Top Realty Executives Brokerages Place in RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report

Seven Realty Executives brokerages from around the U.S. garnered a spot in RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report ranking the top 500 firms. The report ranks companies based on two sets of criteria: each brokerage’s total closed transaction sides and total sales volume over 2014.

Realty Executives Phoenix out of Scottsdale, Arizona, was the leader in Realty Executives brokerages, followed by several other offices around the U.S.

The other brokerages who won top honors were: Realty Executives Associates in Knoxville, Tennesee; Realty Executives of Santa Clarita in Santa Clarita, California; Realty Executives of Kansas City in Leawood, Kansas; Realty Executives Integrity in Brookfield, Wisconsin; Realty Executives Nevada in Las Vegas, Nevada; and a newcomer to the list from last year, Realty Executives Tucson Elite in Tucson, Arizona.

Realty Executives Place in RISMedia Power Broker Report - 2014
Cover of RISMedia’s 27th Annual Power Broker Report

 

RISMedia President & CEO John Featherston called the firms included in the list among “the nation’s most elite” stating in a release that “being ranked in the Power Broker Report validates your firm’s reputation as a trusted resource for today’s homebuyers and sellers.

The seven Realty Executives brokerages ranked overall comprise thousands of agents who within their offices closed more than $6.1 billion in real estate deals over the course of 26,211 transaction sides in 2014. Continue reading

Realty Executives’ Jim Stroo Named 2015 Hattiesburg REALTOR® of the Year

It’s been 15 years since the last time REALTOR® Jim Stroo, Broker/Owner of Realty Executives of Hattiesburg, won the designation of REALTOR® of the Year. In fact, it was just a year after he opened the Hattiesburg office. A lot has changed in that decade and a half, but one thing that hasn’t: Stroo’s love of real estate and his hometown of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

We chatted with Stroo to learn more about the honor, the market in the Pine Belt and what makes Hattiesburg such a special place to be.

Jim Crop
Headshot courtesy of Jim Stroo

Realty Executives International: Congratulations on being selected 2015 Hattiesburg REALTOR® of the Year. Tell us, what makes Hattiesburg, Mississippi, such a special place to be?

Jim Stroo: I’ve lived here in Hattiesburg all my life. To me, the most wonderful thing is its size. It’s big enough to have shopping, fine medical facilities, two universities and things to do, but it’s small enough that when I walk around I see people I know. We’re small enough to enjoy not being a number in a 2-million-person city. As far as real estate in Hattiesburg, we have a fantastic purchasing power as far as what you can buy for your money. Plus, we’re a growing community but it’s not unsustainable or unplanned. And it’s because we have excellent schools, very low crime, available land at a reasonable cost, good builders that are building a quality product and when you put all of that together, you have conducive conditions for people to want to stay.

You’d been in the business six years by 1999. What drove you to co-found Realty Executives of Hattiesburg that year?

I actually didn’t have the desire to be a broker, although I’m glad I am now. I had been a REALTOR® for six years at other firms and I wanted to have some control over the work environment, some stability with the fees that agents were being charged, a place that was professional in its atmosphere, and that people could exercise their faith in their workplace without question. Long term, I felt like I needed to become an owner to ensure those things would be available. Now I love being a Broker/Owner because when I help an agent solve a problem and save a deal that I know might not have happened otherwise, it’s made them happy, it’s been good for the real estate community and it’s made a difference. Continue reading

At An Open House, Safety Is Everyone’s Job

Last year, agent Beverly Carter was murdered after showing a house to what she thought was a prospective cash buyer. Since then, September as REALTOR® Safety Month has held special significance for agents. It’s also become a rallying point to keep safety top-of-mind. Whether you’re buying a home, selling a home or showing the home, ensuring a safe real estate transaction is important.

Here are some ways each party can stay safe in both a common but possibly dangerous situation: the open house.

For the seller: Your first showing of your home happens online. Hide pictures of your children and loved ones. Tuck away identifiable information from the eyes of criminals. Know exactly when your information is going up on the MLS and be prepared to turn down unexpected visits from stop-in “buyers.” All those precautions you took for online listings? Do them ten-fold for in-person showings. Ensure calendars that display your family’s whereabouts get hidden from view. Lock up valuables like computers or jewelry. Hide any alcohol or prescription medications that might be in cabinets around your home. (Addicts often target open houses for places to pick up substances.)

For the buyer: Luckily for the real estate market and the economy, foreclosures are down from their peaks of the last decade. Lessons learned from this tumultuous time in real estate, however, are still key to safety. Research the neighborhood’s safety stats before you visit. (You’ll want this information anyway before you buy, so it’s great to get a head start.) Keep an eye out for anything strange while walking around a home once you have arrived. Have your agent check for hazards in the home from loose floorboards to surprise squatters.

For the agent: If you can, view properties—hopefully with a colleague—before you show them to a client. This helps ensure there are no unwanted visitors in say, a foreclosed or abandoned home. But it also allows a chance for you to map a safety and exit plan in case of an emergency situation in the home. Alert others when you are viewing homes if you must go alone. Establishing a predetermined “safety phrase” with your office manager or broker is also helpful. You can even dip your toe into the high-tech market with wearable technology. These new devices can help save you in a high-pressure situation.

For everyone: Here’s the takeaway—Think about safety before it becomes an emergency. Creating a game plan ahead of time is a great way to keep everyone safe while on the way to finding their dream home.

For more ways to stay safe, check out REALTOR® Magazine’s Field Guide to Safety.

EXECUTIVE SPOTLIGHT: Lauren Ellington, Realty Executives Phoenix

Each year, Realty Executives International recognizes the leading Executives across our network through our annual awards program. As we celebrate 50 years of real estate excellence in 2015, we’re highlighting the achievements of some of our most successful agents (we call them Executives) sharing important keys to their incredible productivity in real estate, and honoring the many ways they make a difference in the lives of their clients.

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Real Estate Agent Lauren Ellington of Realty Executives Phoenix made the switch from a corporate career to real estate more than a decade ago when she made the leap from her home state of Texas to Phoenix, Arizona. Now, Lauren is sharing a little bit about how she’s learning life/work balance, why her broker answers her calls on his motorcycle and why NBA players love her style.

Areas served:
Paradise Valley, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Fountain Hills, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa

How many years have you been in the real estate industry?  How many years with Realty Executives?
12 years in real estate and 12 years with Realty Executives

Did you have an “aha” moment in life – an experience that made it clear to you that real estate was the right career path for you?
Right out of college I worked in the corporate world. I wanted a career that didn’t have a cap on how much you could earn. I love people, houses, design and business so real estate was the perfect fit! Continue reading