Bellator Real Estate & Development, a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®
Spanish Fort, Ala.
Region served: Mobile and Baldwin County, Ala.
Years in real estate: 24
Number of offices: 6
Number of agents: 178
Motto that you live by: While there are a great many things in life that we have no control over, we can control our attitude. If we remain positive and see the good around us, we will always do better.
How has being part of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® network helped you during this unprecedented time?
During the early onset of the pandemic, it was great to be able to reach out and receive support from other members located across the country. Being able to communicate with one another and share ideas and understanding helped tremendously. Because no one had ever been through anything like this before, it was new to all of us, so we collaborated on ways to continue providing excellent service to our agents and clients.
You are known for your breadth of expertise, from new construction and development to primary homes and second homes. Are you seeing a shift in the real estate market, and if so, which of your segments have been selling best this year?
The secondary market was hit first in March and April, but it has now had the biggest rebound of all. Year-over-year, our condo sales are up nearly 21 percent, which includes that initial two-month dip. New construction is also up year-over-year and has been a big part of our business. We are seeing a lot of buyers from outside our area leaving larger metropolitan areas and moving here. I think buyers are finding it appealing that the cost of living is much lower here than in larger metro areas and that it is a great place to raise a family.
Talk about your recruiting and retention efforts during the past year.
We are maintaining our normal recruiting efforts with a lot of help from our existing agents. When it comes to bringing on new agents and brokers, the key for us is not numbers, but quality. As far as making sure we take care of our agents, we have been doubling down on daily business and health updates. Because we have not been able to meet face-to-face with our agents (at press time), we have used Zoom and FaceTime to educate them on market conditions and things such as the Paycheck Protection Program so that they are aware of everything available to them.
How are you helping your agents navigate the current environment?
We have found that it is critical to be open and transparent with them, as well as supportive—especially for those agents who have been personally affected by the pandemic. Operationally, we stress the importance of showing properties and showing them properly. We make sure everyone adheres to the CDC guidelines, which means wearing face masks and minimizing personal contact by having only the agent present for showings. We are also using Zoom and FaceTime along with videos to fill in for face-to-face showings. This way, we maintain our business safely and effectively for all parties involved.
For more information, please visit www.leadingre.com.
Lesley Grand is a contributing editor to RISMedia.