Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado | Launched: 2006 | Number of agents: 7
Joe and Jennifer Boylan had $1,800 in their bank account when they moved from Dallas, TX to Colorado Springs in 1996.
The two musicians were set on starting a new life in Colorado after playing music professionally in orchestras across the country. Having worked in real estate part-time off-and-on for several years, Jennifer launched a full-time career as an agent with RE/MAX in their new Colorado home.
Under RE/MAX, the Boylans focused on building a business servicing buyers. “We were doing IDX before it was called IDX,” Joe said. “We’d set up a custom search in the MLS, download the text data, then upload it to a custom website for the buyer,” he said. In the late 1990s, they were ahead of the curve.
A business built from scratch
The couple spent 10 years building their business under RE/MAX before deciding to break away to start their own independent brand in 2006. “We didn’t have anything against the franchise model, we just didn’t need the big office,” Joe said. He had learned everything he needed to know about building his own website during one holiday season while working as a tuba player for a ballet orchestra in Dallas. “The tuba only plays for about two minutes in the Nutcracker,” Joe said, “so I’d read books on web development and SEO on my music stand during rehearsals.”
When they built springshomes.com, they did so with buyers in mind. The site is rich with buyer-specific content—neighborhood guides, cost calculators, relocation guides. Even a quiz that guides buyers to a Colorado Springs neighborhood based on things like desired acreage, what kind of livestock they own and what school district they want to be in. “We figured out how to get buyers online,” Jennifer said.
Full-service without the size
For a boutique-sized business, the brokerage provides the same level of service to its agents as large franchises. “We do all the work for our agents except the interaction between them and their clients,” said Jennifer. Springshomes employs a full-time photographer, project planner, social media coordinator and transaction coordinator to assist agents. They also recently launched a mentorship program for new agent training, which Jennifer and Joe run themselves. “We want to take care of all the distractions created by what agents aren’t typically good at, so that they can focus on building their business,” said Joe.
Colorado Springs might be most known for its military affiliation – both the US Army and Air Force have major campuses surrounding the city – but the city’s arts and culture scene is also vibrant. With roots in the arts and music, the Boylans support the local art community through Springs Homes. They advertise their business and their agents on the local NPR radio station to support public radio, publish a blog and newsletter highlighting local events like farmers markets and film festivals, and both Jennifer and Joe volunteer as instructors for the local youth symphony. “Everything we do is related to the arts,” Jennifer said of the company’s community involvement.
Though they’ve left their professional music careers behind, Jennifer and Joe have brought their musical acumen to the real estate space. “There are skills and abilities you develop as a musician—how you see things, how you think,” said Joe. “And those transition into business.”