Vitals: Legacy Real Estate & Associates
Years in business: 26
Regions served: The East Bay and Silicon Valley, Calif.
Size: 5 offices, 300 agents
2020 transactions: 1,300
2020 sales volume: $1.3 billion
A baseball player for most of his life—he even continues to play hardball at the age of 61 in his spare time—Bill Aboumrad entered the real estate business at the advice of his father, getting his license while in college so he’d have something to fall back on.
Aboumrad graduated from law school and started working in the legal profession, but then his dad asked him to join the firm in 1987—and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, he serves as broker/owner of Legacy Real Estate & Associates, serving California’s East Bay and southern Alameda County.
How did your dad convince you to leave your law career?
Bill Aboumrad: I had a phenomenal job offer to be in-house legal counsel for Lockheed Missile and Aircraft, and I was almost ready to take the job. I was talking to my dad about it, and he said I should give real estate a shot because he thought I’d be good at it. I called the guys at Lockheed and asked if the job would still be available in six months, and it would, so I gave real estate a try, and I never looked back. I made more money in six months working as a real estate agent than I would have in a whole year at Lockheed.
The pandemic certainly threw a wrench into a lot of firms’ plans in 2020. How did your market fare?
BA: The beginning of the year started off with a bang, and we thought we were going to have this gangbuster year, and when COVID hit, April was just a terrible month. May was tough. But by June and July, the market started to pick up and agents started to adapt. The last part of the third quarter until the end of the year, we were about where we were the previous year. In fact, in November, our numbers were higher. We still have an industry shortage, and prices are crazy, with a lot of multiple bids.
What separates Legacy Real Estate & Associates from the competition?
BA: What makes us different is that we’re a big firm, but we feel like a small firm. We feel like a boutique and family operation. We always wanted to have that really high-touch with our agents. We don’t come from a corporate-type philosophy—it’s very agent-centric. As a broker/owner, I’m still in the trenches with the agents. I don’t compete with them, but I can relate to what they’re going through. My agents know they can reach out to me seven days a week, and with the uncertainty we saw this past year, that’s a really comforting feeling for agents.
What attracts new agents to the firm?
BA: I think a lot of them will tell you it’s me. I know every single one of them personally. I know not just about their real estate stuff, but their families, and I’m well connected with them. The business has been around a long time, and we have a good reputation—and that’s important to them. Plus, we’re very good at fulfilling their needs. If they have a problem, they bring it to us. We have a very comprehensive compensation package, and we don’t short change them on the essentials they need for their business.
What do you consider the key to maintaining a healthy work/life balance?
BA: When my boys were growing up, I’d coach them in all their sports, and I would never miss any of those things. Usually, on the weekends, I spend as much time with my family as I can. Both my boys are in their 20s, but they both still live at home. My wife and I try to get away at least one weekend a month. I still play ball and work out four to five days a week, whether it’s weight training or running anywhere from 15 – 20 miles a week. That gives me a good balance.
What is your current growth strategy?
BA: We’re not trying to grow too wide, but there are a couple of cities we are looking at that would complement some of our existing geographic areas. Our focus is to get deeper roots in the areas we are in, and we have a major focus on hiring brand-new licensees. As we start to see the agent population grow older, I’m trying to get the company to be a bit younger.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.