The Judy Orr Team joined HomeSmart Realty Group of Orland Park in April, 2014. HomeSmart Realty Group is the top real estate brokerage in Arizona and we can testify to that since we own a 2nd home in Scottsdale, AZ, and we see HomeSmart for sale signs all over. The company has been cited as one of the fastest growing brokerages with over 7500 agents in 13 states and 3 countries.
Our prior local independent brokerage was created based on HomeSmart Realty's business model. I had heard about HomeSmart as soon as I joined that company about 10 years ago. So when I started receiving e-mails about them franchising nationwide I was already familiar with the name.
I did a lot of studying on them before joining. It also helped that I was aware of the Broker Owner, Dan Bowden. He has owned and managed different local brokerages in the area. He sold his last brokerage and moved to Arizona with his family. He joined HomeSmart Realty when he moved. They moved back to Illinois and he opened his own HomeSmart Realty Group franchise in Orland Park. He's a very experienced and hands-on Broker.
We're getting a new office
We were using a shared office space but we now have our own dedicated office at 18305 Distinctive Dr, Orland Park, IL 60467. Real estate is different today than in the past. The Internet has changed the industry tremendously. Even offices in busy areas rarely have buyers walk in asking for lists of homes. In the past, this is how agents got clients. We would have "floor time" where we would answer calls about listings and take care of walk-in customers. Now buyers are online and we deal with them via phone, text and e-mail.
So why do brokerages even need offices? Personally, we have our home office set up with multiple printers and fast Internet. We get more done at home then we were ever able to in an office environment with other agents around - too many distractions. There are agents that want an office to get away from home so our Broker has been trying to find a place that would work for those agents.
We could always write up an offer anywhere we were since we carried contracts with us all the time. Now it's automated and we use DocuSign, so we try to be as paperless as possible. With that said, it is nice to be able to have an office where we can meet with clients if need be. We've had a few buyers who insisted on interviewing an agent face-to-face in an office setting before committing to them. So having a private office with a meeting room does come in handy once in a while.
It's not the franchise name, it's the agent you're working with
The Judy Orr Team chose to work with HomeSmart Realty Group because they provide us with the tools we need to serve our clients the best. We are a newer company in Illinois but I remind potential clients that the brokerage is just a hub of individual agents (who are Independent Contractors vs. employees), each representing their brokerage. The service you receive is based on your agent, not some famous franchise name.
We were with one of those franchises for 22 years and always felt there was something missing - a degree of professionalism that wasn't present in the independently owned "Mom & Pop" brokerage we were with. They were like family and it was difficult to leave, but once we did we never looked back. Many of these well known franchises attract mainly new agents as they provide training for them. Most agents working in brokerages like HomeSmart Realty Group are very experienced and don't need to have their hands held or require training on how to show properties and write contracts.
The Judy Orr Team is very tech savvy along with our more than three decades of experience, so we attend seminars and webinars for the things we want to learn, and it isn't basic real estate 101. If you'd like to work with an experienced small family team (not a huge team where you'll get lost) that wants to make your real estate experience as enjoyable as possible, give us a call at 708-536-8200.