With 1999 revenues of more than $170 million, The DeWolfe Cos. Inc. in Lexington, Mass., is a New England powerhouse that encompasses real estate brokerage, mortgage, insurance, relocation, and moving services.
Gay Pinson used to display her grandchildren’s pictures on her office desk. Her awards used to hang on the wall behind her. Today she can still put up those photos and awards, only it’s in her home office.
Frustrated by shriveling profits, Chuck Padgett, broker-president of Coldwell Banker–Buckner Real Estate, set about reinventing himself and his company. Seeing his bottom line attacked by escalating overhead and salespeople who didn’t pull their weight, Padgett whittled down his sales staff and threw his own hat into the ring.
If you’re like most brokers, this year you’ll spend more than 15 percent of your company dollar on advertising. Picture all that money going down the drain. That’s what happens when salespeople who answer your phones don’t know how to turn calls into appointments.
When Mark L. Levine, president of Levine Ltd., REALTORS®, Englewood, Colo., started a real estate business back in the 1960s, he sought to avoid the school of hard knocks. One way, he figured, was to get as much education as he could. He ended up with eight REALTOR® family professional designations.
In the seven years since Frank D'Ostilio, president and broker in charge of William Orange Realty Inc., bought his company, he's increased sales eightfold. D'Ostilio's experience has made him a strong proponent of buying used--companies, that is.
When Ed Willer, president of York Residential in Raleigh, N.C., signed up at North Carolina State University for workshops on quality control, he quickly realized he was the only real estate practitioner in the classes. As a result, Willer developed his own program.
The president of Mason McDuffie came up with the idea to create an advisory board. It's composed of people outside the industry who talk to us from a different point of view. As a result, the company tapped into a vast network of experts in other businesses---and saved itself big money.