The Greater Houston market started to plateau late in 2015, and Mark Woodroof, managing partner, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene, feels that as we hit the mid-point of 2016, the market is starting to soften, particularly in the high-end, driven by the apparition of energy jobs eliminated by the price of oil.
“All the jobs that the city created from 2012 – 2014 have been eliminated in 2015 and 2016, and that’s creating some psychological and real impact on how people are viewing things,” Woodroof says. “I would say that the market has performed better than the headlines. As I tell my agents, this year will still probably be one of the top five on the board.”
With plans to open three or four new offices this year, Woodroof believes the market will continue to improve in regard to transactions and sales volume.
“We really believe that our company works as a partner with our agents to get results for consumers, and for us, nothing happens at our company unless the client gives approval,” Woodroof says. “The secret for bringing in new agents is consistent coaching and bringing them through the process of becoming an independent contractor and being successful.”
The firm offers a Fast Start training series that provides ongoing real estate classes, informative videos and experts brought in to talk about the latest trends in the industry to get agents ready to succeed. Staying relevant is of prime importance to the company.
“We want to grow, and the biggest challenge is coaching and mentoring to get the best leaders—people who will take ownership in what they are doing,” Woodroof says. “On the agent side, it’s showing consumers that it matters who you choose—just as it does a doctor or a lawyer. There is so much noise out there in the marketplace and we are spending a lot of money to show people what the differences are. We do radio, TV, social media and all kinds of digital-type things, and the challenge is getting that message out there.”
Woodroof’s biggest piece of advice to new agents is to show up and work from the moment they decide to enter the business.
“If you’re serious about this business, be prepared to spend 60 – 70 hours a week from the first day you come on board,” says Woodroof. “The thing that will make you successful is to tell everyone in your sphere of influence that you’re in the real estate business, and are willing to help them. For people who don’t, and want to spend months getting ready, they probably aren’t really comfortable prospecting for business.”
Having been in the real estate game for more than 30 years, Woodroof enjoys bringing others into the business and dealing with customers.
“We believe we’re not just selling a home; we’re helping people achieve dreams,” says Woodroof. “I believe homeownership is still what people want. I think this is the essence of the American Dream, and we take that seriously.”
Vitals: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene
Years in business: 53
Size: 23 offices; 1,042 agents
2015 sales volume: $2.4 billion
2015 transactions: 8,467
Region served: Greater Houston Area
For more information, visit www.garygreene.com.