Can I practice commercial real estate?
We get this question a lot and the answer is ‘it depends.’
Some agents have obvious ties to the commercial market and can jump into commercial practice more smoothly, while others need more time to learn the ropes and gain experience. But one of the benefits of having a fully developed commercial practice is that residential agents can refer commercial or investment clients to the commercial team and be compensated for that referral.
What do you do with leads?
When we get contacted regarding a specific listing, the lead goes directly to the listing agent. If it is a general inquiry, our managing broker will route it to one of the agents in the office.
That said, one of One South’s primary focuses is not to create leads for our agents, but to teach the fundamentals of lead generation to our agents. An agent who can generate leads is an agent whose business is predictable and scalable. That is what One South envisions for all of our agents.
What exactly, is Halogen Concepts?
Halogen Concepts is One South’s sister company that works exclusively with our agents and other non-agent clients in real estate related industries (lending, building, legal, development) to design strategic marketing campaigns. Using the skills developed designing corporate campaigns for One South, Hither now offers the same services to One South agents as a part of strategic marketing initiatives.
We found that agents need strategic marketing support over and above the listing specific marketing we do for them as a part of the standard agent package. Most agents realize that they need to be doing client outreach on a regular basis, but lack the time and expertise to not only set up a program, but keep it running with the appropriate quality and frequency of database interactions.
Do you create web pages?
Yes — and Halogen also handles web, drip, blogs, video, AdWords, retargeting, and a host of other services for our agents.
The bigger question is “what is the agent trying to accomplish?” Far too often agents feel that they need a webpage when they have no idea of what they are trying accomplish with its development. When the design of the website matches the purpose of the web site, the money spent to have it built becomes an investment.
Do you plan to associate with a franchise?
If they could demonstrate to us that their tools are both better than ours and better utilized than ours, then maybe we would consider affiliating with a franchise. So far, that has not been the case.
As an independent brokerage in a high velocity and high price market, we are constantly being approached by franchise salespeople who tout their tools as the best in the industry. When we do our research, we actually come away thinking that they should be buying our tools.
Where will One South be in 5 years?
We don’t necessarily have goals for agent count or office count or sales volume — we have qualitative goals about services and skills. We believe that a process and capability focus will create that growth. If that means we outgrow our current office, then we will expand.
When we keep our focus on perfecting our processes and growing our skills, we perform at our best and our agents are happiest. Growth for growth’s sake is a recipe for disaster.
I want to be on a team that represents projects — can I?
We don’t want to make a promise that you can as the flow of projects is not predictable.
Generally speaking, the agent who sources the project gets to pick their team. But we have found that projects are a huge time commitment and often, the primary team members will need help from outside the team to hold open houses or meet sign calls on a moment’s notice. The agents who are willing to help out and demonstrate their work ethic to team members usually end up working on the next project that comes along.
I work in suburban Richmond, but you guys seem like a city firm. How can you help me?
In any given year, we do roughly half of our business outside of the city line, which often surprises people. Our brand is closely associated with our physical location in the Fan District and we have represented a lot of city-based infill projects, but location specialty is entirely agent specific.
The agents who operate in suburban Richmond enjoy One South because of the support, knowledge base, commercial presence, and marketing strategy. At the end of the day, they recognize that One South is not about geography, it is about technique, education, and support.
Aren’t you the condo guys?
That’s another common misconception.
While we did represent a lot of urban condo projects when we first opened, perhaps one of our greatest accomplishments was to migrate our business away from being so condo dependent when the market shifted in 2009/2010 and the flow of new infill development ground to a halt.
The knowledge we compiled representing the incredible number of projects we did from 2008-2012 is another facet of One South our agents can leverage when they are competing for a condo listing or guiding a condo buyer.