In the following interview, Chris Carbone, owner and principal broker of HomeSmart Homes and Estates in Montgomery, N.Y., discusses the advantages of the brand, market trends, and more.
Region Served: Lower Hudson Valley
Years in Real Estate: 19
Number of Offices: 3
Number of Agents: 52
Top Tip for Staying Organized: Carve out time for daily huddles with your team each and every morning.
Favorite Way to Unwind: Preparing a nice meal, all the way from picking up fresh produce to presentation.
Please describe some of the current trends you see in your market right now.
There’s definitely a housing shortage. With baby boomers staying in their homes longer and a lack of senior housing, millennials and Gen Zers have limited opportunity for purchase. This is creating the perfect storm for builders and developers alike to think outside the traditional-style neighborhoods and start building communities that the next generation is craving.
What factor has the largest influence on the real estate industry today?
In addition to baby boomers and millennials looking to buy instead of rent, low interest rates have kept new homes coming on the market, many of which are selling within days.
How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
HomeSmart is an agent-centric, full-service real estate brokerage. Before our leadership group puts anything into action, they ask one question: Will this make real estate easier? When the answer is yes, swift action is taken in order to get the new product/design/marketing tool to the franchise owner and their agents.
It’s also important to note that HomeSmart has developed an all-in-one marketing and transaction system, providing all the tools agents need to efficiently work from anywhere with one login. The proprietary technology includes a complete CRM, automated marketing connected to the MLS, a marketing design center and our SmartListings, in addition to click-of-a-button flyers, virtual tours, individual listing websites and YouTube videos.
You’re currently preparing to open a third office. Can you talk a little bit about the experience and why now is the right time to expand your company footprint?
Opening the first HomeSmart franchise in New York was an amazing opportunity. Having seen the explosive growth rate of HomeSmart International over the past few years, I was confident that with this model, growth would be inevitable. While traditional offices seem to offer less and less while charging more, HomeSmart can deliver high value, high service and support at a lower cost. Being a top-producing agent in my area, it’s always been my goal to run a real estate office built for real estate agents, not the broker. Giving up another international franchise to purchase a HomeSmart franchise gave me this ability. This year, I’m planning on opening my third and fourth office and hiring 100-plus SmartAgents.
What are some of the most creative ways your agents are using social media to connect with current and prospective clients?
Not only are they doing live video tours of homes, but also live showings. This seems to get a lot of attention. We’re integrating personal interest with valuable real estate knowledge to gain a following.
What are you most looking forward to in 2018?
Growth. Sharing our HomeSmart transaction model with agents across the Hudson Valley while helping HomeSmart International reach its goal of 20,000 agents in 2018 will make us the fifth-largest real estate franchise.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.