Long & Foster Real Estate
Years in business: 55
Size: Approx. 220 offices and 9,000 agents
Regions served: Eight states and the District of Columbia
2021 Sales Volume: $36 billion-plus
2021 Transactions: 77,000 family moves
Real estate is in Larry “Boomer” Foster’s blood. Both sides of his family have been in the industry for decades, so it’s no surprise that he rose to success as president of Long & Foster Real Estate.
In his current role, Foster oversees the company’s 220-plus offices and 9,000-plus agents across eight states and the District of Columbia.
How would you characterize the real estate market last year?
Boomer Foster: We cover South Carolina to New Jersey. Real estate is hyperlocal for the most part, but there are a lot of similarities in the markets we are in. The first five months of 2022 were very good. Interest rates were under control and demand was high. Because inventory was still low, we saw great price appreciation. The next five months showed us it was the tale of two halves. Normally you would expect a slowdown in the summertime, but it slowed very dramatically. Inflation, higher rates and uncertainty caused consumers to pause. When you look at the market across the board, it’s down in the mid-20% range and it’s been pretty close to that with the amount of volume.
What does your strategy for 2023 entail?
BF: Fiscal responsibility keeps our costs under control and ensures our cost structure fits our revenue stream. Our intention is to grow. When you have financial stability, agents flock back to stability in normalizing markets. In good times, anybody can start a real estate company, but in tougher times, financial stability is very important to agents. We offer that as well as the best tools, resources, training and support in the industry.
Tell us more about that growth strategy…
BF: It’s two-fold—growing geographically while also expanding our all-inclusive line of services. We’re expanding in South Carolina, having opened our first location in Charleston in late 2022, and we’ll evaluate other opportunities to grow throughout our existing footprint. We expect to grow significantly across our companies in 2023, thanks to our integrated approach.
Consumers are asking for simplicity in their real estate transactions, and our all-inclusive approach delivers a seamless experience at every phase.
With Long & Foster, there’s one team that takes care of it all, providing consumers with convenience and our agents an invaluable network. Combining our fiscally responsible approach to the business and our all-inclusive services, we’re going to thrive during the downturn.
What makes an agent right for Long & Foster?
BF: We talk about being a culture of “trust, family and excellence.” Those three things mean different things to different people, but for us, trust is the most important piece of any organization. We look for people with character and integrity. We need real estate professionals, not just real estate agents. We pride ourselves on recruiting people who have an abundance mentality; our agents collectively celebrate each others’ success.
What are the benefits of working with a large company like Long & Foster?
BF: First, you get a culture that feels like a small community. Secondly, the tools and resources we have are cutting edge. We put agents in a position to be more efficient and provide training, coaching and mentoring to be ahead of the trends in the marketplace. And we do it with competitive compensation agreements. Finally, we give them the best brand in the marketplace.
How do you differentiate yourself as a leader?
BF: Every Monday I do a video for our entire enterprise called “News You Can Use,” and I talk about the state of the economy, what’s happening on Wall Street and what’s going on in our industry hyper-locally and along the East Coast.