Savvy + Company – The Little Brokerage that Could
It seems like many moons ago that I was working at another local boutique brokerage here in Charlotte when Lexie Longstreet and Shonn Ross opened the doors of Savvy + Company Real Estate (about 8 years ago). I remember watching them grow their internet presence and was in awe of their marketing from the very beginning. Hip, yet thorough brochures in every one of their listings; calls from the Savvy listing agents after showings – those touches that DO make a difference! And, did I say internet presence?!
I was so impressed with their style, their Savvy smarts, their class – that I fell more in love with their brokerage than the one I was with! By 2010, I had put together a business plan to open my own brokerage and yes, Savvy + Company style was nearly identical to the plans that my team and I had in place for our own brokerage. Yes, that was 2010; the market was at its absolute worst and naysayers were at every turn - “What a terrible time to move, much less open your own brokerage!” seemed the be the mantra. But, my team persevered and began our quest to interview other brokerages to see how they had fared during the recession and find out what tips they had to offer us as we began our quest.
I had known Lexie for several years but, hadn’t been introduced to Shonn before. My #1 target to share my plan and get sound advice was from my favorite little brokerage that could! I asked to meet Shonn & Lexie, review my business plan and discuss strategies to open a new brokerage. The minute I sat down in the office, I felt like I was home – the office is decorated beautifully and the staff was so unbelievably welcoming.
The overwhelming sense of devotion to their agents, despite the incredibly horrid year that most brokerages were having, was truly what made us change our entire focus on a brand new brokerage. Shonn and Lexie had never ONCE taken profits from the company – instead, they had reinvested everything that they made back into the company. Providing those top quality brochures and being able to keep all of the support staff without letting a single employee go due to the flailing economy was THE ONLY option for them.
Both spoke with adoration of each and every member of their staff and each and every agent who hung their license with Savvy + CO. Neither seemed to be PHASED by the economy – not in the least! These were two people after my own heart – it wasn’t about making money for themselves but, rather doing everything in their powers to help their select few (I think it was about 20 agents at the time) achieve and/or maintain success.
This was the type of brokerage I could have only dreamed of having myself but, Lexie sprung the question, “Why don’t you just join us?” I didn’t want to hang my license, I wanted to be able to give of myself to help others be successful as well. So, the two of them offered to sell me shares of stock in the company and become an equal partner/owner. Of course, I had to ‘clear it’ with my team but, they too, were mesmerized by Savvy’s style and I knew they’d be on-board too…and they were!
It’s been 3 years now and I have to say, it’s been the best move I’ve ever made in the business world! The market has now turned but, we have only added about 50% more agents than when I originally joined. We don’t ‘recruit’ like other brokerages do – it’s not about the quantity, it’s about the quality. The turnover is next to nothing at Savvy because our agents know that we are there to support them night and day. In my humble opinion, the strategy to build a solid foundation is what has made our brokerage so successful. The importance of giving back to the agents is foremost in our strategy and it’s proven to be what has built this company to what it is today.
Our agents know that not only are the owners there for them but, we have an amazing marketing team that handles things in what seems to be minutes (not days) of you asking for a marketing piece. The marketing team, headed up by Julie Tambussi, is uber creative and still shocks us with their stellar marketing pieces – print, web…anything you want, they can do it!
Our broker-in-charge is Deborah Cox, who is also there for every single agent, any time anyone needs her. Her goal is to help our agents be successful and to ascertain that all of our documentation is submitted correctly and in a timely fashion. We could not ask for better support – nor could our agents!
Today’s newspaper submission is reflective of but, a few of Savvy + Company’s incredible successes! We could not be more proud of our agents but, we do know that our little brokerage that could – CAN and WILL be leading the pack for many years to come. We are so thankful for our agents, our support team and I am so blessed to have two of the best business partners in the world in Lexie & Shonn!
Congratulations to you all and here’s to another stellar year in 2014!
© Debe Maxwell | Savvy + Company Real Estate | [email protected] | Savvy + Company – The Little Brokerage that Could