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Long & Foster Carves Retirement Path for Associates

June 22, 2018

Long & Foster Real Estate, an East Coast franchise, is offering its sales associates a path toward retirement by allowing agents to acquire the businesses of retiring colleagues.

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The company has debuted a program matching retiring agents with associates who are looking to expand their clientele. The program includes training and provides a structure for retiring agents to receive financial benefits as their businesses transition to another associate.

The brokerage says the need for such an initiative is growing. The median age of REALTORS® is 53, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Ninety percent of agents are independent contractors without access to traditional pensions or 401(k) plans. “All their sweat equity, all the money and capital they put into their business, all the relationships they’ve formed are all just up for grabs to the industry,” says Larry “Boomer” Foster, co-president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “We’re giving our agents the ability to monetize the value of their business.”

The program ensures that the retiring agent is matched with an associate who has a similar work style, personality, and business philosophy, according to Rich Fino, Long & Foster’s director of professional development. Participants can choose to do the transition gradually or quickly. “The key to our plan is the selling agent and buying agent must work together for a period of time in order for the upside to occur,” says Gary Scott, co-president of Long & Foster Real Estate. “The selling agent has to introduce the buying agent into their sphere of influence—which could be thousands of people—and create trust over time.”

Long & Foster has nearly 11,000 real estate professionals within centralized brokerage firms among 220-plus locations across the eastern seaboard. The company was acquired in 2017 by Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America.