Blog : James Dwiggins

NextHome Ranked a Top Franchise on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®

NextHome Ranked a Top Franchise on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500®

Pleasanton, CA — January 21, 2021 — NextHome recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500®, the world’s most comprehensive franchise ranking. Placement in the Franchise 500® is a highly sought-after honor in the franchise industry making it one of the company’s most competitive rankings ever. 

Recognized as an invaluable resource for potential franchisees, the Franchise 500® ranks NextHome as No. 79 for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. This standing follows NextHome’s No. 95 ranking in 2020, showcasing the company’s continued growth year after year. 

“2020 was a challenging year for everyone, but it was also a year of unusual opportunity,” said Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur editor-in-chief. “Franchises were able to be nimble and innovative, serving the needs of franchisees and customers in ways that will resonate for many years to come. We believe that, when we eventually look back on this time, we’ll see it as a moment when many brands defined themselves for the future.”

In Entrepreneur’s continuing effort to best understand and evaluate the ever-changing franchise marketplace, the company’s 42-year-old ranking formula continues to evolve as well. The key factors that go into the evaluation include costs and fees, size and growth, support, brand strength, and financial strength and stability. Each franchise is given a cumulative score based on an analysis of more than 150 data points, and the 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500® in ranking order.   

Over its 42 years in existence, the Franchise 500® has become both a dominant competitive measure for franchisors and a primary research tool for potential franchisees. NextHome’s position on the ranking is a testament to its strength as a franchise opportunity. 

“The NextHome franchise was built on the pillars of consumer-focused branding, technology, and marketing, and while those values are still with us today, and what has helped grow the franchise, recognitions like the Franchise 500®  can be directly tied to our people,” said James Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome, Inc. “Without the NextHomies across the country choosing our franchise because they too want to make a difference in the industry, and in the lives of their communities, NextHome wouldn’t be where it is today.”

To view NextHome in the full ranking, visit www.entrepreneur.com/franchise500. Results can also be seen in the January/February 2021 issue of Entrepreneur, available on newsstands January 26th. 

 

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 CEO Climbs Annual SP 200

NextHome CEO Climbs Annual SP 200

Pleasanton, CA — January 15, 2021 — T3 Sixty, the residential real estate industry’s leading management consulting and research firm, released its annual list of real estate’s most powerful and influential leaders and executives. The SP 200, now in its eighth year, ranks the leaders, executives, and entrepreneurs from all sectors of the residential real estate industry based on three months of intensive research, debate, and over 400 hours of analysis.

James Dwiggins, Chief Executive Officer of NextHome Inc., lands on the prominent list for the fifth year in a row as he continues to make his way up the ladder alongside industry leaders. James, who co-founded NextHome, Inc. alongside Chief Operations Officer Tei Baishiki in 2014, was ranked at No. 158 in 2017, No. 105 in 2018, No. 72 in 2019, and No. 54 in 2020. This year, James was ranked No. 48.

The steady climb up the SP 200 list is a great representation of the continued success of NextHome. Under the leadership of James and his colleagues, the franchise has opened over 500+ offices consisting of 4,300+ members across 47 states. The past year also included the launch of the Casan Collection, NextHome’s luxury line. 

“Being able to represent the NextHome brand year after year on the SP 200 speaks much more to our people than it does of me, while I am, of course, flattered,” said James. “The success of our organization is directly tied to the hard-working corporate team I have the privilege of working with every day, and the NextHomies across the nation who continually embody our mission to help people find their next home, even through the difficult hand 2020 dealt.” 

NextHome’s “Humans Over Houses” philosophy has connected with many, even more so over the past year. While James is a forward-thinker, having been named a Futurist by RISMedia, with a deep understanding of technology, he is passionate about the human experience in real estate. As the franchise grows and introduces new tools and technologies, NextHome’s core values will always remain the same. 

“Many executives work hard every day to manage their companies,” said T3 Sixty Chairman and CEO Stefan Swanepoel. “The ones included in the annual SP 200 this year are the leaders that stood out during 2020 as the most influential and impactful in the industry. While we honor them with their inclusion on the SP 200 for 2021, we also acknowledge the tens of thousands of other leaders that also stood up and made a difference when the industry needed them. We salute you all.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all NextHome members across the country for making recognitions like this possible. Our company leaders are making a difference in the real estate industry thanks to your ongoing support.

 

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 Bay Area brokerage

NextHome announces new Bay Area brokerage

Pleasanton, CA — October 22, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Landcastle Luxury, based in Danville, California. The brokerage represents the 80th office location opened in California for the NextHome franchise and the 519th NextHome office opened nationally.

The brokerage will serve a wide range of residential clients across the East Bay, including those in Danville, Walnut Creek, Alamo, and San Ramon. 

NextHome Landcastle Luxury is owned by Jim Brennan – a veteran of the real estate industry with a broad range of experience in land development, investment properties, and subdivision sales. 

Jim became a broker in 2000, but he has been an avid investor since the 1980s. The Butler University (Indianapolis) graduate began his professional life as a pharmacist who became well versed in sales and technology. Jim sold computers to pharmacies throughout the Midwest before moving to northern California. 

After moving to the Bay Area, Jim decided his true passion was for real estate. He transformed his deep experience in property investing into a career in land sales, becoming a broker and partner with his father-in-law to form Landcastle Real Estate. At first, they focused on representing developers who were creating master planned communities. Jim was involved in the genesis and the sale of lots in many well-known communities in northern California, including Mountain House and the stunning 5,000-acre River Islands Master Plan in Lathrop, California. 

“Helping builders find lots to build family homes was the feel-good part of the business,” Jim said. “I loved the fulfillment that came from my work and watching the communities come to life.”

As homes continued to rise, and Jim’s portfolio of success continued to grow, he knew that franchising was the right direction to steer his career. However, he never seemed to find just the right fit. 

“I’ve been thinking about franchising for the past 10 years,” Jim said. “I spent a lot of time trying to find the right franchise.”

Jim eventually discovered NextHome through a friend. 

“We became very close after building two spec homes together,” Jim said speaking of his friend. “We were looking for opportunities and he said, ‘here, what do you think of this?’ NextHome was exactly what I had been trying to find for the past 10 years. The more research I did, the better I liked it.”

Jim was initially drawn to NextHome CEO James Dwiggins’ vision for the company. 

“It was wonderful knowing that there was someone in charge who had the same kinds of values that I wanted to promote in my own business,” Jim said. 

In addition, NextHome’s suite of industry-leading technology was just what Jim needed to help his talented agents achieve their best. 

“The back office is always a struggle for small independents,” Jim said. “NextHome gives me a framework that takes care of the small things so that I can focus on the important things, our agents and clients.”

 With his foundation in sales, Jim was impressed by NextHome’s creative marketing. 

“The dog mascot is absolutely genius,” Jim said of NextHome’s mascot Luke. “Who doesn’t love dogs?”

Today, Jim is leading a brokerage of outstanding talent as he helps East Bay buyers and sellers enjoy a seamless experience. 

“That is our agent’s goal, to make each transaction as easy for buyers and sellers as it can be,” Jim said. “That is their job and that is where we excel.”

This year, Jim celebrated 30 years of marriage to his wife Colleen, although he is quick to point out that they have been together for 36 years. Jim and Colleen are the proud parents of Sean (27) and Kelly (24). Sean is a medical student at Loma Linda University. Kelly, an accomplished artist, is pursuing a degree in graphic arts at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz. 

Jim and Colleen love to travel together and are both joyful musicians. Although playing many venues in the past, their classic rock cover band has delighted fans at school fundraisers, parties and meetings across the Bay Area in recent years. 

Please join us in congratulating Jim on the opening of NextHome Landcastle Luxury in Danville, California!

 

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.

The Importance of Storytelling in Real Estate

The Importance of Storytelling in Real Estate

Pleasanton, CA — October 1st, 2020 — It’s easy to say marketing in real estate has changed drastically over the years. What was once an ad in a newspaper has shifted to the virtual world we’re living in today. It’s crucial that real estate professionals are up to date on the latest trends, and at NextHome, we strive to add advanced marketing tools accessible to our proprietary platform as an included benefit for all members. Our most recent partnership with Studeo is the first of its kind at a national level, and we can’t wait for the entire NextHome franchise network to take advantage of the world’s leading interactive storytelling platform for real estate. 

Storytelling itself has drastically changed from word-of-mouth to the written word, and now visually on virtual platforms. As the majority of consumers have shifted from looking for homes online versus in-person, presenting them with a compelling narrative of their potential next home is imperative for them to visualize their life there. A house is more than statistics like square feet, bedroom and bathroom count. It’s a home where we make memories and tell stories. Every home is a story in itself.  

Enter, Studeo. 

The platform puts together high-quality photography, detailed floor plans, well-staged listings, 3D walkthroughs, and video – plus auditory enhancements – to tell the story of the home, invoking all the emotions associated with the milestone of buying a house.

By partnering with Studeo, our system will be creating storybooks for each NextHome listing that meets the criteria – automatically. Adding this impressive marketing tool to an agent’s toolbox not only makes a listing stand out to buyers, it also further promotes the professional’s value proposition to sellers. Brokers will also find the included tool a powerful recruiting and retention item.

“At NextHome, we are continually analyzing the tools and services we provide as a member benefit, along with scouting out the latest and greatest that could be added,” said Keith Robinson, NextHome’s Chief Strategy Officer. “We are not a ‘set it and forget it’ franchise and tools like Studeo allow NextHome agents to provide the next-level service. In an industry where so much is won or lost on first impressions, Studeo makes yours a story worth listening to.”

“We’ve found an incredible partner with the NextHome team,” said Studeo CEO Rebecca Rose. “They are extremely forward-thinking and immediately grasped the power and strategic value of interactive storytelling for their brand. We’re very excited to launch our new direct-from-MLS automated storybook engine at scale, for all their listings within all their markets. With online appeal being the new curb appeal, this partnership together with our complete suite of storytelling tools is going to set a new bar for the digital experience brokerages and agents can create for their end customers.”

When members opt-in for this service, our proprietary system will take care of the rest, pulling property photos and descriptions, adding cinemagraphs and carousels, and creating a powerful digital presentation to share across all platforms. NextHome agents will stand out from the competition with this fully automated and integrated marketing tool that is not used by every other brokerage on the block. 

The full version of the product can integrate Matterport 3D home tours, custom videos, and animations into a holistic experience that helps tell the story of the home with passion, comfort, and warmth.

With real estate relying heavily on visual content that is presented in an enhanced and distinguished way, using Studeo speaks to the professionalism NextHome agents bring to the table. Not only does the product produce beautiful stories, but the integration NextHome agents receive also frees up their time to focus on the core of their profession – building relationships with the people looking to buy or sell their next home. 

Storytelling is pivotal in real estate, learn how to write, tell, and show yours with Studeo via NextHome. 

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 Named a Top Growth Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine

NextHome Named a Top Growth Franchise by Entrepreneur Magazine

Pleasanton, CA — September 15, 2020 — NextHome was recently ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s first Top Growth Franchises list. This list recognizes the 150 companies with the greatest positive franchise unit growth in North America over a three year period, based on data submitted for Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500® ranking. Thanks to its exceptional growth, NextHome was ranked No. 30.

“By maintaining steady, sustained growth over several years, these franchises have demonstrated that they have the systems in place to support their franchisees and help them become successful,” said Jason Feifer, Entrepreneur’s editor-in-chief. “Now as these and other companies around the country face unprecedented challenges, they may see their growth slow, but that record of success could prove more important than ever.”

The ranking follows a year of milestones for the six-year-old franchise. Although 2020 has been a year of uncertainty, NextHome’s growth has persevered as they reached 500 offices with 4,000 members across the country. 

“Our growth stems from our people. Better put, the right people,” said Charis Moreno, Vice President of Sales at NextHome, Inc. “The most empowering word in our language is the word ‘no’ and I use this word often when I discuss franchising opportunities with prospective brokers and agents. While metrics are important in some conversations, I don’t find them important when it comes to the overall success of NextHome. At the end of the day, you can have the best marketing, technology, and integrated systems and tools, but if you don’t have the right people the rest doesn’t even matter.”

To determine the 2020 Top Growth Franchises ranking, Entrepreneur looked at each company’s U.S. and Canadian franchise numbers over a three-year period (from July 2016 to July 2019; given the rapid changes, COVID-19 impacts weren’t taken into account). In order to qualify, companies had to have positive growth of at least five units each year. They were ranked based on a formula that considers their total positive U.S. and Canadian franchise growth over the three years as well as factors that negatively affect growth, such as terminations, nonrenewals, and other closures. 

To view NextHome in the full ranking, visit entrepreneur.com/franchises/topgrowth. Results can also be seen in the September 2020 issue of Entrepreneur.

Are you NEXT?

 

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.

A Year of Milestones for NextHome

A Year of Milestones for NextHome

Pleasanton, CA — August 28, 2020 — Registering success in any industry is commonly marked by milestones. These measurements are commonly made up of growth in numbers, awards, press, rankings, and so on. For being a mere six-year-old franchise, NextHome has made its mark in the real estate industry and beyond. 

Although 2020 has been a difficult year for all, to say the least, the NextHome network of real estate professionals across the country has created an even stronger bond – and it’s been recognized. 

Through the bad, we want to make sure we share the good. NextHome has hit and surpassed many milestones this year and we couldn’t be more proud to share them, but they are all a direct result of the members who have helped build the brand we are so proud of today. 

Let’s break it down!

To start, as of this month NextHome has opened over 500 franchised offices, with a total of 4,000+ members. While growth is good, we pride ourselves on growing with the right people. Each oncoming NextHome office has been meticulously reviewed to ensure that they will be a good fit for the culture of the franchise. 

Ensuring every NextHome office will cultivate our shared core values has allowed us to build a solid foundation that speaks for itself. This year Franchise Business Review named NextHome the No. 3 top franchise in owner satisfaction out of 307 of the country’s top franchise brands across all sectors. In the real estate category, NextHome ranked No. 1 in the U.S.

Along with being named one of the country’s top franchised brands, Franchise Business Review also recognized NextHome on the Top 100 Culture List and named our organization a Top Franchise for Women. 

“It was always important for me when I was asked to lead the growth of the NextHome brand that we brought on the right people that share our vision, provide value, make a difference, and raise the bar in our industry,” said Charis Moreno, Vice President of Sales at NextHome. “Seeing that we made the list in a category I represent makes what we are doing that much more important and inspiring to me. Helping every class and gender become a business owner in our country is part of the American Dream, and to see we are leading in that dream makes our success that much more meaningful.” 

Inc. magazine revealed its annual Inc. 5000 list this month, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. We’re thrilled to share that NextHome ranked No. 3344 on the list, with a growth rate of 112.97%. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses.

Another impressive list, Entrepreneur magazine ranked NextHome No. 95 among the world’s very best franchise systems on its annual Franchise 500® list earlier this year. The recognition was given for NextHome’s outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power.

Of course, NextHome wouldn’t be where it is today without impeccable leadership. Chief Executive Officer James Dwiggins and Chief Operating Officer Tei Baishiki of NextHome were recognized by T3 Sixty this year as prominent leaders in the residential real estate industry for 2020, making the SP200 list of most powerful leaders and the Watchlist.

James was also selected as a RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker—a dynamic group of key influencers making headlines as a result of their newsworthy contributions to the real estate industry, and their efforts to positively affect the consumers and communities they serve. James was recognized in the Trailblazer category, a fitting title as NextHome continues to grow exponentially. 

While a successful franchise can be attributed to being in the hands of great leadership, it’s core strength is its members. This year we were proud to see the recognition of four NextHome offices on The REAL Trends 500 list for closing over 500 sides in 2019. Congratulations again to NextHome Experience in Worthington, OH with 1,023 closed sides, NextHome Experience in Bangor, ME with 712 closed sides, NextHome Realty Center in Cypress, TX with 694 closed sides, and NextHome Specialists in Columbia, SC with 567 closed sides. 

The REAL Trends + Tom Ferry’s The Thousand list also recognized the orange and gray with NextHomie Kimberly Taylor of NextHome First Class in Freeport, IL being ranked No. 12 on the 2020 Agent-Owned Brokerage Individual Transaction Sides list with 283 sides. The notable list highlights the top one-tenth of one percent of more than 1.4 million licensed REALTORS® nationwide.

Alongside these amazing recognitions was an ongoing pandemic that halted most plans, and created an immediate need for member support. While we couldn’t be more proud of NextHome’s accomplishments, we’re most proud of how our franchise has shifted while continuing to put our people first – by putting humans over houses. 

“In a matter of weeks, our team canceled our 2020 NextHome Conference set to take place in April as the world closed. However, we quickly adjusted and launched a webinar series over a six-week period featuring some of the industry’ss (and the world’s) top speakers, motivators, and educators for our NextHomies,” said James. “Although a pandemic was something we couldn’t have predicted – change is inevitable and we will always ensure our members are our top-priority through thick and thin. We’re family.”

That family-centric approach is how we conduct business, and will continue to be our core value at NextHome no matter how big we grow, or how many recognitions we receive. 

 

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 CEO Named a RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker

NextHome CEO Named a RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker

Pleasanton, CA — January 20, 2020 — NextHome’s Chief Executive Officer James Dwiggins has been selected as a RISMedia 2020 Real Estate Newsmaker—a dynamic group of key influencers making headlines as a result of their newsworthy contributions to the real estate industry, and their efforts to positively affect the consumers and communities they serve.

RISMedia, the leader in U.S. real estate news and information services, announced its 300-plus, 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers on Jan. 8, in both an online directory on RISMedia.com and in the January issue of its flagship publication, Real Estate magazine. 

RISMedia’s 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers were nominated in 2019 by RISMedia readers and editors and are showcased in the following categories: Influencers, Trailblazers, Futurists, Achievers, Crusaders, Inspirations, Luminaries, and Trendsetters.

James was recognized in the Trailblazer category, a fitting title as NextHome continues to grow exponentially. The five-year-old franchise was created with a vision to make a change in the real estate industry. The NextHome difference lies in our consumer-centric branding, innovative technology, and continuous member support. 

“In RISMedia’s Real Estate Newsmakers, you’ll find an inspirational overview of more than 300 industry leaders who are making a difference in the real estate and homeownership sectors, and whose actions have a far-reaching and profound impact on the real estate industry, from nationwide to their own local communities,” said John Featherston, CEO and publisher of RISMedia. “You’ll meet the thought leaders and the icons. The heroes and the champions of a better way. The ones who are breaking the mold and the ones who are leading the industry forward.”

Under the leadership of CEO James Dwiggins, NextHome, Inc. was named the No. 4 franchise in the country by Franchise Business Review in 2019, which also ranked the California-based organization as a Top Services Franchise and a Top Franchise for Women. NextHome was also ranked No. 95 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2020 Franchise 500 list for its outstanding performance in areas including unit growth, financial strength and stability, and brand power. The franchise’s ranking placed NextHome fifth in the real estate category.

“NextHome’s accomplishments are a testament to the hard work of our team to deliver a consumer-centric brand and an innovative technology platform that resonates with agents and brokers,” said Dwiggins. “More than that, it speaks to the level of professionalism of our members who are truly the absolute best in the business. We couldn’t be prouder of their accomplishments, helping NextHome grow at such a tremendous rate.”

To see RISMedia’s 2020 Real Estate Newsmakers and read about their achievements, visit the Newsmakers Gallery

 

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 Executives Recognized on 2020 SP200 and Watchlist

NextHome Executives Recognized on 2020 SP200 and Watchlist

Pleasanton, CA — January 16, 2020 — Chief Executive Officer James Dwiggins and Chief Operating Officer Tei Baishiki of NextHome were recently recognized by T3 Sixty as prominent leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry for 2020, making the list of most powerful leaders and the Watchlist.

T3 Sixty, the leading management consultancy and research company dedicated to the residential real estate brokerage industry, annually publishes Swanepoel Power 200 (SP200) which definitively ranks real estate leaders and executives across the U.S. The rankings are intended to shed light on the leaders of the industry and do not reflect company rankings. In addition to this list, T3 Sixty also names individuals who are recognized as the industry’s up-and-coming leaders on the 2020 Watchlist.

James and Tei have worked alongside one another since 1999. In May of 2014, the two founded NextHome, Inc. with a vision to make a change in the real estate industry. The NextHome difference lies in our consumer-centric branding, innovative technology, and continuous member support. 

As the NextHome franchise continues to grow, so does James’s ranking on the SP200. He was ranked at No. 158 in 2017, No. 105 in 2018, and No. 72 in 2019. This year, James was ranked No. 54 as he continually embraces the changes the industry faces to best position the NextHome franchise and its members for success. He also shares his knowledge and perspective at numerous conferences and events throughout the country. 

“Since day one, NextHome has been dedicated to maintaining a high-set bar of marketing, technology, and customer service standards,” said James. “However, our success lies with our members who have embraced the NextHome uniqueness, and want to make a difference in the lives of those looking to find their next home. Recognitions like these are not possible without our members.” 

Tei’s addition to this year’s Watchlist reaffirms his place among the innovators, dealmakers, and movers-and-shakers who made a noteworthy impact in our industry over the past year. The recognition identifies the dedication Tei maintains as he’s responsible for overseeing corporate operations as well as the creation and implementation of new technologies that give NextHome the edge to stay ahead of the competition.  

“When James and I started NextHome, we never imagined our vision would grow to where we are today,” said Tei. “It all comes back to the people – our hard-working corporate team, our amazing members in the field, and the vendors we hand-select to support them.”

We would like to extend a huge thank you to all NextHome members across the country for making recognitions like this possible. Our company leaders are making a difference in the real estate industry thanks to your ongoing support. 

 

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 Highlighted by the Franchise Business Review

NextHome Highlighted by the Franchise Business Review

Pleasanton, CA — August 29th — The NextHome Franchise was recently featured on the Franchise Business Review charts in four different categories. NextHome has been named a Top Services Franchise, a Top Franchise for Women, a Top Innovative Franchise, and a Top Franchise for Veterans. 

Franchise Business Review, a market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction, provides the only ranking of franchises based solely on actual franchisee satisfaction and performance. Franchise Business Review publishes rankings of the top franchises in its annual Guide to Today’s Top Franchises, as well as guides throughout the year ranking the top franchises in specific sectors.

NextHome’s franchisees were surveyed on 33 benchmark questions about their franchisor that focused on areas such as leadership, training, and core values as well as more personal questions concerning their business lifestyle and overall enjoyment of running their franchise. 

“A franchise is only as strong as it’s members. We’re incredibly grateful to have built a franchise that attracts those who want to make a difference in the real estate industry,” said James Dwiggins, CEO of NextHome, Inc. “Being recognized within these categories reminds us why we started.”

In February of 2019, Franchise Business Review also named NextHome as the No. 4 top franchise in 2019 out of 310 of the country’s top franchise brands. 

Founded in 2014, NextHome has been committed to changing the way consumers work with local agents and adapting to the modern real estate landscape to meet the ever-changing needs of agents and clients altogether.

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.

Building your brand to last: a customer-centered approach

Building your brand to last: a customer-centered approach

Inman Connect invited NextHome’s CEO James Dwiggins on the main stage to share the story of NextHome and how we continue to strive every day to elevate the experience for real estate buyers and sellers. 

Branding is really about the experience and creating an emotional connection to the business. James explained that where people get branding wrong is they think it’s about the logo but it is not. It’s the entire experience from the minute a customer sees the logo, then working with an agent, and all the way to the end of a transaction and beyond.

An important component in understanding branding is to realize that the real estate industry is struggling for relevance with buyers and sellers. Customers are questioning the value proposition of brokers and agents including the rates that they charge.

“When we set out to create NextHome, we had a focus on creating a brand that was relevant for the customers themselves. It’s about what the buyers and sellers want from the experience,” explained James.

That is easier said than done in an industry that is myopically focused on what agents want or need. James and the NextHome team partnered with Pentagram, a prestigious design company in New York City, to research and study how to change the brand experience and create a connection.  

“For example, one of the things that we created was a really cute French Bulldog mascot named Luke that was designed to change the conversation,” elaborated James about NextHome’s friendly icon. “When a customer walks into an office, we want them to say ‘what’s up with the orange dog?’ because it sets a whole different tone and interaction from the very beginning.”

For James, branding should be viewed as a shift in focus from what real estate agents do to generating an interaction with customers that is distinctive. NextHome encourages agents to hand out a plush version of Luke to kids, who then take the little Frenchie through the entire buying or selling process.

The real estate industry, in James’s opinion, is awful at promoting branding as an experience for customers. He pointed out that if people look at some of the biggest brands in real estate, they will see 17,000 different versions of a company’s logo including versions with different colors. Without consistency, there is not a cohesive message about the company itself and people don’t make a connection to it all.

Maintaining consistency across a brand is not easy. NextHome makes sure that everything the team has worked so hard to create goes all the way through the brokers and agents to the customer without getting diluted.  

“We took a stance at the beginning of the company,” James confirmed, “about the minimum standards that we would do. Business cards, for example, come from one organization so agents can’t create their own at a local print shop.”

NextHome preserves the quality of their beautiful, rounded-edge cards, and while agents and brokers can customize some of it for autonomy and their own personal branding, it must tie back into the national brand. The same goes for all their products from stationary to yard signs.

“For us, we want to make sure that 3,500 members across the United States maintain the same level of professionalism out in the market whether it’s in Portland, Oregon or on Madison Ave in New York,” James explained.

NextHome stands behind that philosophy but they understand that it’s not for everyone.  They are clear about their expectations and what they do. If someone doesn’t want to be a part of it, then there are lots of other companies out there to work with.

“What we have found by maintaining our high branding standards,” James reported, “is that we are attracting a lot more professional people into our company. As a result, customers do not question what we are providing as a service because they don’t see mediocre material.”

The level of consistency doesn’t just stop at stationary and business cards but continues all the way through their business model. James remarked that the same amount of effort that an agent puts into listing a $500,000 home should also be made when listing a $100,000 home. Customers will notice the consistency of effort or lack thereof.  Consistency within your own personal brand is another component to creating that brand experience.  

In today’s world, real estate companies are either all about their agents or, like Zillow, customer-centered. In the end, it will be the companies that are focused on the needs of the customer that will win according to James. Listening to what the customers want is integral to long term success.

“Take yard signs as an example. Most real estate yard signs advertise the agent.  However, that’s not what customers want. Sellers want their house promoted while buyers want to know the pertinent details of the listing as they drive by,” James commented.

NextHome listened and designed their signs to display the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage spaces. The agent’s information is secondary. It’s a relatively simple concept but it has a very big impact on how a company is viewed by customers.

“The industry has to start shifting to a customer-focused model or entities like Zillow will continue to disrupt us and change the primary person a customer will talk to,” advised James about the direction the industry should be headed.

At the end of the day, NextHome measures their branding success in smiles. James doesn’t want NextHome to be a company that people use for only a period of time but instead, be a brand that people keep thinking about and connecting with long after the real estate transaction is complete.  

Great branding is about changing the real estate conversation to a customer-centric experience through the use of consistency and a little mascot called Luke.