Mark E. Farrow
HomeSmart Realty Group
Region served: Northwest Oregon, Willamette Valley, Portland Metro
Years in real estate: Jim: 16; Mark: 25
Number of offices: 9
Number of agents: 355
Must-have technology tool: RealSmart Agent, the proprietary software from HomeSmart.
Most important thing you learned this year: How much we cannot wait to get back to face-to-face communication with our agents and clients.
Paige Brown: What attracted you to the HomeSmart brand?
Jim Sparkman: We didn’t have a 100% model in our marketplace, so it was very attractive, and it was something new. What further attracted us to HomeSmart was their culture of growth, support and learning.
PB: How do you use technology to better serve your clients?
JS: We use technology as an extension of purpose. It gives us an opportunity to reach a larger audience and to keep those that we serve well informed and connected to the process.
PB: What are some of the current trends you’re seeing in your respective markets right now?
Mark Farrow: We’ve gone from a multiple-offer situation on most properties that would take anywhere from 12 to 14 weeks to get a home under contract to now only taking 30 days. We’re also seeing extensive growth in all of our markets, and we’re continuing to see with interest rates that it’s not going to be changing any time in the near future.
PB: How does your company make its agents’ jobs easier?
JS: The mantra at HomeSmart is “Real Estate Made Easy,” and we have systems in place to alleviate the agents’ time throughout the transaction while offering them tools that will streamline their real estate processes and business.
PB: What do today’s agents find most valuable when considering which brokerage to join, and how do you ensure your office provides that value?
JS: Today’s agents want to keep more of their money, and they want to be able to reinvest that into the growth of their business. At HomeSmart, being a 100% model, we focus on giving more back to the agent versus keeping it as a brokerage (i.e., 100% vs. the split model). We like to say that we’re a 100% brokerage with all the same tools as the traditional brokerage.
MF: …and more!
PB: How have you helped your agents adapt to the challenges associated with the pandemic?
MF: We’ve tried our hardest to continue with our regular marketing meetings dedicated to learning and helping our agents deal with all the social media aspects, but it’s been trying at times and frustrating to not have that face-to-face communication.
PB: As we prepare for 2022, what are you most looking forward to?
JS: We’re looking to get back to in-person activities. We’re a people-to-people, face-to-face business, and as professional REALTORS®, we feed off that interaction, so it’s important that we get back to a normalization where we can have that in-person communication and connection.
MF: We’re looking forward to recognizing our agents for what they’ve done in the real estate world, what they’ve done to give back to our community, and all the hard work they’ve achieved during this tough time.
For more information, please visit www.homesmart.com.
Paige Brown is RISMedia’s content editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to email@example.com.