Being in the real estate business for nearly 40 years, Richard “Dicky” Mopper, partner with Engel & Völkers Savannah, has made an endless number of relationships in Georgia’s historic coastal city, and looks forward to each and every day of work.
“What I love is helping people find the right house for themselves, or the right properties for whatever their venture is going to be on the commercial side of things,” says Mopper. “To me, the key is the personal relationship you can build, and the ability to actually make friends.”
Dedicated to Savannah’s real estate industry, Mopper is a valuable contributor to the area’s professional organizations. He’s a life member of the Distinguished Sales Society, a member of the local, state and national Board of REALTORS®, and a past officer of the Savannah Board of REALTORS®.
Having run his own firm for most of his time in the business, Mopper made the decision to become part of Engel & Völkers about two years ago.
“It’s been the best decision we ever made. Our growth has increased significantly, and our average price per listing has increased more than $100,000 since the change,” he says. “I had never had any desire to be part of a franchise, but the more I got to visit with Engel & Völkers, the more I realized they were very similar to our small firm. They’re family-oriented, their ethical standards are enormous, and their work ethic is the best I’ve ever seen.”
Hoping to add a second office to the firm’s footprint within the next 24 months, Mopper is currently looking at sites.
Mopper notes that it’s been a “really interesting” time in the Savannah market, with varied neighborhoods and multiple types of properties available. Values have been steady and sales have been brisk so far this year, with low interest rates proving to be an enormous help.
“We’re seeing enormous growth in new construction in the Savannah area in those areas we consider bedroom communities,” he adds.
The biggest change Mopper has noticed throughout the course of his career is the industry’s transition from a broker-controlled business to more of an agent-centric business—and that’s changed his job description as a broker/owner.
“Part of the challenge is finding and keeping good agents because they’re constantly being asked to move to other firms,” he says. “We’re very fortunate that we’ve been in business for a long time and have very strong community relationships. We have a policy of non-aggressive recruiting; our reputation has caused a number of people to just come to our door.”
Once new agents join the firm, Mopper believes they stay because of the firm’s family atmosphere and the 24/7 broker policy where someone is always available to provide help or answer questions.
There’s also a lot of training available to agents, with a Lunch and Learn program that explores a different topic designed to increase business held every two weeks.
“In today’s world, it’s really important for anyone in the real estate industry to stay up with the standards in the market and understand and be educated on everything that’s new,” says Mopper. “In addition to the CE credits that all of our agents are required to do, we offer in-house training to all new agents coming on board, whether they’re experienced agents or brand new to the industry. It’s a very informative course about the tools we offer and how to be better in the market—how to list, how to sell, and how to understand contracts.”
One of the things agents will learn is understanding flood zones, which is a big issue in the Savannah community. They’ll also learn about technology.
“We’re really fortunate to have several people we call ‘tech-perts’ on staff to keep up with all the advanced technology not only in the real estate industry, but in the world today,” says Mopper.
In Mopper’s opinion, what makes the firm unique is that each agent has been taught that there’s a lot more to selling a house than being able to show that it has a pretty kitchen.
“You need to be able to work with your client, understand what the taxes are and what the insurance is, and tell them what they should expect from a home inspection,” says Mopper. “They need to really be educated, up-to-date and have knowledge.”
Vitals: Engel & Völkers Savannah
Years in Business: Since 2016; formerly Mopper Kelly, REALTORS®
Size: 1 office, 32 agents
Regions Served: Savannah and the Coastal Empire
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