Location: Alabama | Launched: 2010 | Number of agents: 21
Creating a company of community stewards
Since the origin, Elizabeth Cooper-Golden has looked for her giving heart to lead the way to successful business. @Homes Realty aims for the more progressive consumer who gravitates to transparency, relationships and better technology.
As a new brokerage, they dealt with challenges at every turn. “Perhaps our biggest challenge,” Elizabeth said, “was how to brand our concept, from the actual identity to securing the location for our neo-traditional brokerage.”
The foundation of @Homes starts with their agents and approach to recruiting.
“Integrity is the most important to me,” said Elizabeth. “While I can teach marketing and sales, I need agents to walk in the door with real character. As trusted advisors, this is what matters most.”
Agents need to have giving hearts and a genuine interest in leading community initiatives and volunteering. “I want them to have a great business, but I want them to have giving hearts first because I think the rest of it comes naturally,” Elizabeth said.
To free up agents to focus on clients and their communities, @Homes employs a full-time agent concierge to handle many of the details that otherwise distract them.
The company also isn’t afraid to implement tools like dotloop, Slack, Facebook groups and video emails to keep agents on top of things.
The company celebrates effort over production numbers, highlighting agents each month who went above and beyond with their clients or in their community. They give agents awards for these things in the same way that other brokerages give awards for hitting the highest sales numbers.
Some of the volunteer activities @Homes participates in include handing out hats and scarves to the homeless community, tutoring at local schools, and helping to clean the elderly’s homes. Agents are even encouraged to invite past clients to share in their volunteer efforts.
A particular favorite volunteer opportunity for Elizabeth is making a dinner for a group of after-school kids who do not have a hot lunch provided at school every day. She is proudly named “Taco Mama” for making tacos for the group each month.
Remaining true to her roots, Elizabeth saw a way to do things differently with splits. “I now pay agents on an education basis. I believe in rewarding those that have their broker’s license with a higher split and lower caps,” she said.
The brokerage also rewards experience, and Elizabeth said she’s pushing all of her agents to become brokers and to earn their CRS or GRI designations.
“My long-term goal is to have an entire office of brokers with just a handful of newer agents that can grow alongside us,” she said.