed market, the company has evolved into a recognized leader in all aspects of the market today, with more than half of its transactions now falling outside of the distressed category.
Continuing its forward momentum, and to further capitalize on its affiliation with the full Carrington continuum of services, the company has changed its name to Carrington Real Estate Services.
Guided by an experienced leadership team that blends the interrelated disciplines of investment services, financial services, settlement services, mortgage and real estate, Carrington Real Estate Services is well positioned for significant growth in a housing market ripe with potential.
Its leaders are entrepreneurs focused on building businesses that are both solid and flexible enough to withstand the natural ebb and flow of the housing market. They are committed to helping those with a passion for real estate establish and grow their careers to meet—or exceed—their personal goals. Most importantly, they are bold in their approach to challenging the status quo if blazing a new trail can push Carrington and its agents toward success and provide better service for today’s consumers.
REfueling Futures in Real Estate
Today’s agents want leadership and innovation from their brokerage. And they want real business opportunities that they can use as a catalyst for growth. Carrington is uniquely positioned to deliver just that, serving as something of a real estate business incubator by leveraging its deep, long-term relationships with financial institutions, asset managers, servicers, investors, buyers and sellers. Working closely with agents to grow their business in tangible ways helps the company attract and retain smart, motivated real estate professionals, assuring them that their contributions are valued and that Carrington is intimately invested in their personal success.
“Carrington’s unique business model affords agents an unparalleled opportunity to establish relationships with long-term clients, leveraging the fuel we provide to produce multiple sales from a single transaction,” explains President Steve DiUbaldo, whose experience as a C-level mortgage industry executive and established connections within the financial community make him a valuable asset in terms of forming strategic relationships and predicting how the market will react to emerging trends. “Unlike any other real estate company, Carrington Real Estate Services arms its agents with the requisite resources and puts them directly in touch with real clients who are ready to make transactions. From there, agents leverage Carrington’s platform to nurture their relationships in ways that support their clients and grow their business.”
Carrington agents are equipped to handle the complexities of today’s market, from managing the disposition of distressed real estate to working with investors or consumers buying or reselling property. This multifaceted approach to business merges the most effective components of the industry’s broker-, agent- and consumer-focused models, allowing the company to operate in a way that supports the needs of everyone involved. In addition to the robust online lead generation platform Carrington’s agents use to enhance their pipeline of opportunities, they are heavily encouraged to leverage company-generated business to attract additional buyers and sellers. That business mix encompasses clients from various segments of the market, including the institutional investment community, which offers a wealth of untapped business opportunities for real estate professionals.
Wisely Investing in Entrepreneurs
The traditional model brokers have used to develop real estate agents for the last 50 years is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Carrington’s approach is light years ahead of that philosophy.
As Executive Vice President Wendy Forsythe explains, “When my experience in the franchising world started leading me to believe that the industry’s tried-and-true brokerage model was broken or, at best, stagnant, I began searching for something that better resembled a true partnership between broker and agent. What’s happening here at Carrington is exactly what I was looking for: an evolved value proposition that supports the goals of both parties and strengthens the broker/agent relationship. As someone who’s passionate about advancing the real estate business, I’m thrilled to be part of something that is positively shaping the direction this industry is headed.”
Carrington believes that a brokerage company has a responsibility to support both the initial development and the long-term business goals of its agents by providing them with solid leadership, mentoring, and 24/7 access to those resources with the potential to enhance their on-the-job effectiveness. Beyond the FUEL agents use to support their business, Carrington invests heavily in developing systems and processes that empower agents to consistently outperform their competition. From business planning sessions and monthly FUEL calls accessible to the entire agent network, to personal coaching sessions for members of the Champion Circle (the top performers in terms of sales volume and units sold), the company takes a hands-on, personal approach to guiding real estate sales professionals toward achieving their full potential.
The utilization of innovative technology plays a major role in supporting agents working in the field as well as fostering new business opportunities. Carrington’s award-winning Intranet site, My Fuel Center, incorporates an education portal with customized, comprehensive training resources that help agents maneuver the fast-paced real estate market. This site offers a vehicle to deliver training to a geographically dispersed audience in a cohesive manner and the ability to closely track legal compliance training to mitigate risk in an industry operating under increased government scrutiny and regulation.
Carrington Real Estate Services’ consumer website (www.carringtonrealestate.com) features local market information along with a proprietary property search function based on natural language searches, and is supported by a robust lead management tool built on a Web app platform called LEADHUB. To contend with the challenge of managing multiple offers on properties and providing agents with transparency into the offer process, the company created an Offer Management System (OMS), a technology that ensures every offer is successfully delivered to the seller for consideration and all agents have complete transparency to the process.
Carrington’s retail office facilities are arranged in flexible, open concept settings with comfortable furniture, Apple TV® devices and flat screen monitors to promote collaboration among agents. The esthetic within these flexible locations is energetic and welcoming—without a fixed desk anywhere in sight. This encourages agents to talk to each other and share their ideas. The approach also encourages agents to spend more time out in the field working in the best interest of their clients—not stuck behind a desk. Satellite facilities used in secondary markets are outfitted in ways that foster as much flexibility and collaboration as possible. “Today’s real estate consumer doesn’t go into the office—they go online,” explains Forsythe. “So office space is only important in terms of how it can benefit agent productivity.”
Considering that Carrington agents are 56 percent more productive than industry averages*, the investments made to position and prepare them for serving today’s consumer—whether institution, investor, retail buyer or seller—have paid off.
The real estate industry has shifted in recent years, becoming much more complex. That makes right now the ideal time for the real estate brand of the future to emerge. With its knowledge of all aspects making up the modern housing market, connections to the investment community, and commitment to investing in its people, Carrington Real Estate Services is that brand. Carrington embodies all of the attributes necessary to lead the industry toward positive change: a reputation for challenging the status quo, a propensity toward growth and momentum, the innovative utilization of technology, and an unmatched commitment to excellence.
Carrington will continue to grow its footprint by attracting productive agents and offering them compelling business packages, and will remain committed to providing whatever today’s and tomorrow’s consumers need, expanding into new markets via acquisition, merger, walk over, or even as start-ups under the right local leadership.
Taking into account what’s already been accomplished and what’s coming in the future, making the decision to change the brand to Carrington Real Estate Services just seems like good business. It’s not about altering who the company is, or what makes it different. It’s about reminding people how and why Carrington is different and, therefore, able to offer more. Being part of the Carrington family and having direct access to its entire continuum of services allows the company to take a unique approach to the U.S. residential real estate market: helping business people build careers in real estate, establishing strong relationships with communities, financial institutions, asset managers, servicers and investors, competing effectively in the market, and adding real value for the consumer in ways nobody else can.
*Figures based on CRES/National Association of REALTORS® Annual Member Survey 2010, 2011 data.
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