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Jeff Smart
Owner/Designated Broker
Dave Shinabarger
Owner/Managing Broker
HomeSmart Elite Brokers
Kennewick, Wash.
www.HomeSmartEliteBrokers.com

Region served: Southeast Washington
Years in real estate: Jeff: 22; Dave: 25
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 40

What’s your secret to staying relevant in today’s ever-changing real estate landscape?

Jeff Smart: Staying relevant is all about staying up to speed on new technology, as well as the wants, needs and desires of agents—and providing the end user the service they need through the agent. You have to be on the forefront of technology, and the tools we have access to through HomeSmart allow us to service buyers and sellers at the highest level.

Dave Shinabarger: No matter what you’re selling, it all comes down to having integrity in everything you do. In order to remain relevant, you must be knowledgeable as to what’s happening in the industry so that you can remain flexible to change and always be ready to adapt. It’s clear that agents have many choices, and the last thing they want is for their brokerage to be too complicated.

How do you stay ahead of the competition?

JS: While I’m not one to toot my own horn, it’s important to note that Dave and I are extremely well known in this market. We’ve been here a long time, so we’re recognizable, and our agents know that they can reach out to us at any time. It’s critical that they know that someone has their back and is available to answer questions when they arise.

DS: Staying ahead of the competition is all about keeping the message simple and clear. We opened our office doors in April 2020, and while we’ve been focused on introducing the 100% commission model to Washington, we’ve also had to combat the competition’s false narrative regarding the fact that we have hidden fees in a non-aggressive way.

How has being part of HomeSmart helped you navigate these challenging times?

JS: Being part of HomeSmart made it easier to manage our growth and take more of the marketshare in our region. Having the ability to call someone up at the international office or reach out to other brokers located throughout the country for brainstorming purposes has been immeasurable and extremely valuable in terms of helping us get through this time.

DS: HomeSmart was built to assist their brokerages remotely, so when we had to transition to a work-from-home environment, the technology was already in place, and everything was seamless. And when something needed to be adjusted, it was done immediately. In some ways, COVID has been a blessing because it slowed things down at a crucial point for us so that we could learn the system. The initial lull as people were forced into lockdown gave us time to talk candidly with our agents. And I have to mention that all of the weekly free marketing provided by HomeSmart to agents in our HomeSmart Marketing Design center has been amazing. It is impactful, on point, timely and free—and that has helped our agents grow their businesses through effective virtual and social media marketing.

What sets the firm apart from other brokerages?

JS: One thing that sets us apart is the fact that we have multiple managing brokers ready at all times to support our agents. Additionally, the top-tier technology offered by HomeSmart puts us head and shoulders above others in the market.

DS: The sense of family within our office is something agents coming from other brokerages sense as soon as they walk in the door. We also foster a collaborative work environment, which encourages both newer agents and seasoned agents to work together to determine how to best handle situations as they arise. Plus, we recently moved into a new 7,000-square-foot building, offering our agents space to work when needed as well as conference rooms and a large training room so that we’re ready when we can all meet in the same space again.

For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.

Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news to paige@rismedia.com.

192.168.100.55