The Top 100 Companies: Plant Now, Profit Later

When market conditions dry up, lay the groundwork for healthy harvests in the future. Our annual feature spotlights companies that are doing just that.

July 1, 2008

To everything, there is a season . . . a time to plant, a time to reap . . .

If you’ve had days when the sales figures in the MLS brought up visions of a fallow field in winter, it’s time to look at your market from a different perspective.

John Foltz, CRB, president of Realty Executives in Phoenix saw his market fall 35 percent in 2007, yet he’s not picturing market desolation. Rather, he remains an optimist. 

“The attitude real estate practitioners convey to customers is directly related to the picture of the market they have in their minds,” he says. 

Instead of dwelling on what others may see as drought conditions, Foltz is teaching his 1,500 sales associates to look at the current market as a fertile farm that just needs cultivation and patience. 

Planting the seeds of future relationships now, when sales are slow, is what will ensure prosperity when markets improve, he says.

That doesn’t mean being a Pollyanna. Instead it means adopting an authentically positive attitude, which recognizes real estate is a cyclical business. Your market may be in the down leg of the cycle now, but it won’t be there forever.

“It’s pretty easy to fall into ‘Woe is me’ and wallow in the weak sales numbers,” he says. “And sometimes it’s not any fun out there in the mud doing the heavy work of planting, but if you don’t plant and cultivate your farm now, you’ll have nothing to harvest when the market improves.”

To help business grow, Realty Executives has instituted a continuous customer contact system, dubbed Executive Edge, and a system of accountability partners and personal coaches who prod associates to plant the seeds of relationships now so that they will have greater market share and profits when that cyclical curve starts upward.

Foltz isn’t the only real estate professional today who looks at big inventories and sees opportunities. Read on for our Top 100 Companies lists, and learn what other large brokerage leaders are doing to help ensure a better harvest in the years to come.

Mariwyn Evans

Mariwyn Evans is a former REALTOR® Magazine writer and editor, covering both residential brokerage and commercial real estate topics.