Some have tried, most fall short
We’ve been writing for years about the need for agents to stop being all things to all people and stop working every neighborhood within a 300 mile radius and rather drill down so a true expertise can be had.
Some brokerages have attempted hyperlocal expertise, but it is typically a single agent in an office that sticks to the plan. Other brokerages have attempted expertise by selling lifestyle which gets closer to what we endorse as true expertise.
We spoke extensively with Hoyt Morgan, the energetic President at CondoDomain about their philosophy and how the company has evolved and was pleasantly surprised that we at AGbeat share the same enthusiasm about expertise as CondoDomain does.
Originally, the site acted as a mortgage broker for developers then transitioned into selling leads (which is why they still have a web presence in many cities where their brokerage does not exist) and matured into a full brokerage with national aspirations. Morgan says they sought control over the transaction because “the real estate transaction is ripe for improvement.”
CondoDomain is currently operating as a full service brokerage in Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Hoboken, Jersey City, New York City and Washington, DC.
The 1×1 theory- the most impressive of all
In 2010, talent like Morgan was recruited, the pricing model shifted and they tightened their focus. CondoDomain is currently in and expanding to urban areas that “are growing up, not out” and looking to “capture a vibe.” Hip cities that offer unique culture and up and coming scenes are ideal for CondoDomain’s expansion.
Their philosophy that I was most impressed by is the 1×1 theory wherein their agents are experts in that one mile square downtown and know every condo, their history, their staff, their stats, and leave the suburban resale to those experts.
CondoDomain’s website and attitude
They tout their website as the cornerstone of their brokerage and claim to be a full service premium broker with a “whenever you’re ready” attitude toward consumers.
CondoDomain offers their clients a 20% rebate at close which has made them less than popular with their competitors but they say is “more of a retention tool than a marketing and acquisition tool, and we really use it as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to our client.”
“Traditional meets sexy”
Their model is the opposite of the standard real estate tradition of building a team of ten and then opening the doors, rather they start in a new city with one team leader and one agent and according to Morgan, “as lead volume grows, so does the team.” What a novel approach that contradicts the old school burn and turn mentality.
The agents are the face of PR and are featured in glossy ad campaigns in their city and are all a part of the national team with possible equity in the company.
Morgan emphasized their centralization of support, training, documents and the like and called their flavor “traditional meets sexy” where “skepticism is welcome.”
Expansion and hiring plans [AG exclusive]
So what cities embody that “vibe” CondoDomain is after? Morgan told us exclusively that by the end of this year, they will be in 20 cities and will soon be opening in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. According to their blog, other cities that are “coming soon” are Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Las Vegas, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle and even Toronoto and Vancouver.
Morgan stated that their goal is for CondoDomain to account for 2.5% to 5% of the market volume of each city within two years of launch (which they did in Boston within the first year).
The good news? They’re hiring. Big time. They’re looking for team leaders in the aforementioned cities and several cities in a following phase (that we cannot yet release), so if you’re looking for a change and your city isn’t listed, contact them anyhow (Hoyt(at)CondoDomain.com or Victor(at)CondoDomain.com).
Bucking tradition and being a true expert
Theoretically, when you call an office in downtown Dallas that specializes in condos, they should refer you out if you’re looking for a ranch in Allen. And when you call about condos in Austin (where CondoDomain is not), the agent should know that Brazos Place was originally the Perry Commodore Hotel, then an office building and now condos.
We’re not in support of bucking tradition simply to buck tradition, our philosophy is that brokerages should try to come close to the 1×1 theory, be more centralized, be actual experts, run a more lean operation and think more like a tech startup than a blue haired brokerage.