GARDNER REALTORS® Puts Relationships First and Reaps the Rewards
Trends come and go, but one thing remains the same: GARDNER REALTORS®, founded in 1943 by Mrs. Gertrude Gardner, has always been committed to helping agents and consumers create the life they love. Today, this family-owned company, serving New Orleans, Baton Rouge and the Mississippi Gulf Coast region, continues innovating with the same focus, advancing the firm into the future while keeping its four-generation heritage alive by putting relationships first.
“From my perspective, learning the history of how Gertrude started the business, it was about creating a vision for the future,” says Crystal Gardner-Phillips, Gertrude’s great-granddaughter and GARDNER REALTORS®’ VP of Marketing and Public Relations. “Something I’ve noticed being in the front row is that one thing never goes out of trend, and that’s the emphasis on relationships.”
Gertrude’s legacy has lived on through every aspect of the brokerage’s business-building. That doesn’t mean, however, that the company has focused only on the past. Carefully thought-out modernization has helped GARDNER REALTORS® truly stand apart from the competition. A big part of that is paying no mind to the trends that don’t align with the brokerage’s core values.
“It’s not that we’re against trends; we’re just more focused on doing things that help us strengthen our relationships, which results in more successful transactions,” says Glenn Gardner, president. “We’re not into fads. Instead, we look at long-term, reliable trends. We want to continue being the proven real estate company that has consistently offered excellent results now for over 75 years.”
“There’s so much noise about what the future will look like, but we only double down on the trends that will help us strengthen relationships,” says Gardner-Phillips.
Looking at 2019, the firm’s advances in technology and marketing, including an updated logo, will help spread the brokerage’s history-steeped message. The new logo is familiar, but with a twist.
“At first, we were very extreme in our design, and then our dad reeled us in by reminding us that our logo has always been such a strong symbol, and that we needed to stay true to the foundation of the brand,” says Gardner-Phillips.
An updated, information-rich website is set to make its debut later this year, as well. And the brokerage is making strides with its GARDNER REALTORS® app, which is designed to work alongside the new brand refresh. Using the app, consumers are able to point their phone’s camera at a real estate sign associated with the brokerage and instantly tour the home via pictures, or request to see the property in-person.
“We’re always evolving the back-end and rolling out new tools and services, improving the way we’re doing things to exceed customer expectations,” says Gardner-Phillips. “We’re evolving our website and app.”
For the year ahead, it doesn’t stop there. GARDNER REALTORS® wants to tie everything together with a unified voice.
“The next step is intentionally coming up with a voice that goes along with our brand, making it consistent across all mediums,” says Gardner-Phillips. “We’ve definitely evolved our voice—one that you can always count on for service excellence. At the end of the day, it comes down to #GardnerLove.”
Part of that is the charity and community aspect. The brokerage has sponsored multiple “Gardner Cottages” for the New Orleans Mission. The most recent is at the Mission’s Lynhaven Campus on the Northshore, which helps women and their children who are suffering from homelessness.
“It helps them not just by giving them a temporary shelter, but by changing their lives for the better,” says Gardner.
“It improves the lives of their children, as well,” adds Gardner. “It’s things like this that Gertrude always appreciated when she was here with us.”
Gardner-Phillips says that with the combined efforts of GARDNER REALTORS® and the New Orleans Mission, “the community project helps, on average, 80 women at any given time. The amazing stories we hear make us so invested in our mission.
“It’s super cool to see such a big impact when we combine our efforts and join together for a common cause,” adds Gardner-Phillips. “Right now, we have 87 of our REALTORS® who are committed to supporting the homeless and the community by giving away part of their commission from each transaction.”
GARDNER REALTORS® zones in on the relationship-building on the consumer side, as well. Partnering with LoLo, the brokerage supports the community by sending over 11,000 gifts to clients from locally-owned businesses—and this number is steadily climbing.
The camaraderie also exists within GARDNER REALTORS® itself. In fact, it’s another clear differentiator between them and competing brokerages.
“We’re not a franchise. We’re locally-owned and have 24 offices. We all work together. If you’re an agent with our company, you can work in any office with any manager. In other companies, offices compete against each other,” says Sharon Gardner, VP of Corporate Services.
And this difference hasn’t gone unnoticed. The brokerage received various accolades in 2018, including “Best Residential Real Estate Company” by New Orleans CityBusiness readers and “Top Workplace” by NOLA.com and The Times Picayune for the fourth year in a row—the only brokerage to achieve this—among others.
“It means a lot that third parties recognize our achievements,” says Gardner-Phillips. “This year, we were also recognized with ‘The Ethics Award,’ which only one company is awarded annually by NOLA.com/The Times Picayune.”
Chip Gardner, VP of Operations, adds, “Our real estate family was also proud to see my father, Glenn Gardner, who’s been serving as president of GARDNER REALTORS® for 40 years, be presented with Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®’s lifetime achievement award, ‘Leader of the Year.’ In addition, we’re all very proud that our founder, Gertrude Gardner, recently received the great honor of being chosen to be featured in a special New Orleans Tricentennial tribute and commemorative book titled, ‘300 for 300: People Who Made New Orleans, New Orleans.'”
“We’re doing something we believe in to help our REALTORS® create the life they love and to help buyers and sellers achieve the same thing,” says Glenn Gardner. “We love doing what we do.”
For more information, please visit www.gardnerrealtors.com.
Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s associate content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at email@example.com.