(Above) The Rainmakers group gathers at its 2019 meeting in Tampa, Fla. (Front Row, L to R) Shannon Loyd Calcines, Marsha Volchoff, Dave Lutton and Michael Maloof; (Second Row, L to R) Doug Loyd, Quinn Thurin, Steve Studley and David MacIntyre; (Second From Back Row, L to R) John De Souza, Tim Mitchell, Joe Miller and John Turpin; (Back Row, L to R) Dan Kingdom, Tommy Dunbar, Mike Riedmann, Jim Wallace and Trey Wallace (Not pictured: Dede Strano, Stephanie Maine and Alex Anderson)
LeadingRE’s Rainmakers Raise the Bar Even Higher
Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) was designed to unite the industry’s very best independent real estate firms. Today, the global real estate network brings together a community of 565 market-leading, independent residential brokerages in more than 70 countries, representing some 130,000 sales associates.
Over the years, brokers within the LeadingRE fold have taken networking to a more granular level.
“LeadingRE CEO Exchange Groups were started as a way to offer members co-consulting and idea-sharing in carefully matched groups that share key similarities—company size, market type, business philosophy, etc.,” explains LeadingRE President and CEO Paul Boomsma.
One of LeadingRE’s most-established CEO groups is the Rainmakers, meeting one to two times a year since the group was formed in 2004.
“The Rainmakers come together to evaluate real estate trends, discuss market conditions and learn from one another,” says Boomsma. “They meet periodically for in-depth discussions on best practices for serving the needs of real estate consumers, in addition to advising one another on success strategies for their individual brokerages.”
While the Rainmakers determine the goals, structure, location and frequency of their meetings, LeadingRE lends its support by arranging meeting logistics, providing options for facilitators and sharing relevant network program information on request.
“LeadingRE exists to help the best independent real estate companies achieve even greater success, with tools designed to help them leverage their inherent strengths as independent firms,” explains Boomsma. “The CEO Exchange Groups give like-minded brokers a safe and open forum to dive deep into the issues impacting real estate consumers and brokerages today. Like the network as a whole, they are focused on quality and connections—at a level that fosters impactful, lasting relationships.”
In this special section, we introduce you to the members of the Rainmakers group, highlighting the rich history of their respective firms, their philosophy toward ongoing success, and the advantages they receive by being part of Rainmakers and LeadingRE.
Arizona Best Real Estate: Powered by People
More than 100 years ago, John MacIntyre came to Arizona in 1919. The MacIntyre family has been active in residential real estate there for more than 68 years since. David MacIntyre has more than 50 years’ experience in the real estate industry, with more than 30 years as owner of Arizona Best Real Estate.
As an award-winning relocation company, Arizona Best has achieved great success with LeadingRE. This quality network of referrals enabled the firm to achieve a 77.46 percent close ratio, and provided 40 percent of GCI in 2019.
In 2018, Arizona Best was nationally recognized by SIRVA Relocation with the Broker of the Year award. The firm has also been ranked No. 1 in corporate relocation in Arizona for six years and counting, and is recognized in the top 1 percent of all real estate companies in the U.S.
Allison Rybarczyk, MacIntyre’s daughter, has been Arizona Best’s relocation director since 2001. She has served on the LeadingRE Advisory Council since 2016 and was the chairperson in 2018. In 2019, Rybarczyk was awarded LeadingRE’s highest honor, the Hall of Fame award, which recognizes select individuals for their dedication, commitment and expertise toward programs that benefit all network affiliates. Only 12 individuals in history have received LeadingRE’s Hall of Fame award.
“In the last 15 years, the Rainmakers have met with our firm twice,” says MacIntyre. “As a result of their suggestions, we continue to prosper with our model.
“Our culture is quality people who enjoy being with other professionals in a caring, supportive family environment,” adds MacIntyre. “We have a full-time support staff to help our agents achieve their goals. Our company is more of a ministry to lift people up. We make lives better.”
Looking ahead, MacIntyre is increasing the investment in the success of the firm’s agents. “We are heavily investing our time and money into the best technology, such as SkySlope, Delta Media Group and Ultimate Information Systems; one-on-one mentoring; LeadingRE Institute’s online library of nearly 400 courses; and Larry Kendall’s Ninja path, books and installations.”
Charles Reinhart Company REALTORS®: Leading With Quality
For 49 years since its inception, Charles Reinhart Company REALTORS® has been the sales leader in the Greater Ann Arbor, Mich., region. Beginning with just a handful of salespeople, the firm has grown to more than 300 sales associates and employees working out of six offices. Today, Reinhart maintains a 43 percent marketshare in Ann Arbor, and a 34 percent share of the entire MLS.
“This kind of market domination is nearly unheard of anywhere in the country,” says Chief Operating Officer Marsha Volchoff.
According to Volchoff, the company set itself apart from the very beginning. “The focus was on building an organization with higher-quality real estate services than what existed in the marketplace at the time,” she explains. “Hiring selectively and training prodigiously has been the differentiator.”
Volchoff also points to the firm’s diversification into mortgage, title, insurance, property management and commercial as key to its “secret sauce.”
“One-stop shopping is easier for clients, and it helps ensure they receive a high level of performance in all the various parts of the transaction,” she explains.
Volchoff and Director of Business Development Dave Lutton take great pride in what they’ve achieved, a pride that runs deep in the company culture and has led to an unusually high rate of retention—the average tenure is more than 15 years.
Today, Reinhart is part of the Real Estate One Family of Companies—also a member of LeadingRE—and continues to operate as a separate brand with its own relocation staff. Relocation Director Susan Kellam has run an award-winning department for 33 years with one of the best conversion rates in the LeadingRE Network.
Charles Reinhart REALTORS® was also an original member of the Rainmakers group.
“The wise counsel of these brokers has been invaluable in helping the company adapt to changing business conditions to remain at the forefront of the industry,” says Lutton. “Having a high-quality sounding board for new ideas, and for accountability, is an important factor in running a successful company.”
Cressy & Everett Real Estate: Embracing Change
Quite a bit has changed for real estate consumers over the past 10-15 years, including their wants, needs and expectations, as well as the ways in which they connect, share information and negotiate.
But for the almost 75-year-old Cressy & Everett Real Estate—serving Northern Indiana, Southwestern Michigan, and beyond—change means new opportunities.
According to company President John De Souza, “the industry will continue to change organically, transforming through innovation, technology, culture and compliance. At Cressy & Everett, we are always asking ourselves how we can best serve today’s consumer with advanced industry practices, new communication tools, and smooth and productive methods. We want our consumers to have an ‘above and beyond’ experience.”
And De Souza is accomplishing that goal. A full-service brokerage, the Cressy & Everett team of 175-plus agents and nearly 40 support staff, serving in 11 offices, is committed to placing high attention on the consumer experience. Cressy & Everett was named the South Bend Tribune’s “Best Real Estate Agency” and was among Northwest Indiana Business Magazine’s “Best of Greater South Bend Michiana Business.” The firm regularly serves more than 3,000 customers each year, averaging 18 transactions per agent, per year.
“It’s an evolving process to ensure that your brokerage name continues to stand for something because of what you do and who you are,” says De Souza. “We aim high, with intention. Since 1946, using the right blend of tools and services, we have professionally served the industry, our customers and our communities.”
And the results speak for themselves. For 20 years, Cressy & Everett has consistently received a 98 percent satisfaction rating via a third-party survey.
“The survey responses help inform our practice and help us grow in the ways we serve our communities,” says De Souza. “In 2021, we’ll celebrate our 75th year, and we can’t wait to see what the next 75 years bring! In a time of high change and disruption, we love being part of the story.”
Florida Executive Realty: A Collaborative Culture
Doug Loyd started out in the real estate business selling new construction at a master-planned community. When he eventually realized this was a “self-liquidating proposition,” he created Florida Executive Realty.
Today, Florida Executive Realty has six offices—home to about 200 sales associates and staff—in the Tampa Bay area. Additionally, the company has a commercial division, and Loyd also owns a property management company.
The philosophy at the heart of the firm’s value proposition is the age-old Golden Rule.
“People prefer to do business with people they know, like and trust,” says Loyd, who runs the firm with his daughter, Shannon Loyd Calcines. “Among other things, that means putting clients first and commission second.”
Loyd and Calcines emphasize a collaborative culture within the company and encourage career-long learning.
“While we’re representing people, we have to be on our game and make sure they’re getting great service and advice,” says Loyd.
LeadingRE helps accomplish that goal. Loyd describes joining the network in 1998 as a “defining moment” that opened the door to world-class training and a valuable referral network. “It changed the trajectory of the company,” he says.
In 2004, Loyd joined the Rainmakers group, which made him “a better broker and a better businessman,” he says. “It affected the quality of what we do, day in and day out.”
Over the course of the company’s history, Loyd is perhaps most proud of surviving the Great Recession. “Most of the big Florida cities were a lot deeper in than the country as a whole,” he recalls. “But we walked through that massive correction and came out the other side a survivor.”
As he looks to grow Florida Executive Realty for the future—welcoming the third of his four children into the firm this year—Loyd will lean strongly toward qualitative over quantitative growth to protect and nurture a high standard of professionalism.
“I fully intend to take the company into the future based on the values which have made us successful thus far: technical expertise, ethical excellence, liberal use of common sense, and always being nice people to do business with. For these are the things that will keep us secure from disintermediation and help build an even better Tampa Bay,” says Calcines.
Hasson Company, REALTORS®: An Intentional Approach
What started in 1983 as a small firm in Lake Oswego, Ore., has today become Hasson Company, REALTORS®, comprised of nearly 175 agents in six offices and three satellite locations throughout the Portland metro area, Central Oregon, Oregon Coast, Hood River and Southwest Washington.
CEO Steve Studley explains that Founder and Director of Strategic Planning Mike Hasson wanted to create something different.
“The primary objective was to create an environment for like-minded agents who recognize that there are tangible and intangible benefits of a firm that places consumers before agents, and agents before the company,” he says.
According to Studley, an impressive company milestone was surpassing a billion dollars in sales volume in 2005, and “today, we’re knocking on $2 billion with a similar agent count,” he says.
Studley attributes the firm’s success to selective growth and a very disciplined approach to hiring the right agents. “Our team is very intentional and has said ‘no’ to so many things, like expanding into certain marketplaces or hiring agents that aren’t aligned with our values,” he explains. “The result is a clearly defined culture of top performers who averaged $11.3 million in sales and 19.8 transactions per agent in 2019.”
Studley says it’s all about relationships. “In today’s environment, many models are built on numbers,” he explains. “Our value proposition is aimed at agents who want to be part of a company that believes personal connections matter.”
This focus on connection extends to Hasson’s clients as well.
“The industry has created this inertia of convenience,” says Studley, “but our idea is to connect with those consumers who value personal service and expertise. That’s the lane we see ourselves in.”
Being part of LeadingRE and the Rainmakers group is another way Hasson Company focuses on connections.
“Surrounding yourself with quality people gives you an opportunity to do business better and glean a tremendous amount of knowledge,” he says.
Looking ahead, Studley says, “We’ll continue to provide quality services for our agents and the necessary technology, but our emphasis will remain on personal connections and exceptional service.”
Intracoastal Realty: Delivering Exceptional Experiences
Founded in 1976 in Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Intracoastal Realty has earned a reputation as a market leader, with 14 offices and more than 400 agents serving Southeastern North Carolina.
“We are a full-service real estate firm with deep roots in the local community,” says Founder and CEO Jim Wallace. “Our focus on exceptional client experiences has allowed us to grow and serve our region with residential and commercial brokerage services, property management (long-term and vacation), and development services.”
According to Intracoastal President Trey Wallace, the ongoing goal has been to build a real estate company that attracts the region’s top real estate professionals.
“We want career practitioners, and we empower our agents and staff to build businesses that stand the test of time and have the ability to weather all market conditions,” he explains. “We are thriving because our agents are singularly focused on their client’s needs and success. That focus is possible because of the dozens of marketing, technology and support professionals that work with them to achieve exceptional results.”
The Wallaces also attribute Intracoastal’s ongoing success to the culture of teamwork they have built, where the Golden Rule is a guiding principle, and the firm’s mantra, “Experience the Exceptional,” permeates the entire company.
“A real estate transaction is an infrequent, significant and often intimidating process,” says Trey Wallace. “It is the biggest investment that most people make in their lives. We have found that the best results come from coordinating as many aspects of the transaction process as possible for our clients to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.”
And it is this level of client care that ultimately sets Intracoastal Realty apart.
“We have a high concentration of our market’s top-performing agents whose local knowledge is unmatched in the areas they serve,” says Jim Wallace. “Our reputation in, and support of, our communities is something that is held in high regard by our peers and clients. That is something that has taken 43 years to build, but never something that we take for granted.”
Jim Maloof/REALTOR®: A Reputation of Trust
Founded by Peoria native and former Mayor James Maloof in 1969, today, Jim Maloof/REALTOR® is Central Illinois’ largest independent REALTOR® with 14 branches in six counties, employing more than 250 agents and a support staff of 30.
The firm is currently run by President Michael Maloof, who is focused on evolving and expanding what his father created.
“We’ve never been satisfied with where we are,” says Maloof. “We’re constantly looking to be agile and react to the market, and for pockets of the population we can serve.”
To that end, Maloof acquired Crowne Realty in January, the No. 1 independent brokerage in Bloomington/Normal. The goal of the merger was expansion, but the deal was rooted in the value of relationships. As the new EVP at Jim Maloof Realty, Inc., Tammy Heard, says, “The two companies are ambassadors to the communities we serve. Maloof and Crowne have established relationships and strong roots.”
“One of our primary advantages is that we have a reputation of trust,” explains Maloof. “If you’re dealing with Maloof, then you can count on the fact that people will be honest to a fault.”
The firm’s stellar reputation has led to its ongoing independence.
“When you’re the No. 1 broker, your brand has more value because the area has endorsed you as the leader,” says Maloof. “You don’t change a winning hand.”
As premier independent brokers, Maloof and Heard value the global reach provided by LeadingRE, and the intellectual equity provided by the Rainmakers network.
“We get to share how we do things and learn,” says Maloof. “We don’t hold back when we talk about cost, productivity, revenue and the potential for profit.”
“We learn from companies in other markets, then take that information back to our local market,” adds Heard.
Looking ahead, Maloof will consider expansion into new communities, and will continue to serve through the company’s charitable efforts, such as St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. “None of us want to have a child of ours affected by childhood cancer, so we’re extremely generous.”
NP Dodge Real Estate: Industry Pioneers
Not many real estate firms can trace their history back to 1853. But that’s when brothers Grenville and Nathan Phillips Dodge first left Massachusetts for the West to homestead and establish a land office in 1855.
One-hundred and sixty-five years later, the NP Dodge Company now serves as America’s longest running, family-owned, full-service real estate firm, and one of the 100 oldest family-owned businesses in the U.S.
“We take great pride in our rich and long history in Omaha,” says company President Mike Riedmann. “We have been involved in many seminal events in United States history, from driving the Golden Spike at the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, to standing up for equal rights for all.”
Today, NP Dodge is a family of companies with six wholly owned divisions: NP Dodge Real Estate Sales, Inc. (NP Dodge Real Estate); NP Dodge Insurance; NEI Global Relocation; TitleCore National; NP Dodge Property Management Company; and NAI NP Dodge Commercial Company.
NP Dodge Real Estate has eight company-owned and three satellite sales offices in Eastern Nebraska and Southwestern Iowa, comprised of more than 450 REALTORS® covering 20-plus counties.
“NP Dodge includes agents in a local tradition of service, trust and professionalism in an era when those qualities are rare and more valued than ever,” explains Riedmann. “Impeccable ethics and a sincere caring for the individuals involved in every transaction are longtime guiding principles for our company and for the Dodge family.”
As one of the original members of RELO, the predecessor of LeadingRE, NP Dodge has long valued its relationship with the network, providing the firm with both national and international recognition, as well as important access to training, networking and innovative products and services. Riedmann also values the perspectives he receives from the Rainmakers group.
“Our vision is to be the best place for agents to build their business by offering the best technology, training and marketing, as well as work environment,” says Riedmann. “We want their relationship with NP Dodge to be profitable, sustainable, satisfying, professional and enjoyable.”
Old Colony REALTORS®: Enhancing Experiences
Celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2019, Old Colony REALTORS® was founded in Charleston, W. Va., in 1944. Today, it is the largest real estate firm in the state, with 185 sales associates serving most of West Virginia, Southeast Ohio, Eastern Kentucky and Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Vice President of Sales Robert Thomas credits a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions as fueling the company’s growth. A key part of Old Colony’s history came in 2007, when it dropped all franchise affiliations.
“We bring 75 years of experience through cycles of highs and lows, and dramatic changes in the nature and structure of the real estate transaction,” says Broker and President R. Joseph Miller. “And throughout, we’ve remained committed to adopting and developing the most current practices to enhance client satisfaction.”
According to Thomas, Old Colony lives by its company tagline: “Experience. The Difference.”
To enjoy sustained success over 75-plus years, Old Colony leans into the supportive, family culture it has developed. Associates and employees take pride in the company’s inclusive environment of professionalism and high standards.
“We have an outstanding reputation that is backed by a 75-year history of success and experience,” says Executive Vice President Tommy Dunbar. “We enjoy a high degree of loyalty among agents who receive a broad range of support, including mentoring, training and assistance.”
Dunbar also points to the firm’s broad-based services and market coverage as key to its success, along with its innovative policies and practices, and strong community connections. LeadingRE is also an important part of the equation.
“Being a part of LeadingRE, and especially the Rainmakers group, has broadened our exposure and made us more knowledgeable,” says Dunbar. “We all gravitate to the shared experiences of comparable-sized, independent companies facing similar circumstances.”
Looking ahead, Old Colony will focus on developing competitive technology platforms and adopting new systems to expand the professional development capacities of current and new agents.
“We will also look at expansion into new geographic areas and capitalizing on new partnerships, models and market areas of growth,” says Miller.
Strano & Associates Real Estate: A Culture of Community
In 1981, Bob and Dede Strano founded Strano & Associates Real Estate—a leader in the Southwestern Illinois real estate market.
A three-generation, women-owned company, Strano & Associates has five offices throughout the Metro East area and 100-plus brokers. The firm also has one of the area’s largest property management divisions.
In 2017, #StranoStands was launched to exemplify the company’s community-focused culture.
“While many companies paint their success with numbers and statistics, we prefer to gauge our success by the impact we leave on our clients, our community, and our agents and staff,” explains President/Broker Stephanie Maine.
Maine elaborates on the four pillars that comprise the #StranoStands culture:
- Family: “Family is at the heart of our company. We work together as a team and love that we find houses for families to call home.”
- Leadership: “Our leaders are selfless, inspirational and know how to navigate uncertain or difficult situations. We live by the Golden Rule.”
- Community: “While we support each other, we also vow to make the community better through efforts like Tired Teddies, Adopt a Family and our food drive.”
- Service: “Our servicemen and women risk their lives so we can do what we do, as do our local police and firefighters. We show our appreciation through programs like U.S. Military on the Move.”
As a member of LeadingRE, Strano & Associates believes there’s power in unity. “LeadingRE allows us to have the benefits of a franchise network, but the freedom to make the best investments for our brokerage and our agents,” says COO Alex Anderson. And the Rainmakers group provides a safe space for brokers to share ideas and constructive criticism, she adds.
Looking ahead, Strano & Associates plans to remain a leader by focusing on service to the community.
“We see the ‘disruptors’ come and go, focusing on numbers and not individuals,” says CEO Dede Strano. “For us, it’s about providing value and support, creating a family workplace for your career, start to finish. Good things don’t just happen. Good people make good things happen.”
Turpin REALTORS®: Relationships Are Everything
When John Turpin’s grandmother, Virginia, started Turpin REALTORS® in 1960, the industry—and the world—was dominated by men.
“She believed she could bring a higher level of client service and understanding to the process, which has been our hallmark ever since,” Turpin explains.
Turpin REALTORS® solidified its reputation in luxury real estate in the late ’70s when Virginia’s son, Jack Turpin, combined his passion for historic estates with the tremendous growth in North Central New Jersey. The firm repeatedly broke its own records for the state’s highest residential sale.
John Turpin has been running the firm since the unexpected passing of his father, Jack, in 2010, and today, it is comprised of five offices and 125 agents. “I have focused on upholding the legacies of quality and service set by my father and his mother, while focusing heavily on our deep love for this beautiful area of New Jersey and a commitment to serving our agents and clients with the best tools and support,” says Turpin.
At Turpin REALTORS®, the culture is built around the belief that real estate is still a relationship business.
“We believe that by cultivating meaningful relationships and delivering diligent, knowledgeable and expert service to our clients, we can elevate the industry, increase our own job security and be a force for good in the local community,” says Turpin.
Turpin also relies on LeadingRE and insights from the Rainmakers. “The network is made up of an impressive group of diverse, accomplished and smart companies who not only share a similar vision of freedom from corporate red tape, but who also look out for one another,” he explains.
Path forward, Turpin plans to deepen community connections and local expertise in order to continue to champion the firm’s clients.
“We look to hone the excellent tools we provide our agents, and double down on training and adoption, created for and delivered by humans,” he explains. “The more our world drifts toward faceless, automated help centers, the more we insist that only a human will do.”
WK Real Estate: Local Strength
Founded in 1976, Boulder, Colo.-based WK Real Estate is committed to serving the Front Range communities within its footprint.
This culture of community includes a focus on collaboration, professionalism, integrity and friendship, says Managing Broker/Owner Dan Kingdom. “Our agents take pride in the welcoming, open-door atmosphere of our leadership and staff, as well as amongst themselves, regularly relying on each other to solicit advice and recommendations and share information, resources and experiences,” he explains. “In an organization of independent contractors, it’s unusual to find this level of teamwork and collaborative spirit.”
WK’s value proposition benefits not only its sales associates and staff, but their clients as well. By providing associates with an array of resources and services—including a highly trained staff, regularly evaluated systems and technology, expert education and training, quality marketing materials, and an accessible leadership staff—WK ensures that they are always able to put their clients’ needs and goals above all else.
According to Kingdom, the value of being locally owned and operated is extremely significant in his Boulder County community. “WK’s home is a place where people are known for their fierce loyalty to locally-owned businesses,” he explains. However, in today’s global business world, being local isn’t enough.
“Our affiliation with the LeadingRE network gives us that essential global reach we would not have otherwise,” says Kingdom. “When our clients have real estate needs outside of Colorado, we are able to personally connect them with exceptional, professional real estate partners all over the globe.”
As the company continues to remain a strong, fiscally healthy and debt-free company, it also evaluates new technology investments as part of its ongoing commitment to innovation.
“We strive to maintain our special WK culture as we welcome carefully selected associates and staff members to our family,” says Kingdom. “We look for new and different ways to foster engagement and involvement in the community. And as our industry changes, our goal is to stay nimble and relevant, with the ability to adapt, grow and thrive in an ever-changing market and competitive environment.”
Maria Patterson is RISMedia’s executive editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.