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Opinion Editorials

Why CondoDomain has it right and most brokers have it wrong

Condo Domain has a unique practice that sets itself apart from their competitors, and we’re keen on their approach.

Condo Domain has a unique practice that sets itself apart from their competitors, and we're keen on their approach.

Image of the Hoboken, New Jersey Docks by r0sss

Image of the Hoboken, New Jersey Docks by r0sss

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.

Matching philosophies

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.

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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.

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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) or Victor(at)

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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.

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.



  1. Fred Romano

    March 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    I can see this working well in big cites, but not for most others.

    • Grant Hammond

      August 4, 2011 at 11:47 am

      Agreed. I live and broker in Nashville, TN and I am one of the very few brokers who specializes in high-rise, mid-rise condo developments. With just less than 6,000 total units in our downtown/midtown, this concept has been tough.

  2. MH for Movoto

    March 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    1×1? Love that. That’s how it should be. We’re big fans of the intense-local-expertise mentality at Movoto, too.

  3. Jason

    March 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Thanks for this case study. This model seems to work better in large, cultural epicenters which CondoDomain specializes in. I think it’s awesome they were involved with mortgage development and have a more broad understanding of the relationship between mortgage and real estate industries.

    Great post,


  4. stephanie crawford

    March 23, 2011 at 1:54 am

    I specialize in urban home sales in Nashville. My current website is definitely condo-oriented, but my last website was even more geared toward the niche. In 2006-2008 a huge portion of my business was dedicated to serving condo clients – primarily buyers I found through the internet. Then in 2009, the condo market in Nashville fell off a cliff. Prices plunged, developments failed, and hundreds of buyers walked away from pre-construction contracts; many leaving their earnest money on the table.

    I nearly starved in 2009. It almost put me out of business. The first time buyer tax credit saved my @ss, but barely so. I used to firmly agree that agents should NOT try to be all things to all people, and I do still subscribe to that ideal on some points. But you have to have a good foundation and the ability to go where the business is.

    Watch, in a few years after the economy recovers (hopefully?) all the so-called short sale specialist will be scrambling for business like I was a few years ago.

    • Betty Jung

      March 23, 2011 at 3:36 am

      I couldn’t agree with you more Stephanie. I’ve been selling real estate since 1975 and the same thing can be said of new construction. Many real estate agents I know only listed/sold new construction in the 1980s and when that market went south they were lost. Not only did they not have other business but they didn’t know how to list/sell resale properties nor did they have those customers. It is never, ever a good idea to put all your “eggs in one basket” no matter what type or form of real estate or what type of real estate market we are in.

  5. Hoyt Morgan

    March 23, 2011 at 9:54 am

    Thank you for the support, Lani. We are passionate about what we do and it is rewarding to learn industry thought-leaders like yourself agree with our vision.

    If anyone would like to learn more I invite you to check out our corporate blog ( ) and contact me directly (hoyt(at)condodomain(dot)com).

  6. Andrew McKay

    March 23, 2011 at 11:24 am

    Glad to see Toronto mentioned. When we still lived in the UK but knew we were coming to Canada we bought 2 investment condos in Toronto through
    Laurie has since become a friend who we keep in contact with and I think his web site shows how even an individual within a brokerage can become that niche expert.

  7. Paula Henry

    March 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    When I relocated to Indianapolis, I found it very difficult to niche a specific area. My original website was geared toward such, but being new here was an obstacle to true success. I went the opposite direction of condo domain and built a team of agents who specialize in specific areas and more importantly, buyer representation. Fortunately, I had enough of a web presence to pull it off. It works perfectly for us and we don’t have to worry about a specific property type when markets change.

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