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Vitals: Phyllis Browning Company
Years in Business: 30
Size: 4 offices, 223 agents, 28 staff members
Regions Served: San Antonio, New Braunfels, Boerne, Port Aransas, South Texas
2018 Sales Volume: $740 million
2018 Transactions: 1,528

Over the next two decades, San Antonio is expected to see an influx of more than 1 million people to the city, and Jennifer Shemwell, president of Phyllis Browning Company (PBC)—ranked No. 412 in sales volume in RISMedia’s 2019 Power Broker Report—is ready to help them find homes. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Phyllis Browning, Shemwell has been a leader in the San Antonio real estate market for more than 25 years, where she’s had a hand in hundreds of transactions and spent copious time mentoring agents to be their very best.

What makes your firm stand out in the marketplace?
Jennifer Shemwell: Our commitment to excellence and staying on the cutting edge really sets us apart. We also have a very strong culture for helping others, starting with the way we treat each other. Following in the footsteps of my mother, I’ve dedicated my career to establishing the PBC brand as one of professionalism, elegance and respect.

What are the firm’s growth plans for the year ahead?
JS: We’re actively recruiting top agents. We’ve moved into four new offices within the last few years and are expanding into Boerne and New Braunfels, Texas, both of which are growing quite rapidly. Our New Braunfels agents are passionate about growing our marketshare within the waterfront market found in the surrounding areas, and our management and marketing team are both invested in encouraging and growing that market segment, as well. Our Boerne office is focused on dominating Hill Country luxury homes, ranches and estates. With these segments identified, our marketing and management teams have clear goals to hone in on throughout 2019.

What are the biggest challenges you’re currently facing?
JS: Technology changes every year, so we’re constantly reinventing, hosting training seminars and mentoring agents regarding our new cloud-based transaction technology. We’re also developing a well-rounded sphere of influence and providing our REALTORS® with access to science-based Ninja training techniques.

What are some of the biggest opportunities for increasing business in 2019?
JS: We’re excited to expand our land and ranch segment, as well as our commercial brand. We’re thrilled to continue emerging into both of these vibrant sectors of realty, building up both teams with leaders who have years of experience within their respective fields. Additionally, agents are focused on reaching buyers and sellers of waterfront property in the areas surrounding our New Braunfels office.

How are you attracting new agents to your firm and retaining top producers?
JS: We think of our agents as clients and offer them concierge-level service. New agents continually share that they were led to our company based on the strength of our brand. With our tagline in mind—”The Very Best”—a credo of our brand is, “Premier Properties, Singular Service and Exceptional Agents.” We seek to weave that motto into all of our new agent recruiting materials.

What do you look for in someone new coming into the company?
JS: We look for people who are self-starters and highly motivated, who understand and appreciate our culture and brand. We’re constantly seeking individuals with experience, high levels of competency and an understanding of customer service.

How are you preparing your salesforce to meet the expectations of today’s millennial consumers?
JS: To start, I’ve built up a superb marketing team and cherry-picked management focused on digital trends, reaching millennials and the future of real estate. With a strong emphasis on social media and Google ads, the team is more focused than ever on growing the PBC consumer base and increasing brand awareness online. We also understand that for a majority of millennials, social media is their go-to customer service resource.

Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.