Vitals: Peabody & Smith Realty
Years in Business: 27
Size: 2 main offices and 3 satellite offices, 36 agents
Regions Served: Lakes and Mountains of New Hampshire and the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont
2018 Sales Volume: $143 million
2018 Transactions: 612
With more than 25 years of experience in the real estate game, Andrew Smith, broker/owner of Franconia, N.H.-based Peabody & Smith Realty, has found great success, including being awarded the Littleton Area Chamber of Commerce 2007 Business Leader of the Year.
Smith started the firm with a clear mission to serve the client, and has designed the company to be able to say “yes” to just about anything.
“Our model, where the entire team takes ownership for the delivery of exceptional client service, has served us and our clients very well,” he says. “All of our agents work full-time in their real estate career and maintain a very high level of agent productivity.”
How is your market faring as we reach the end of 2019?
Andrew Smith: We started a little slow, but we are finishing very strong. At the end of September, we were up 14 percent in dollar volume.
How do you maintain profitability as the market fluctuates?
AS: We keep a close eye on our fixed expenses, and are always seeking to eliminate redundancy or unneeded expenses and find more efficient ways to deliver our services to our agents, as well as our clients and customers. Our largest variable expense is agent commissions, so that is self-leveling.
How do you stay on top of trends and innovations?
AS: We attend three or four conferences a year and stay on top of media news on a daily basis. We are also members of a Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® CEO group, which I find invaluable.
Are there any market segments/niches you’ve recently expanded into, or are considering expanding into?
AS: We have a fairly robust commercial and business brokerage division. Additionally, we tried several times to do an in-house vacation rental program without success. We recently partnered with a local vacation rental firm that has the same high-quality/high-touch service model we do, and that is working quite well.
What’s the biggest mistake you ever made in the business?
AS: When launching a new program or process, not dedicating enough financial resources and human capital to ensure its quick and successful adoption.
How do you maintain work/life balance?
AS: I am blessed to be able to say that I love what I do, so working hard and working long hours is fulfilling. That being said, we all need to schedule in—and stick to—time away with family and friends. I live in a beautiful four-season resort area, so it’s easy to grab a few hours to take some runs at one of our local mountains or jump on my motorcycle and ride some of our extraordinary roads. Both are great, head-clearing fun.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.