Owner/Broker in Charge
JP & Associates REALTORS® Magnolia Group
Region served: Columbia, S.C., with growth into Charleston and plans to eventually break into the Greenville/Spartanburg market.
Years in real estate: Andy: 15; Kristen: 16
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 100
Best time management tip: Focus on direct income-producing activities first, then deal with the details.
Most effective way to motivate agents: Provide encouragement and support. Real estate can be a scary business, especially for new agents, so take the time to boost your agents up on a regular basis and remind them that they have the experience and training to be successful.
One thing the pandemic has taught you: The importance of staying calm, focusing on your goals and making sure you aren’t causing yourself unnecessary stress. While this is a new experience for all of us, be mindful of the fact that those around you will use your emotions as a barometer for how they should be feeling.
How has COVID-19 impacted your business? When COVID hit, we were beginning our expansion into the Charleston market, which made it difficult to find office space since everything was shut down. This put us behind the eight ball since it was tougher to recruit, but being new to the market, people wanted to get to know us in spite of what we were offering—and Zoom meetings could only take us so far. On a more positive note, the pandemic allowed us to focus on the important aspects of the business, such as our core values, goals, who we are and who we want to be. It also provided us the opportunity to bond as a brokerage as we worked together to navigate the challenges associated with this ordeal. Despite everything, in addition to being able to grow our agent count over the last few months, we’ve also seen record month after record month. We never stopped trying to be better when we had to transition to a work-from-home routine, and we’re pleased to see that the fruits of our labor that were put into place during that time are now coming to fruition.
In what ways has JP & Associates REALTORS® (JPAR) helped you navigate the challenges presented by the coronavirus? They’ve been great on every level and are extremely vested in seeing us all succeed. For agents who are concerned that all of this might cause transactions to dip, JPAR’s aggressive pay structure has allowed them to make as much (or more) doing fewer transactions. Plus, they have the knowledge of knowing that they have access to the latest and greatest tech tools. From a corporate standpoint, JPAR has been a wonderful business partner, providing us with the leadership we need as franchise owners in order to better lead our agents.
As you continue to expand your footprint, what would you point to as the biggest factor in the growth of your business over the years? The people. Good people are the backbone of any successful company, so creating a culture of teamwork, support and cooperation is important. When you build an organization with the right people, you will have the solid foundation you need for long-term success.
When it comes to recruiting the right people, what is your strategy? Our recruitment strategy centers around not only listening to our agents, but also, the consumers who are buying and selling homes. As demands and needs continue to change, you have to be willing to listen and adapt, and that’s how we’re able to bring in the right people. If we’re sensitive to what the market is telling us and listening to the needs of our agents and clients, we’ll continue to attract the right people and grow.
What is your secret to staying relevant in the ever-evolving real estate landscape? Staying relevant is all about paying attention to the way business is conducted, in addition to the tools and technology that are available. In light of the whole world having to shift this past year, it’s more important than ever to be aware of how the market evolves. Staying relevant is not about being complacent, but rather, pushing to find what we can be doing better. There are a million other companies out there trying to better themselves, so if you stop improving, someone else will pass you by.
Why JP & Associates REALTORS®? I was looking for a franchise that had the same beliefs that I had in terms of what a brokerage should look like, and JPAR was the only one that checked all those boxes. My decision to affiliate with JPAR has been validated by the brand’s rapid growth and the top talent they continue to attract from other large names in the industry. By far, it has been the best decision of my professional life.
What sets the firm apart from other brokerages? Our family feel, where we strive to make everyone comfortable. Agents know they can reach us day or night and that we have enough support staff to help them with various aspects of their business. JP & Associates REALTORS® Magnolia Group is a safe environment where agents can share ideas, support one another and be free to work on their business in the best way possible for them. If agents are comfortable, they’re happy. And if they’re happy, they’re successful.
Where do you see your business in five years? Our goal is to have 10 offices throughout South Carolina with 1,000 full-time agents.