Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS® is a home services company in every sense of the term, not only dealing in real estate, but also housing its own mortgage company, title company and insurance company, The Trident Group, under its business umbrella.
“We have marketshare three times that of our next competitor,” says Joan Docktor, the firm’s president. “We always pride ourselves in making sure we provide the tools and services that our agents need so they can delight their customers, and so that we attract the best agents in the business.”
According to Docktor, plans are underway for continued expansion in 2016. “Our philosophy is to be No. 1 in every market we serve,” she says. “We do this by helping agents improve their productivity and by focusing on growing our agent population. We recruited almost 800 sales associates in 2015, which is similar to previous years.”
The firm serves the Delaware Valley MSA as well as the Jersey Shore, Central New Jersey and the Lehigh Valley. Sales in the area improved in 2015, ahead by 14 percent over the previous year.
“It’s been a great year. Our agents have done well and there’s been a pick-up in activity,” Docktor says. “There’s still a lack of inventory, which limits sales and has created multiple bid situations in the low-to-mid price ranges.”
One segment that slowed down in 2015 was the very high-end market, with less multi-million dollar sales occurring. Still, the average sale price hasn’t declined; it just hasn’t risen by very much.
A big challenge in the industry, Docktor notes, centers around first-time millennial homebuyers, who are often burdened with large student loan debt and may not have the savings to buy a first home. New government regulations, including TRID, have also created some challenges.
“The new regulation has caused a delay in some closings,” says Docktor. “We have spent a year-and-a-half training our employees for the TRID roll-out so we would be ready. It has worked. Our agents and our employees are more knowledgeable than anyone else in our market area, and this has caused an increase in our sales, our mortgage and our title business this year. We expect the trend to continue.”
Coaching and training are very important to those in charge at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, REALTORS®. Agents are offered multiple classes and training seminars for everything they need to do business in this new environment where technology is vitally important, yet sales and people skills are also critical.
Another key to attracting new clients is paying attention to those entering the rental market.
“The rental market has improved dramatically,” Docktor says. “We are working with those renters so that when they are ready to buy, they will be familiar with our company and choose one of our agents.”
Docktor expects sales to increase in 2016, although not at the same pace as 2015. “Pent-up demand has been met in 2015, so there will be a smaller increase in 2016,” she explains. “We expect to continue to attract new and experienced sales agents to the company because they know we are the No. 1 broker in the market area, and that this position is best able to support their own business. Agents are aware that we are dedicated to their growth and prosperity, and that they will have a better quality of life with Fox & Roach and the Trident Group.”
For more information, visit www.foxroach.com.