In the following interview, John Finn, managing broker of United Real Estate Richmond in Richmond, Va., discusses the background of the brokerage, its commitment to the community, and more.
Region Served: Richmond, Va.
Years in Real Estate: 40+
Number of Offices: 1 (our second office is opening this month)
Number of Agents: 150+
Proudest Achievement: My family has been involved in the real estate industry for four generations. It’s extremely gratifying for my brother, Jeffrey, and I to fulfill our father’s dream by continuing to build on it.
One Thing People Don’t Know About You: I never want to be the smartest person in the room. When I’m not, I know I’m going to learn from the encounter.
You purchased Richmond’s oldest African American-owned real estate company. How was the transition from independent to franchise?
Robinson-Harris & Company Real Estate was founded in 1914, and is also the oldest African American-run business in Richmond. A culture that’s been around that long has to be based in superior client services. It was a seamless transition merging the two companies earlier this year. Even though United Real Estate—with its cutting-edge model and state-of-the-art technology—couldn’t be more different from Robinson-Harris’ older, traditional model, the consistency in core values and client services are the same.
How do you run your brokerage differently from competitors?
Family is a very important part of our culture. While a sense of family isn’t just a slogan, but rather, a commitment, we always try to project that to our team. A real estate office can become a very lonely space, but with an intense training program and support system in place, our team members never feel left alone out there. There’s always a broker, manager, mentor or accountability partner available to serve their needs.
How has your community involvement made you a better real estate professional?
In 2015, I became president of the Richmond Association of REALTORS®—a first-class, mid-size real estate association with incredibly dedicated members. The opportunity to exchange ideas with other professionals in the industry on a regular basis not only enhances my skills on a micro level, but on a macro level, as well. I became more active within the association about 10 years ago when I made the decision to change the way I was living. I stopped chasing money and started doing more service work. That’s why my business and personal life have reached such incredible heights today.
As a 2017 REALTOR® of the Year winner, how do you define success in the industry?
You can only be truly humbled by this recognition—but you have to understand that successes come over time from doing good work and helping other REALTORS® develop into the best they can be. I do that by providing a strong family structure to help our agents grow, which, in turn, drives both my success and United Real Estate’s success.
What strategies do you have in place to help your clients get to the closing table?
My background and experience in three complete real estate cycles helps my agents prepare themselves for what’s next. We’re constantly upgrading and looking for the most effective way to keep our agents at the forefront of technology. As an independent, I was always chasing the next state-of-the-art technology, and by the time I adopted it, it wasn’t state of the art anymore. United Real Estate is on the cutting edge of technology every single day, which is a huge advantage.
For more information, please visit www.unitedrealestate.com.