As president and COO of ERA Colonial Real Estate in Texas, Tom DeWine is working on creating more effective listing agents, building the firm’s listing inventory and improving its transaction management—all in an effort to maintain its position as a leader in the market. So far in 2016, he likes what he’s seen.
“Real estate in Texas has been experiencing steady growth for several years. Job growth, tax rates and cost-of-living expenses continue to attract people to the metro areas of the state,” he says. “Austin and San Antonio have seen double-digit price appreciation and markets that consistently have as few as two months of inventory.”
As for future growth, ERA Colonial Real Estate has been actively seeking out M&A opportunities throughout the last year. In fact, the firm has ERA and Realogy assets working with them with the intention of acquiring real estate and property management companies in its markets.
Aggressively pursuing quality agents—both experienced and new to the business—is another key way the firm is working to grow.
“Our company culture and our company-generated business drive both aspects of talent for us. We are particularly selective in hiring agents and maintain very high performance and service standards,” DeWine says. “We start by seeking those individuals who align with our values and business principles. If they don’t share those driving values with us, the production they do is inconsequential.”
The firm stays on top by leveraging ZAP and other ERA and Realogy resources and knowledge bases, reviewing client feedback continually, maintaining a flexible approach to marketing and communication with clients and driving their marketing and technology to mobile.
“We integrated Dotloop into the mix for online transaction management several years ago and Realogy’s ZAP is a mobile-friendly CRM and client engagement tool,” DeWine says. “Our marketing initiatives have evolved to embrace consumers using mobile devices, and we are evaluating VR technologies at this time.”
For DeWine, it all comes down to striving to give customers the best experience possible.
“That means that we seek to provide a client experience that is second to none, that our own agents have an exceptional experience being a real estate agent—particularly in terms of life balance and income—and that as a company, we are in a state of continual education, learning and striving for excellence,” DeWine says. “This principle, along with our values of integrity, contribution, commitment, teamwork and service, drives every decision we make.”
Vitals: ERA Colonial Real Estate
Years in business: 29
Size: 4 offices, 90 agents
2015 sales volume: $403,401,955
2015 transactions: 1,840
Region served: Killeen/Ft. Hood, Salado/Belton, Georgetown, Greater Austin, Greater San Antonio, Kerrville
For more information, visit www.colonialrealestate.com.