Blog : Broker

Creating a Retirement Strategy

Creating a Retirement Strategy

Across the country, people are saving for that “someday” called retirement. Someday, their careers will end. Someday, they may live off their savings or investments, plus Social Security.  They know this, but many of them do not know when, or how, it will happen. What is missing is a strategy – and a good strategy might make a great difference.

A retirement strategy directly addresses the “when, why, and how” of retiring. It can even address the “where.” It breaks the whole process of getting ready for retirement into actionable steps.

This is so important. Too many people retire with doubts, unsure if they have enough retirement money and uncertain of what their tomorrows will look like. Year after year, many workers also retire earlier than they had planned, and according to a 2019 study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute, about 43% do. In contrast, you can save, invest, and act on your vision of retirement now to chart a path toward your goals and the future you want to create for yourself.1

Some people dismiss having a long-range retirement strategy, since no one can predict the future. Indeed, there are things about the future you cannot control: how the stock market will perform, how the economy might do. That said, you have partial or full control over other things: the way you save and invest, your spending and your borrowing, the length and arc of your career, and your health. You also have the chance to be proactive and to prepare for the future.

A good retirement strategy has many elements. It sets financial objectives. It addresses your retirement income: how much you may need, the sequence of account withdrawals, and the age at which you claim Social Security. It establishes (or refines) an investment approach. It examines tax implications and potential tax advantages. It takes possible health care costs into consideration and even the transfer of assets to heirs.

A prudent retirement strategy also entertains different consequences. Financial advisors often use multiple-probability simulations to try and assess the degree of financial risk to a retirement strategy, in case of an unexpected outcome. These simulations can help to inform the advisor and the retiree or pre-retiree about the “what ifs” that may affect a strategy. They also consider the sequence of returns risk, which refers to the uncertainty of the order of returns an investor may receive over an extended period of time.2

Let a retirement strategy guide you. Ask a financial professional to collaborate with you to create one, personalized for your goals and dreams. When you have such a strategy, you know what steps to take in pursuit of the future you want.

 

Shane Westhoelter may be reached at 858-428-3929 or shane@gfainvestments.com or www.gatewayig.com/nexthome

This material was prepared by MarketingPro, Inc., and does not necessarily represent the views of the presenting party, nor their affiliates. All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however we make no representation as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note – investing involves risk, and past performance is no guarantee of future results. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting or other professional services. If assistance is needed, the reader is advised to engage the services of a competent professional. This information should not be construed as investment, tax or legal advice and may not be relied on for the purpose of avoiding any Federal tax penalty. This is neither a solicitation nor recommendation to purchase or sell any investment or insurance product or service, and should not be relied upon as such. All indices are unmanaged and are not illustrative of any particular investment.
Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a brokerdealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Gateway Financial Advisors, Inc., and Cambridge Investment Research, Inc. are not affiliated.
Citations.
1 – ebri.org/docs/default-source/rcs/2019-rcs/rcs_19-fs-2_expect.pdf?sfvrsn=2a553f2f_4 [2019]
2 – investopedia.com/terms/m/montecarlosimulation.asp [6/10/19]
NextHome introduces its newest Maryland office

NextHome introduces its newest Maryland office

Phillip Hobby

Pleasanton, CA — December 12th, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Chesapeake Realty. Located in Annapolis, the brokerage represents the 6th office location opened in Maryland for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage is owned by Maryland-native Phillip Hobby and will bring client-centric customer service to all of Central Maryland. In January, NextHome Chesapeake Realty will also be licensed to help clients in Washington, D.C.

“We are a local, home-grown business where community members know the people who work here,” Phillip said. “As we grow, we are looking for experienced, community-related agents who are invested in our mission to be a hometown brokerage with small-town values.”

In addition to helping people find the perfect home, NextHome Chesapeake Realty can also serve clients who want the perfect investment or multi-family property.  

NextHome Chesapeake Realty is committed to serving Maryland-area military families. Each agent is licensed as a military relocation specialist. 

“Military families are an important part of the fabric of Annapolis,” Phillip said. “We want to make the process of buying and selling real estate as seamless as possible for military families and all our clients.”

Phillip spent much of his career in publishing as the owner of Exclamation Publishing. As the company produced magazines and hard-bound reference books, Phillip maintained a customer-first philosophy throughout the company. In 2014, Phillip had the opportunity to sell the company. However, not ready for retirement yet, he began a career in real estate and obtained his Maryland license. 

Over the past five years, Phillip has already sold over $56 million in real estate and has over 300 perfect 10 out of 10 customer satisfaction surveys.

Phillip’s search for a company with a truly client-centric philosophy eventually led him to NextHome. 

“NextHome is able to help me create something that I’ve always felt passionate about,” Phillip said. “They have the tools and consumer-based marketing I’ve been searching for, allowing me to run my brokerage the way I want and work with people I respect and trust.”

Phillip knows that relocations rank high in life’s most stressful experiences. Today, with NextHome’s suite of tools the brokerage aims to ease that stress. 

“Working in real estate is not only about helping clients buy and sell – a big part of it is helping people through a stressful experience,” Phillip said. “With the marketing tools NextHome provides, I can spend my time developing a personal relationship with the client rather than having to spend hours creating eye-catching marketing and other materials that NextHome’s system automatically generates for me.”

NextHome Chesapeake Realty’s top-tier agents also receive the best training and support in the business. 

“We want our agents to be industry leaders, and NextHome helps us achieve that goal by providing industry-leading tools and support,” Phillip said. 

Each agent at NextHome Chesapeake Realty aims to be a member of the Maryland Master’s Club, an elite real estate group that maintains some of the highest standards for entry in the industry. 

“You must be accepted into it by your peers and continue to maintain a spotless customer service record, as well as maintain at least $7.5 million in annual sales,” Phillip said. “Every single one of my agents is in that group.”

Outside of building his business, Phillip enjoys traveling and coaching elite soccer players. Phillip played professional soccer for the Washington Diplomats after college. He is a U.S. Soccer staff member and a nationally licensed coach with the organization. As an Olympic development coach, Phillip has traveled around the country training soccer coaches and helping players reach the highest echelons of their sport. 

Phillip has been married to Roberta for 25 years. The two began dating in the 10th grade and are the proud parents of four children. 

Please join us in congratulating Phillip on the opening of NextHome Chesapeake Realty in Annapolis, Maryland!

 

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

 

NextHome announces Treasure Coast brokerage

NextHome announces Treasure Coast brokerage

Cristi Hernandez & Karen Luther

Pleasanton, CA — December 1oth, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Treasure Coast. The brokerage represents the 62nd office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise.

The brokerage is based on the Treasure Coast in the town of Stuart and is owned by Cristi Hernandez and Karen Luther. Cristi and Karen provide decades of area expertise as they lead an office of 20 professional agents. Cristi will be NextHome Treasure Coast’s broker of record. Karen will handle administrative operations – a role she is well suited for following a career as a business director at one of the nation’s largest law firms. 

NextHome Treasure Coast provides unparalleled service for residential buyers, condo purchases, and those seeking the perfect vacation home. The team also has unique expertise in beachfront properties, multi-family, luxury, and farmland.

Stuart is located about 40 miles north of West Palm Beach, and NextHome Treasure Coast will serve a metro population of more than 167,000. The brokerage will help clients across Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Hobe Sound, Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Sewells Point, and the remainder of North Palm Beach, Martin, and Saint Lucie counties.

Cristi began her real estate career in 2002 with a nationally franchised brokerage in Lake Worth, Florida – an eclectic coastal community in Palm Beach County. After one year there, she transitioned to Illustrated Properties, one of the largest independents in the state. Within her first three years, Cristi’s hard work propelled her to the top 10% of agents in a brokerage of more than 650. 

Although she started at the company’s Lake Worth location, Cristi soon moved to the Sewells Point office where she continued to build her database of happy clients.

In 2013, Cristi began working with a Stuart-based Keller Williams office where she became a team leader. 

Cristi’s hard work helped the brokerage grow from a $167 Million company to a $450 million company. 

“We grew to a 250 agent office with an average 1,500 plus closed units per year,” Cristi said. 

The fact that the entire market area had about 850 agents total makes Cristi’s accomplishments even more remarkable. 

Meanwhile, as Cristi was building her real estate career, Karen was climbing the corporate ladder as a Business Director. 

Karen began her career as a legal secretary with Greenberg Traurig – one of the top 10 largest law firms in the nation. In 2000, she became a Business Director for two of the firm’s many offices, a position she held until leaving in 2014. 

After years of non-stop, high-pressure, frantic work, Karen left the firm needing something new. 

“I needed a chance to recover from burnout,” Karen recalled. 

After taking time to rediscover what brings her joy, Karen started working as an Assistant Marketing Center Administrator at the same Keller Williams office as Cristi. Karen used her years of business expertise and incredible work ethic to handle the office’s on-boarding and retention. 

Eventually, Cristi was drawn to the appeal of owning her own brokerage and found NextHome during her search on where to implement her talents. She knew that she wanted Karen to be a part of it. 

“I realized I could build an empire for someone else or I could build my own,” Cristi said. “Karen has all the attributes that I don’t have, she is the ying to my yang, and I knew we would make a phenomenal team.”

Karen agrees that the combination of their professional skills, experience, and personalities will create great value for Treasure Coast clients. 

“Cristi has this unique ability to dial in on someone when meeting them for the first time,” Karen said. “She has an ability to quickly understand unique needs and personalities. I knew we could build something great together.”

“Cristi came to me and asked if I would look through the NextHome materials and give her my opinion,” Karen said. “Then we sat down and had a conversation about becoming partners.”

As NextHome franchisees, Cristi and Karen look forward to providing buyers, sellers, and agents with phenomenal marketing, time-saving tools, and great leadership. 

“I came from a very strong leadership background and one thing that was appealing about NextHome was the structure and the strong direction the company provides,” Cristi said. “If you don’t have strong leadership, you are going nowhere.”

Today, Cristi and Karen are making NextHome Treasure Coast stand out by providing their agents with unparalleled support and leadership. 

“I think that we do bring a very unique value to this market,” Karen said. “We offer a tremendous amount of agent support and we are very hands on. At NextHome Treasure Coast, we offer the personal touch.”  

Cristi’s main focus is building the NextHome brand with an occasional sale to help keep a watchful eye on market changes and the challenges her agents might face. 

“If you are training agents you want to know what they are experiencing,” Cristi said. “You want to know what’s going on out there. The only way to know those things are great communication and keeping yourself out there.”

Karen and Cristi are active in various community service organizations, including Children Achieving Radical Educational Success (C.A.R.E.S.) and Kane Center Council on Aging of Martin County.

C.A.R.E.S. works with St. Lucie County schools to provide the county’s more than 1,400 homeless K-12 students with basic supplies. Thanks to the organization’s work, kids living homelessly get essential hygiene and other basic need supplies and educational resources to keep them engaged year-round. 

Once a quarter, Cristi and several other agents provide a delicious meal for seniors at the Kane Center. Along with the food, Cristi gives her time, staying to chat and play games. She and Karen also participate in a monthly Womens Power Lunch where 150 of the area’s leading professional women come to support each other and network. In addition, Cristi is a past president of the St. Lucie chapter of Women REALTORS® and past GRI Instructor.

When she isn’t selling real estate, building her business and helping her community, Cristi loves to boat, fish, and going snorkeling with her family. She has been married for 25 years to Roy Hernandez III and together they have two sons: Roy Hernandez IV (24) and Robert (22). Together, Roy and his namesake son operate a roofing and construction business – ACI Century, and Robert is in law school. 

Karen has been married for 31 years to Don and together they have two sons: Michael (28), a resident of Savannah, Georgia who also works in real estate, and Bradley (26), a student at the University of Tampa. When she isn’t building NextHome Treasure Coast and volunteering, Karen loves to cook, read, and walk.  

Please join us in congratulating Cristi, Karen, and their team on the opening of NextHome Treasure Coast in Stuart, Florida!

 

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces new brokerage in Tampa Bay

NextHome announces new brokerage in Tampa Bay

Becky Kuntz & Amy Smith

Pleasanton, CA — December 5, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Bay Area Experts. The brokerage represents the 50th office location opened in Florida for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Tampa, NextHome Bay Area Experts is owned by friends Amy Smith and Becky Kuntz. Amy will serve as the office’s broker in charge, though both women are licensed broker owners. 

Together, the pair brings next-level professionalism and friendly service to buyers and sellers across the Tampa Bay metro area. Although their main focus area is Central Tampa, NextHome Bay Area Experts agents are happy to serve clients across the Tampa Bay area including St. Petersburg, Lutz, Westchase, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and the remainder of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. 

Their office of eight agents (and growing) brings a fresh burst of professionalism to residential and commercial transactions. 

“Our focus is on creating an environment where an agent can stand out professionally,” Amy said. “We are raising the bar and providing value as true professionals. When our agents succeed, our clients succeed and we take great pride in being able to be a part of that.”

Amy began her real estate career in Tampa in 1996. In her first role, she worked as a sales manager for David Weekly Homes. Two years later, she got her brokers license and opened Burcaw and Associates. The company became a beacon in the Tampa area commercial real estate for the next nine years. 

However, when her second child was born, Amy knew she needed a change of pace. She dove back into residential real estate, joining a team at a nationally franchised brokerage, and that’s where she met Becky. 

For years, Becky owned a mortgage and title company. Then, in 2007, markets shifted. Seeing an opportunity for career change, Becky sold her company and moved from the east coast of Florida to Tampa, joining the same real estate team Amy was on. 

“It was a great opportunity for me to develop a deep understanding of the Tampa area and learn the other side of the real estate business,” Becky said. 

Their time together through the real estate team built the foundations of a lifelong friendship. 

After several years selling together, Amy left the team and started her own brokerage (Shine Bright Realty) in 2011. 

Becky also left the previous large brokerage, first working with investors and then joining another nationally franchised team. 

However, the two continued to enjoy a great friendship. After more than four years of working apart, Becky and Amy realized they brought strengths to their businesses that would flourish when combined. At the end of 2016, they opened SmithJoy Realty – a nod to Becky’s last and Amy’s middle names. 

Together, Becky and Amy thrived. With five agents joining the brokerage, SmithJoy Realty was able to achieve $20 million in sales in its first year. Part of that success was because their brokerage gave agents unparalleled support.    

“We tried to create a hybrid model of what’s out there,” Becky said. “It seemed like agents had two options: the contract model where they get very little support or the team model where you don’t get to truly promote yourself and you get micromanaged. We aimed to create the best of both worlds. We want agents to have both the training and support they need as well as getting credit for what they do.”

For years, Amy and Becky resisted advertisements asking SmithJoy Realty to franchise with big national companies. 

“There wasn’t a brand out there that resonated with us, that was creating what we wanted to create or had the same philosophy,” Becky said. 

In 2018, Becky was showing beach properties to a buying client and everything changed. The seller’s agent was local NextHome professional, Annie Fleeting with NextHome Beach Time Realty. 

“I was just highly impressed with her,” Becky said. “Amy and I prided ourselves on our level of professionalism and Annie was the epitome of professionalism.”

The group went back to Annie’s NextHome office to discuss property details and the NextHome brand stunned Becky. 

“The brand was just amazing,” Becky said. “Everything from the business street signage to the marketing package was the same way: fresh, inviting, and modern. We eventually talked about the franchise and Annie gushed about the company. Then she said ‘NextHome was the best thing that I have done for my life.’ And I noticed she didn’t say business or career, but she used the word ‘life.’”

Soon, Becky and Amy started looking deeper into what NextHome had to offer. 

“It was all the things we built our philosophy around,” Becky said. “We want a family of agents all working together to navigate this industry. It isn’t easy being an agent, and we want a company that promotes a collaborative environment and provides value to agents and clients at every turn. We want to support career-oriented REALTORS® who take their business seriously, but not themselves too seriously. NextHome provides unparalleled support for that.”

Both Amy and Becky are active in their communities and are especially passionate about helping local animal rescues. 

Amy is the mother of two boys: Roman (14) and Casey (12). In addition, four rescue dogs call the Smith household home. When she isn’t selling real estate, Amy loves to camp with her boys and travel. 

Becky is mother to Ethan (11) and Jackson (11) and wife to Anthony. Together the family loves their five rescue dogs and they encourage each other to pursue excellence in the martial arts. The Kuntz family also loves the outdoors and each year the Smiths and the Kuntzs make a tradition of going on a summer camping trip. 

Please join us in congratulating Amy and Becky on the opening of NextHome Bay Area Experts in Tampa, Florida!

 

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Why The Holidays Are Your Best Selling Season

Why The Holidays Are Your Best Selling Season

The seasons are changing quickly and the holidays are racing in. This change lies in precise alignment with the parade of shorter days, longer sleeves. and hibernating buyers, sellers and even agents. As the once hot summer listings start falling out and reluctant sellers get cold feet, some agents begin taking this as a signal to slow down their activity. Ironically, the best agents claim this is the very best time for skilled agents to stay visible and stand out. See how you can leverage the transition of seller and buyer priorities and take advantage of the season — all while building up your base of potential sellers.

1. Warm-up your sphere of influence

Many agents throw all the hard work and effort they’ve put into building and establishing great relationships within their network by letting the connections go cold. Now is the best time to stand out by extending a handshake, mailing a card, delivering a gift of holiday cheer or even hosting a festive get-together. Not only are people more receptive to rekindling connections, but they are also more likely to be turning their thoughts inward this time of year. As people begin to ring out the old and prepare for the new, they may also be priming themselves to be a future client. Whether they are beginning to feel the hallowed halls of an empty nest or the cramped quarters of a growing family, many will be considering a change.

If your sphere is warm and your connections are strong you will be poised to be the one they ask for help come selling season. Although the concept is simple, the execution can be daunting. Consider tools like SmartTargeting Sphere to identify those in your sphere most likely to sell in the new year.

2. Double up on lead follow-up efforts

Your neighbors are more likely to get open house flyers and Just Listed announcements in the spring. When the market is hopping, your voice may be lost in the crowd … but when the market slows down, so does the average agent’s outreach efforts.

That’s why Portland, Oregon powerhouse agent Bev Blume ramps up her efforts during the quieter fall and winter season.

“I’ve found that by doubling up my follow-up and marketing efforts in the down season, the impact is a lot more profound. Not only do I have time to send more thoughtful notes and marketing pieces, my targets and prospects have the time to respond. Whether I’m restarting an old dialogue or getting in touch for the first time, I’ve found that the lead-up to the holidays is a great time to reach out and get a response.”

3. Support a local cause: Offer holiday gifts to top prospects

Do you know a local school selling holiday pies or wrapping paper or a Boy Scouts troop selling wreaths? Step up to be their best customer, then pass these holiday treats along to your top prospects. You can either host a live pick-up event or personally drop off the gift along with a hand-written note. Adopt a family in need. Or organize a coat drive. Invite prospects to drop coats at your house. Designate a time and day to drop and then offer donors a cup of hot chocolate and some treats. Spark up a conversation and make it a joyful event. It makes everyone feel good and do good!

4. Hold a holiday light contest

Brighten up interest by holding a holiday light contest. Most people will be putting up lights anyway so this can be very simple; drop off flyers, decide on a date to judge and present a gift to the winner. Neighbors love to see their work and achievements admired, so mentions and pictures on social media (with their permission, of course) will delight them and show what a great marketer you are.

5. Let predictive analytics do the work

Whether you have time to burn or are still busy wrapping up your 2019 sales, it can still be tricky to determine which contacts are gearing up to sell. SmartZip’s predictive analytics solution offers tested, proven predictions on the most likely home sellers in your market area or sphere. Put the analytics to work to help carefully design your holiday light contest map, gift-giving list, holiday card distribution and overall marketing efforts to focus on those most likely to sell in the coming months. Apply predictive analytics to your farm and your sphere to save steps, time, effort and help you engage with the right people at the time. New Year planning is right around the corner for you and your prospects.

Why not make 2020 great for you, your company and your sphere

Are you ready to get a jump on your 2020 listings pipeline? Take a look at the predictions in your farm and sphere and hear from agents using SmartTargeting from our partners at SmartZip. To learn more, click here.

Growth spurs NextHome expansion in Louisiana

Growth spurs NextHome expansion in Louisiana

Jeannie & Mitch Crayton

Pleasanton, CA — December 3, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the expansion of NextHome Real Estate Professionals in Louisiana. The new office in Covington will build on the phenomenal success that owner Mitch Crayton began at his office in Hammond. 

The new Covington branch will serve clients across Abita Springs, Madisonville, Covington, New Orleans, and the remainder of St. Tammany Parish.

The brokerage represents the 7th office location opened in Louisiana for the NextHome franchise. Mitch will be leading the office alongside his wife of 23 years, and 14-year real estate veteran, Jeannie.

The NextHome Real Estate Professionals Covington office is prepared to help clients with any residential or commercial needs. 

“We have people in place who are trained and knowledgeable, especially in commercial real estate,” Mitch said. 

Over the past three years as a NextHome franchisee, Mitch has built NextHome Realty Professionals into a local powerhouse. The brokerage began by selling $20 million in its first year, doubling that to $40 million in the second year, and is set to top $70 million in sales in 2019. 

The achievements are especially noteworthy in a market where the average home sales price hovers around $168,000. 

Mitch’s career in real estate was born in 1997 in the midst of trying circumstances. The local steel mill that Mitch worked for downsized, creating the opportunity for him to pursue his interest in real estate.

With Jeannie’s urging and support, Mitch obtained his real estate license in 1997 and started with a nationally franchised brokerage. Over the next two years, Mitch sold numerous properties and quickly became someone to watch in his area.

In 1999, Mitch was invited to join a new local real estate brokerage. Latter & Blum Real Estate opened that year with seven agents. After two years of selling real estate at the brokerage, Mitch was promoted to Sales Manager.

Under his management, the small brokerage grew from seven agents to over 80 talented real estate professionals throughout the next 10 years. In addition, these agents closed over 900 transactions annually and represented over $150 million in yearly sales.

After nearly a decade of management, Mitch made the decision to return to the sales side of the business in 2011. Partnering with his wife, they created Team 1 REALTORS® – a high producing real estate team at Latter & Blum Real Estate.

In 2015, the couple sold over $12.5 million in real estate and closed 73 transactions.

In early 2016, the Craytons took a step back and realized they could own their own brokerage and create the office of their dreams.

“We wanted to create a company that really focused on great technology for our customers,” said Crayton. “I researched dozens of franchises and none of them were what I was looking for – until I found NextHome.”

“I went back to NextHome.com four or five times before reaching out,” Mitch remembered. “I was drawn to the company. After speaking with Charis Moreno (NextHome’s Vice President of Sales), I knew NextHome was the right choice for us.”

Three years later, the Craytons are reaping the benefits of their hard work. The original Hammond-based brokerage will continue to provide residential real estate services to the residents of Hammond, Ponchatoula, Albany, Robert, Amite City, and the surrounding Tangipahoa Parish. 

Outside of selling real estate, The Craytons spend time with their two sons, Collin (20) and Ethan (16). Collin is the owner of screen printing and signs business, Varsity Graphix. Ethan is a dedicated baseball player and the family spends a lot of at the ballpark together.

Please join us in congratulating Mitch, Jeannie, and the rest of the team at NextHome Real Estate Professionals on their continued growth and success!

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

NextHome announces newest brokerage in the Triad Area

NextHome announces newest brokerage in the Triad Area

Doug & Adriane Witcher, Tracy Turner

Pleasanton, CA — November 27, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Realty Partners. The brokerage represents the 19th office location opened in North Carolina for the NextHome franchise.

NextHome Realty Partners is owned by Tracy Turner and Doug Witcher. Adriane Witcher, Doug’s wife, works as a REALTOR®/broker for the office and David Turner, Tracy’s husband, is NextHome Realty Partner’s project manager. 

Based in High Point, NextHome Realty Partners’ agents are looking forward to serving clients across Greensboro, Kernersville, Jamestown, High Point, Winston-Salem, and the remainder of the Triad.

High Point, nestled between Greensboro and Winston-Salem, is known as the “Furniture Capital of the World” and is the home of High Point University and a brand new minor league baseball team, the High Point Rockers. The Triad boasts a veterans hospital, as well as six additional major universities, two more minor league baseball teams and the Greensboro Swarm, a basketball team owned by the Charlotte Hornets.

With 12 agents and growing, NextHome Realty Partners provides expertise in all types of residential real estate including first-time home buying, investment properties, and veteran relocations.

“We want to bring on agents that are like-minded as us and will go the extra mile to take care of their clients,” said Tracy. “We want agents who will be creative and think outside the box to get the job done.”

NextHome Realty Partners can trace its origins to 2009 when Tracy first obtained her real estate license. Prior to that, Tracy was a Director of Sales and Marketing for Sheraton Hotels where she developed an interest in real estate investing. In 2006, she and her husband started a real estate investment company and purchased over 45 foreclosures properties. They would fix up and rehab the properties to sell or rent. 

Tracy initially worked for a small, independent firm, and eventually a larger firm where she sharpened her skills over the next six years. In 2014, she became broker-in-charge of a nationwide real estate firm.

In 2016, Adriane Witcher obtained her real estate license and started working for Tracy.  Adriane, Doug, Tracy, and David had been friends for over 20 years. Tracy had no reservations about hiring Adriane as a new agent because of Adriane’s successful business background. 

Doug and Adriane started a trucking company, Worth Transportation Systems, in 1998. They grew it from one truck and a small warehouse to a multi-million dollar business delivering furniture throughout the United States. They sold the business in 2004 and bought Balance Day Spa in Greensboro, NC. They soon added two more locations in the Triad. They sold the spas in 2010 and became involved in a couple other businesses until they realized real estate was undoubtedly their calling. 

“Doug and I have purchased 11 homes that we have lived in, all in the Triad, during our almost 20 years of marriage,” said Adriane. “We have always enjoyed the home buying, selling, and remodeling process. With our interest in real estate, becoming a REALTOR® seemed like the perfect fit.”  

Doug soon followed with getting his real estate license and in Spring of 2017, the Turners and the Witchers once again got the entrepreneurial itch. In Fall of that year, they opened their own firm called Turner Witcher Realty. A brick and mortar office soon followed and they quickly grew to six agents.  

The company thrived in its first year, with Doug, Adriane, and Tracy closing over 60 transactions themselves along with dozens more from their agents. 

Their connection to NextHome began not by looking for a franchise to partner with, but because they were looking for a way to improve their logo and have consistency in marketing

“While I was researching logos, I remembered a REALTOR® that I had a deal with earlier this year who worked with NextHome Triad Realty,” Adriane said. “The logo and mascot caught my attention. We were not fans of franchises, but the branding was really good. We were interested, but hesitant. I presented it to Doug and Tracy and it wasn’t long before we were on the phone with NextHome’s vice president of sales Charis Moreno.”

The trio knew they wanted to give their agents and clients the best, most up-to-date technology and tools. They wanted to improve their logo to be sharp and consistent in all advertising and marketing. The search for a logo morphed into an upgrade for their entire business. 

“When I looked at franchises, I always associated them with an old and stuffy feeling,” Doug said. “Then I saw NextHome and it was new and fresh. They offered everything we were looking for while still allowing us to operate our own business. They didn’t impose all the rules and regulations of a typical real estate franchise.”

Adriane found the branding tools to be a significant time saver for a brokerage that was doing it all independently before. 

“Adriane is our in-house tech guru and she was usually the one who was searching the Internet for better and more efficient ways to get things done,” Tracy said. “With NextHome, everything is in one place, right at our fingertips.” 

“There is consistency and comprehensiveness in the branding and marketing. NextHome offers everything we wanted and needed, including things we didn’t even know we needed,” said Adriane. 

Today, NextHome Realty Partners offers that outside-the-box thinking and unparalleled marketing to all of their clients, and it shows. So far in 2019, the brokerage helped clients with more than 100 successful transactions and did $24 million in sales. Tracy, Doug, and Adriane are still selling as successfully as ever. 

Outside of helping clients find their next home, Doug and Adriane enjoy cheering on the Carolina Panthers and Adriane’s alma mater, the UNC Tarheels. They are the proud parents of two children: Hayden (20) and Sofiya (19) whom they adopted from Russia in 2002. 

Tracy has been married to David for 27 years and she is the mother of four, Lauren (24), Brittany (23), and twins Jack and Kristen (14). Lauren is married to the firm’s newest agent, Spencer Harrell, and they are expecting a baby girl in early January. In the summer months, the family enjoys going to Smith Mountain Lake and supporting their kids as they play soccer and golf. 

Please join us in welcoming Tracy, Doug, Adriane, and the rest of the team at NextHome Realty Partners to the NextHome family!

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Newest NextHome franchise fills a niche in NC relocations

Newest NextHome franchise fills a niche in NC relocations

Pleasanton, CA — November 22, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce the latest addition to the franchise, NextHome Built By Referral Realty. The Jacksonville-based brokerage represents the 18th NextHome franchised location opened in the state of North Carolina. The office is owned and operated by Jacksonville-local Karen Stewart and Rodger Thixton will be the broker of record. 

NextHome Built By Referral Realty is happy to serve clients around Jacksonville including Onslow and surrounding counties. 

Located just 30 miles north of Wilmington, Jacksonville is known as the home of Camp Lejeune – the largest Marine Corps base on the East Coast. The area is also known for its beautiful beaches, picturesque riverfront properties, and ocean breezes. Jacksonville is one of the fastest-growing small cities in the United States.

With their decades of combined experience in Jacksonville real estate, the NextHome Built By Referral Realty team is well-positioned to help first-time homebuyers and residential relocations. 

Karen began her career in real estate after spending decades married to a military officer, whose career caused them to move all over the country and abroad. Because of her own frequent experiences with relocations, Karen wanted to use her experience and knowledge to help others. 

“Being an officer’s spouse for 25 years and moving over a dozen times (often single-handedly), relocating became part of my routine,” Karen said. “I saw an industry with challenges, and I wanted to shift my abilities toward helping people deal with those relocation challenges in a better way.”

In 2011, she obtained her real estate license and began working with a large franchise. However, because Karen was starting her career following a national recession, those first years were both a struggle and a priceless learning opportunity. 

“I learned by trial and error,” Karen said. “And because of those obstacles, I became more passionate about succeeding and refining my systems to better serve my clients.”

After five years with the national firm, Karen had the opportunity to become a trainer and office manager at a family-run, independent brokerage. She utilized all the lessons learned through trial and error and helped agents at the boutique brokerage find new levels of success. While working there, Karen was also tasked with recruiting new talented agents and working as the backup broker in charge.  

 

During that time she met Rodger through mutual friends in the real estate training business. Rodger had decades of experience in Jacksonville’s real estate and had extraordinary insights pertaining to marketing and “out of the box” problem-solving. Rodger gave her some advice that she will never forget. 

“I thought I just needed some marketing wisdom from him,” Karen recalled. “He said, ‘You either need to get into this industry or get out. If you think that you can do this halfway, you are fooling yourself.’”

The advice changed the trajectory of Karen’s career.

“I thought a lot about it and I had accomplished my mission with the small brokerage,” Karen said. “One morning I woke up and it occurred to me that I’ve done this for someone else, why can’t I do it for myself? Then Rodger introduced me to the NextHome franchise.” 

NextHome had everything that the team was looking for: the streamlined tools, eye-catching marketing, and a nation-wide network of agents who share a common philosophy. NextHome had the culture that made sense.

“I love NextHome’s ‘Humans over Houses’ platform,” Karen said. “Whether agents or clients, we want people to be happy and succeed.”

Karen and Rodger are setting NextHome Built By Referral Realty apart in their area by providing tailored training and support for agents.

“My philosophy is to help agents identify their goals, create a strategy to get there, and to consistently work that strategy,” Karen said. “It’s profoundly simple and action-based. Implement a system.”

When it comes to clients, NextHome Built By Referral Realty is building relationships that last long beyond the home buying process.

“When we sit down at the settlement table with our clients our relationship is just beginning, not the ending,” Karen said. “We establish lifetime relationships with people, many become incredible friends.”

To do that, the Jacksonville natives have compiled an extensive list of trusted vendors for those who are new to town. After moving so frequently, Karen understands how stressful it can be to create connections in a new place. NextHome Built By Referral Realty keeps up with a network of businesses with options for just about anything: attorneys, home inspectors, plumbers, and even hairdressers. 

“We have an extensive list and plenty of choices for first-time homebuyers and those relocating to the area,” Karen said. “Our team provides a solid foundation in the area for someone who is new to the community.”

Karen is the proud mother of three boys: Ryan (21) who is studying biology at North Carolina State University, Connor (15) a freshman in high school, and Aiden (12) who just started sixth grade. 

Outside of building her business and helping people relocate, Karen enjoys going to the beach and indulging her sons’ love of roller coasters and theme parks.

Please join us in congratulating Karen and Rodger on the opening of NextHome Built By Referral Realty in Jacksonville, North Carolina!

 

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

Real Estate Marketing Fundamental: Keep In Touch

Real Estate Marketing Fundamental: Keep In Touch

Your key to a healthy real estate marketing approach: keep in touch with engaged leads and past clients.

It’s obvious. And fundamental. Often challenging.

You’ve done all the work to connect with, convert, and serve your buyer or seller. Staying in touch after close helps prevent them from jumping into another agent‘s lead funnel by referral or by online search when they’re thinking about buying or selling again in the future.

When you keep in touch effectively, you’re stacking your business with repeat and referral opportunities. You’re building and building from competitive advantage.

The key word there is “effectively.” It’s not just about the touch, it’s about the relationship. Anyone can have stuff sent out. The key is the tie back to your personal relationship and emotional connection with that client.

When you worked together, your buyer or seller learned about you. And your family. And your “why.” When you worked together, you learned about your client, as well. You connected.

Rekindling that relationship is what this process is all about. And generic touches can’t do that for you.
Here: we’ll take a look at some National Association of REALTORS® data and share REALTOR®Mag‘s 7 real estate marketing tips to keep in touch.

Plus, you can be the first to know about a new product to help you keep in touch more effectively.

Read Time: 4 minutes 30 seconds
Takeaway: Why and how to generate more business from your database

The Best Real Estate Marketing: Keep In Touch

Every year, the NAR publishes its Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers; they released the 2016 Profile at the end of October.

In the Buyer Highlights of the 2016 Profile:

  • 88% of buyers say they would use their agent again
  • 11% used an agent they worked with in the past
  • 42% used an agent referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative
  • 70% interviewed only one agent

Even though buyers seem pleased with their agents and say they’d use them again (88%), they’re not (11%). A very likely cause: the agent fails to stay in touch.

Nearly half of the buyers surveyed chose an agent referred to them by people close to them (42%). You need to be top of mind to be referred and you need to keep in touch to be top of mind!

And the consideration set for agents is limited, as the vast majority on buyers only talked to one agent (70%). You have to be in early and almost exclusively to get the business.

In the Seller Highlights:

  • 85% of sellers say they would definitely or probably recommend their agent
  • 64% used an agent referred to them by a friend, neighbor, or relative
  • 72% interviewed only one agent
  • 33% used an agent they worked with in the past

Each of these again points to significant opportunities to win more business simply by staying top of mind by keeping in touch.

Sellers want to recommend you (85%), but are they? Well over half of sellers rely on referrals (64%), but are those referrals going to you? Most only talk to a single agent (72%), so how do you get that appointment against competitors?

To win here and to capture all those repeat sales opportunities (33%), you just have to keep in touch.
So how do you close the communication gap? How do you overcome the challenges of time and resources?

7 Real Estate Marketing Ideas to Keep in Touch

One of many stories published about keeping in touch with people in your database to maintain relationships and generate repeat and referral business comes from Melissa Dittmann Tracey in REALTOR®Mag.

Here are 7 ideas from that story:

  • 1. Deliver news they can use (email or print)
  • 2. Offer an unusual gift (something to remember you)
  • 3. Send memorable and personal cards (don’t blend into the crowd)
  • 4. Give them a call (yes, pick up the phone)
  • 5. Follow up with a survey (show them you care)
  • 6. Connect on social networks (less formal, more friendly)
  • 7. Get creative (parties, events, value-adds)

Read the story to get details and read about examples of these ideas.
Are you doing any of these? Which ones? Consistently?

Which are effective? Which are cost-effective?

Which make a personal and emotional connection? Which build on the relationship?

Discover what works and do it consistently. Drop what doesn’t and try something new.

Staying in Touch with BombBomb

Nearly 600 sales professions, including approximately 360 real estate agents, shared with us the benefits of using BombBomb.

90% reported that it helped them stay in touch more effectively and nearly 4 in 10 said it doubled or more than doubled their ability to stay in touch effectively.

  • One-to-one video emails to check in with engaged leads and past clients (examples).
  • Automated drip campaigns triggered for closed clients or engaged prospects (described).
  • Monthly market updates and newsletters – often with a personal video (examples).
  • These are all smart touches that build relationship, in part through propinquity, over time.

They help you be the agent whose name is mentioned in a lunchtime conversation. They help you be the agent who gets the call from a past client for a new buyer or seller consult. They help you win from business you’ve already closed … the best marketing of all.

For more helpful tips from our partners at BombBomb, check out their blog!

Father and son team open Blacksburg NextHome office

Father and son team open Blacksburg NextHome office

Ranny & Joel Humphreys

Pleasanton, CA — November 15, 2019 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome New River Valley. The brokerage represents the 10th office location opened in Virginia for the NextHome franchise.

Based in Blacksburg, NextHome New River Valley is owned by father and son team Ranny and Joel Humphreys. With 37 years of combined experience, Ranny and Joel provide expertise in all types of residential sales including relocations, first-time home buying, and investment properties. Ranny has deep roots in the community from providing superior commercial property sales services, and Joel brings extensive expertise in technology and business operations. As nearby Virginia Tech expands its student population, the NextHome New River Valley team is also happy to help investors looking to purchase a solid student rental property, including multi-family real estate.

The office’s six agents spread their time across Montgomery, Roanoke, Botetourt, Giles, Wythe, Bland, and Floyd counties serving buyers and sellers in towns such as Blacksburg, Christiansburg, Radford, Riner, Wytheville, and towns south to the Tennessee state line.

Located just 30 miles from Roanoke, the small town of Blacksburg is known as the home of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Due to the flow of educated talent to the area, companies in the high-tech industry find Blacksburg perfect to lay roots. Several aerospace manufacturers and defense department suppliers have operations based in Blacksburg.  

In the 1960s, Blacksburg’s appeal attracted Ranny to Virginia Tech. After graduating in 1970, the Virginia-native married his high school sweetheart Joan and began a successful career as a pharmaceutical representative. For many years, Ranny developed trusting relationships with hundreds of physicians across Virginia. 

However, in 2000, Ranny felt the pull toward real estate. After obtaining his Virginia license, he began working full-time with a small boutique firm. When that firm was bought out, Ranny moved on and joined RE/MAX Allegiance – one of the largest real estate companies in the state. 

After working in the medical device industry, Joel also felt a pull to real estate. In 2005, he obtained his real estate license and began working for his dad at Allegiance. Then, in 2008, Ranny opened his own independent franchise – RE/MAX 1st Realty. As an agent, Joel contributed to 1st Realty’s success. 

Even in the midst of a national recession, the Humphreys built a thriving business. Among three brick and mortar offices, Ranny retained 33 high-performing agents who were seasoned masters in the industry. At one point, the franchised office held 20% of Blacksburg’s market share.  

“It was really due to a lot of great relationships that my dad built,” Joel said. “We cared about these agents and that’s why these great people stuck around.”

In 2018, the Humphreys knew their contract with RE/MAX was about to expire, which sparked their research into other franchise options. 

“We wanted to grow and keep pushing ourselves to be better,” Joel said. 

One day, Joel was asking about franchise options in REALTOR® Facebook groups and several people recommended NextHome. 

“NextHome is different from any other company out there,” Joel said. “The entire culture of NextHome is built on this idea that a company can care about personal interactions. Their motto of ‘Humans over Houses’ is infused throughout everything they do. Along with the technology, NextHome is lightyears ahead of others in the industry.”

“NextHome is hungry enough to stay ahead,” Ranny said. “They won’t rest on their laurels.” 

As their team grows, the Humphreys are now sharing that people-first culture with both agents and clients. 

“We care about our agents and want them to succeed,” Joel said. “We’re not about the numbers. To us, you are a person, not just another agent.”

Ranny added that clients can expect NextHome New River Valley to leverage every tool in their box to get their property sold – including client-centric care and compassion. 

“We have unsurpassed technology to get the client’s property sold,” Ranny said. “And more than that, we believe that business will take care of itself if we take care of the people. The client is the most important part of any business transaction. If they are happy, everyone succeeds.”

When they aren’t selling real estate, the Humphreys enjoy spending time with their families and volunteering in their communities. 

For 25 years, Ranny led various Bible studies with Community Bible study and Bible Study Fellowship as well as his church. Four years ago, he began teaching Sunday School. Ranny will soon celebrate 50 years of marriage to his high school sweetheart, Joan. Together they are the proud parents of Joel and their daughter, Dale.

Joel has been married to Joanna Humphreys for 14 years. Together they are the proud parents of five children: Josiah (11), Elijah (10), Micah (6), Ellyanah (4), and Judah (1). In his spare time, Joel is also active in serving his church and he coaches his children’s soccer and baseball teams. When the family is together, they enjoy camping, going to the movies, cookouts, and attending the kids sporting events.   

Please join us in congratulating Ranny and Joel on the opening of NextHome New River Valley in Blacksburg, Virginia!

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

 

Each office is an independently owned and operated business.