Weichert, REALTORS® – Ford Brothers
Somerset, Kentucky | www.wrkentucky.com
Region served: The Greater Bluegrass region
Years in real estate: Matt: 21; Devin: 31
Number of offices: 6
Number of agents: 85
Please describe what it’s like working together as cousins and running the business that your fathers started.
Devin Ford: Matt and I make a good team. Not only do we get along, but we also communicate really well, which is critical since we work in different towns. But, perhaps most importantly, this is a family business. I see a lot of family businesses where the second generation enters and the business dies. There is pressure for us to make sure we not only maintain the business, but also help it grow.
What does it mean to be a part of Weichert, REALTORS®?
Matt Ford: We were independent for 47 years before we joined Weichert. During that time, we were approached by pretty much every franchise, but Weichert is the one franchise we bought into—and it has been a real blessing for us. With Weichert, it is sort of a grassroots campaign for every house we list. My dad was a state legislator, and I grew up passing out fliers and was part of his campaigns. It is very similar to the way in which we sell houses. Weichert has been wonderful for us.
DF: While our fathers built this business from the ground up, the Weichert ownership has been in the trenches. These folks aren’t just corporate suits. They’ve done it. Their tools and systems have boosted us to the next level.
What one word best describes your management style?
DF: My one word would be “fatherly.” We try to build a culture of family. We want our agents to know that they matter and that it’s not all about numbers.
MF: For me, it’s “laid-back.” I’m not going to be on someone constantly. If something goes wrong, rather than telling them what they should have done, I ask them how they can fix the situation and make it better next time. I’m on the phone at all hours, as it’s what we do. We also watch a lot of David Knox videos.
You do anywhere between 150 – 200 real estate auctions a year. Tell us more about this side of your business.
MF: We have held auctions for 50 years. The auction side helps the overall real estate business because we can look at a piece of property and say, “This one should go to auction.” Take, for example, a 100-acre farm. If I decide to auction it, I can subdivide it and sell five-acre parcels instead of just the 100-acre property and get a better price for the seller. It’s a really interesting part of our business.
What is your best advice for hiring and retaining agents?
MF: I want to get along with the other brokers in town and have them sell our houses, so my goal is to recruit new people and teach them the Weichert systems. I also make sure they know that they’re appreciated.
DF: Take care of the people, and they will take care of you. It’s all about taking care of our people and realizing that you’re part of something bigger than yourself.
For more information, visit www.weichert.com.