Location: Maryland | Launched: 2014 | Number of agents: 8
Taking staging and design to a new level
When Donna Kerr was gearing up to open her new brokerage’s doors in 2014, design was a major focus for her team.
She wanted to build a company that did more than just stage a home. She knew that with her team’s experience designing homes that she could create a unique value proposition by focusing on these skills.
“We dedicate a lot of resources to doing fix-up work, from freshening to fully renovating,” Donna said, adding that most clients will spend $20,000 to $100,000 to make home improvements prior to listing.
On one property, an estate owner put in $85,000 to get a “370% return on investment,” Donna said.
Donna Kerr Group’s designers also stage a property with items from their own warehouse, and staff members create the marketing materials, which include professional photography, high-glossy mailers and property-specific websites.
The brokerage handles these details so affiliated agents can focus on prospecting and serving clients.
As Donna Kerr Group is planting roots in its local markets that center around Silver Spring, MD, the biggest driving force in recruiting agents is culture fit.
“It’s really important to me that we maintain a certain culture,” Donna said. “We want everybody to be fully committed to the values of our brand, and have a creative and innovative approach to the business.”
And, of course, fun is an important component of the job, she said. They like to throw parties, support charities and give back to the community. The Donna Kerr Group will also host parties at open houses with food trucks, live music and magicians.
“We make it awesome for our clients, our team, and our community,” Donna said.
Donna Kerr Group takes home staging and design seriously. Through their design agency, Pure Energy, they routinely transform houses into homes with more desirable and marketable characteristics, which, research shows, can drastically improve sale price.
What’s unique is Donna and the team can also visualize the transformations as content. She said they’re producing short “before and after” videos they’re planning to pitch to local TV stations. Her team is no stranger to television, having been involved in a few pilots for home design-related shows in the past. They also just started implementing the before and after videos into social media marketing.
Growth is a challenge in any business – not for lack of it, but adjusting your business accordingly with each new addition.
That’s why Donna hired a professional to oversee team growth. Since the addition to the team, her volume has nearly doubled in just two years.
“I’m kind of an artist at heart,” Donna said. “I like the chaos. But you can’t grow a business like that.”
Along with strategic growth, Donna hopes to transition to running the brokerage more as a leader and not a day-to-day agent. The team will be focusing on training and support for affiliated agents so they can provide amazing customer service to all clients.