Location: New Jersey | Launched: 2015 | Number of agents: 16
By the time Anthony D’Alicandro opened Dwell Real Estate in 2015, he had already run another brokerage and had over 24 years of experience in real estate.
D’Alicandro saw that there was room to grow for both the well-known, big brokerages and the boutique agencies while the middle space was a more difficult place to navigate. D’Alicandro chose to build Dwell around the smaller office model.
“I saw an opportunity to create a different level of experience for consumers with the agents that I work with,” Anthony said. He sees bringing the best experience possible to the consumer as key in every transaction. In addition, authenticity and honesty in interacting with others are crucial.
The Linwood, New Jersey office is home to 16 agents and it’s a family-oriented space where agents work well together while maintaining a work-life balance for time outside of the office as well. Aside from work, there are opportunities for get-togethers from meals out to watching a colleague’s relative perform at a local venue.
On the business side, the Dwell office is a mix of the necessary skills to be successful in real estate. Anthony believes old-school market knowledge combined with digital marketing know-how, creativity in message delivery and good communication skills are what is needed to do well. But it’s difficult for one single person to have all of those abilities, so his office is comprised of agents and staff that offer the ideal skill sets.
Some agents are more tech-savvy, welcoming the use of video as a selling tool, while others may shy away from that. Some agents are naturally better at listings while others are better working with buyers. Expertise may vary based on neighborhood area as well. Anthony welcomes the cross-sectional differences and feels the combined experience of the team strengthens the brokerage as a whole.
Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, Anthony has developed a hybrid model of compensation for the brokerage. There are two main methods tailored to what works best for the individual agent.
One model allows the agent to earn a fixed percentage of his or her total gross profits. The amount is determined by that agent’s maintained productivity level. In addition, compensation and bonuses based on levels of service, reviews and performance are allotted.
“The structure incentivizes the agents to be more forthcoming on pricing, do a better job overall and get a home sold more quickly,” Anthony said.
The second method of agent compensation is a salaried model. Currently, two agents at Dwell work with this type of payment. “It’s a way to develop some really great talent who might otherwise not have the opportunity to grow in real estate,” Anthony said.
Strategic marketing brings results
In a short period of time since they’ve opened their doors, Dwell Real Estate has garnered impressive sales and growth. During the first two years they experienced 140% growth in their sales figures and they’re on track to exceed that in their third year.
Having agents who bring the ideal experience to the buyer or seller is just part of the equation. Getting Dwell in front of the eyes of clients and the industry is another part. “We’ve become a known brand in our market in less than three years,” Anthony said. “I attribute a big part of that to what we’ve done digitally.”
That digital savviness includes a strategic email campaign, an active Facebook page, and a database of about 12,000 contacts. And the metrics continue to grow. “We’re expanding our numbers in all areas, by about 4% to 5% each month,” Anthony said.
Going forward, Dwell Real Estate will focus on creating and delivering the best media to fuel their sales growth and brand recognition. Anthony said they plan to bring on more agents in their main and branch offices.
Through all this growth, Anthony said he remains focused on creating a business that can support the next generation of agents to move along with the transformations in the industry. “I’ve seen a great deal of change in the last 10 years with how technology plays a role in real estate,” he said. “The changes are rapid and we respond to them as they’re happening, as quickly as we can.”