NextHome Experience opens third office in Ellsworth, Maine

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Jon Cota

Pleasanton, CA — December 4, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the continued expansion of NextHome Experience. The brokerage’s third office will be based in Ellsworth, Maine, and builds on the phenomenal success of its first two locations in Bangor and Moosehead Lake. 

NextHome Experience (Ellsworth) represents the third office location opened in Maine for the NextHome franchise and the 530th NextHome office opened nationally.

In expanding into Ellsworth, broker/owner Jon Cota saw an opportunity to change how business is done and modernize the industry with NextHome’s Humans Over Houses approach. 

“We are thrilled to be able to bring NextHome’s cutting-edge tools, marketing, and industry culture to Ellsworth clients,” Jon said. “I am so confident in the culture that NextHome has created, and we have emulated, that people will be immediately drawn to it.”

By embracing the philosophy of Humans over Houses, Jon and NextHome Experience’s 78 agents have achieved a banner year. In 2020, the brokerage increased sales by 33 percent, while statewide increases hovered around 17 percent. The brokerage experienced the largest gain in business statewide. 

“NextHome is not only cutting-edge in technology, the franchise is also cutting edge in support and workplace culture,” Jon said. “I’ve strived to emulate the example corporate sets as I lead NextHome Experience. All the opportunities that NextHome has offered me, I have offered the agents. We truly have a great culture that people are drawn to.”

As a third-generation REALTOR®, Jon grew up in the real estate industry. His grandfather, Al Smaha, opened his brokerage in the early 1990s in Bangor. An icon in the local real estate community, Smaha was influential in helping create an industrial broker network for the commercial real estate industry.

In continuing the family lineage of exceptional real estate professionals, Jon started his career off with a bang. Combining hard work with smart business planning, he was able to close 18 transactions in his very first year.

Over the next few years, Jon perfected a system and created a regional franchise, Free To See Homes. This concept took off and the company saw incredible growth. In addition to huge regional franchise growth, Jon’s own brokerage had sales numbers that rivaled most in the state, at one time ranking No.6 in Maine for listings and sales closed.

As Jon’s business needs changed, so did the need for systems his agents could use to help clients.

“I’ve always tried to think outside the box and do whatever I could to provide our agents with the tools needed to deliver exceptional service,” Jon said. “I didn’t want to start from scratch, so the NextHome franchise was a perfect match for us. With the high-level technology mixed in with fresh and clean branding, we are ready to show the Ellsworth community how NextHome Experience can help them with their real estate needs.”

Please join us in congratulating Jon on the expansion of NextHome Experience in Ellsworth, Maine!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

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