Location: North Carolina | Launched: 2012 | Number of agents: 8
A Boutique Brokerage that Embraces Work-Life Balance
For Stephanie Lanier, real estate wasn’t the obvious career choice – at first. Stephanie’s son Oliver has special medical considerations and because of this, at one point in time, she was watching the bills pile up while wondering how they were going to get paid.
She decided to give real estate a try and was struck by the similarities of the field to her career as a clinical social worker.
“What I love about real estate is that you work hard with a family, get to be a part of their lives, and have the opportunity to see the process to the end,” Stephanie said. “The level of intimacy is similar.”
What started as a way to maintain a flexible career became a successful business partnership with her husband Andrew Lanier, who maintains his roots in the film industry while holding his position as co-founder with Stephanie.
Since its inception in 2012, Lanier Property Group, based in Wilmington, NC, has stood for two things. One is their commitment to building an innovative brand. Two is their dedication to a solid value system within the company.
Lanier Property Group strives to come up with new and original ideas when it comes to their marketing strategy. The founding team believes in authenticity and creating a brand that draws clients and collaborators in because of who they are, a company that’s built on sincerity and a real connection.
A prime example of one of Lanier’s off-the-cuff, yet very successful campaigns was the creation of a map of Midtown Wilmington. The previously undefined area and home to Lanier’s office, became official after Stephanie decided to simply draw a map of the area, define it, and share it with clients. The endeavor was recognized in a local business journal, earned Stephanie the title of the “Queen of Midtown”, and placed her as one of Wilmington’s “Most Intriguing People”.
The brokerage is no stranger to doing something unexpected. When they initially designed their logo in black-and-white, the brokerage was advised against the color scheme. But Stephanie appreciated the simplicity and distinguished appearance of the look. Her instincts proved right. “People say they see our signs all over the place,” Stephanie said.
Cozy Camaraderie at Lanier Property Group
The team at Lanier consists of only full-time agents. Although they’ve been approached by a number of people wanting to be a part of the brokerage, they’ve at times decided to pause their growth in order to be more strategic about it. “We’d like to grow systematically and make sure it’s a good culture fit,” Stephanie said.
It just so happens that with the exception of one person, the team consists of mothers who all place value on work-life balance. They range in age from mid 30s to early 50s. And the group works well together. In order to maintain that level of cohesiveness, Stephanie plans to be thoughtful with the way the firm grows.
Lanier Property Group is a brokerage that works from the heart. According to Stephanie, “If you have an inclination for service, then you’re our kind of person.”
Stephanie takes a very personal approach to transactions with clients, recognizing that she’s privy to a significant time in a person’s life. Reasons for buying or selling a home can be complicated, for example a couple having to place parents into a caregiver situation.
On the flip side, families may be experiencing growth and finally get to buy their dream home. The company is ready and equipped to handle all of the situations that might take place. “I want to be part of people’s big life moments, and share in the magic of the American dream,” said Stephanie.
In addition, Lanier Property Group is now brokerage level partners with Give Back Homes, the brokerage matches agent donations of $25 per closing. In the fall, all agents will have a build day with Habitat for Humanity to give back to the local community.
Events in Line with Lanier
Stephanie concedes not every endeavor has proven successful at first. In the past, Lanier Property Group threw a spring event, which had some hiccups. Inclement weather hit the event, raining on the attendees and the whole thing had to be moved to another location. To top things off, “people told us the [bunny] costume scared the kids,” said Stephanie.
But through that experience, the brokerage learned about the power of social media and the reach that’s possible through sharing and tagging attendees.
Now, the office focuses on events more in line with their core values. Drawing from their branding persona, Stephanie created an recurring event called the “Inspiration Lab”. During one luncheon, they had about six dozen women in attendance discussing how to be mentally tough even when your world falls apart. Through this platform, Stephanie’s mentor shared her personal journey combating ovarian cancer. The event was heartfelt. Women connected. And it was a very spiritual experience for those who attended.
Looking ahead, Lanier Property Group continues to buck the trend by not focusing on the biggest accomplishments, but on the little things that matter. From reaching their goal of over 100 reviews to carefully growing the office, the brokerage has an open approach towards facing the future.