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Vitals: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers
Years in business:
Size: 28 offices, 2,475 agents
Regions served: Metro Atlanta and North Georgia
2019 transactions: 7,769
2019 sales volume: $1,860,137,378

Working in Atlanta, Ga., Craig McClelland, COO and vice president of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers, made the decision to enter real estate after seeing a close friend from high school do well in the business. That was 20 years ago.

McClelland was a top REALTOR® his first year, then started his own firm in Atlanta, which he grew to 23 offices and 1,100 agents before selling the company in 2007. He joined Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers the following April as the director of strategic growth, and moved up to his current positions in 2013 and 2018, respectively.

How do you maintain profitability as the market fluctuates?
Craig McClelland:
Focusing on the numbers keeps us aligned with what is a disruption and what is a distraction. Disruptions need to be addressed, and the distractions don’t. Lots of new programs coming to the market get little to no marketshare, exposing that the consumer has no need for the option. However, others pick up marketshare in specific purchasing windows, showing we have something to address. So we evaluate how we address and might change a current process or add an additional option. This keeps us in front of changes and opportunities.

What are some of your most successful recruiting and retention strategies?
Getting the word out is the most underrated recruiting and retention strategy. We work hard every day to promote our story to agents considering joining and those already with us. When we have clearly articulated and promoted our story, we recruit and retain.

How are you motivating and leading agents?
I’m a big believer in getting agents together and training. With community and training, we lift our agent base daily. We empower staff to play a vital role in the agents’ growth and approach the business as a unified team of employees, perfecting the foundation where our agents build their business.

What is your firm’s unique value proposition in your market?
Metro Brokers is the only 40-year-old locally-owned real estate company in Atlanta. There is a lot to be said about being local, and our customers understand that we take our obligation to the city seriously.

How are you competing against new business models?
I always take every new business model seriously. Someone came up with an idea and others invested in what it could be, so I always learn a lot by reviewing and evaluating what they had in mind or considered doing. That being said, most severely underestimate the complication of this industry and the responsibility of supporting a consumer on this journey.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I begin my days by taking some time to read before others get to the office, and I keep emails off until mid-morning. A schedule is key, and keeping your schedule is a necessity. Also, my wife and kids are involved in what I do. They aren’t just along for the ride. They understand when things need to be handled on the weekend or in the evening, if it’s something I’m doing to support others.

Keith Loria is a contributing writer to