Above: Joe and Emily Coombs
CENTURY 21 Heart of Montana Realty
Region served: Big Sky Country
Years in real estate: 17
Number of offices: 1
Number of agents: 14
Motto/work philosophy that you live by: My philosophy is from my father who always maintained that “Attitude is everything.” If you approach your business, your life and your family with a good attitude, you’ll be successful.
You recently affiliated with the CENTURY 21® brand. What went into your decision to make this change?
Around the time that we had come to the conclusion that there were many things we weren’t able to offer our agents as an independent, Joe Nubie—CENTURY 21 franchise sales director—walked into the office and asked us what we thought about owning a CENTURY 21 franchise. With other offices courting my agents, we knew we needed to offer more tools, technology, marketing, training and education.
In what ways did the CENTURY 21 team help make the transition as smooth as possible?
The CENTURY 21 brand has an amazing suite of tools, and our agents wanted to be using everything all at once. The brand’s leadership team helped us change at a rational speed in order to manage agent expectations.
You run the brokerage with your wife. How have you successfully split roles among the two of you?
My wife, Emily Coombs, is our business development manager. She’s been really good at planning and structuring the rollout of this new franchise. As the broker/owner, I take care of all of the REALTOR®-type work with the agents. We work very well together, and I couldn’t do this without her.
How do you stay ahead of the competition?
While I bought this business five years ago, the previous owners had already laid a really great foundation with a strong reputation. That reputation and our sense of getting the job done have helped us recruit and retain good agents. We truly are what I would call “client-facing.” In fact, we’re so client focused that we don’t have our agents’ faces on our signs.
What would you point to as the biggest challenge you’re facing in the current market?
Our biggest challenge is recruiting and retaining agents. The amount of intense recruiting in our town is phenomenal. With 100-plus brokerages in our town of 50,000—and 1,900 members of our MLS—I have to be able to offer our agents tools. And again, that is one of the major reasons I joined the CENTURY 21 brand. Because with them, I have great technology, marketing and brand recognition.
Where do you stand in terms of training and education?
The training and education offered by the CENTURY 21 brand is another reason we chose to affiliate with the brand. They provide a great format for all of that, and their formal application for training is key for me. Anyone in the office can go online and find dozens of classes that are going to help them. It’s a wonderful asset.
What is the one thing you hope your agents say about you?
That I’m a nice guy. A lot of the agents are here because they like me, and we work very hard for our agency. I would also hope they say that I inspire cooperation and a positive culture. We have an amazing culture here at CENTURY 21 Heart of Montana Realty, which is so important to us. RE
For more information, please visit https://www.century21.com.