Have you ever heard the expression, “best of breed?” I first heard it when Jim Cramer was talking about it with regards buying stocks. The idea was that you buy the best company in an industry. So, for example, if you could choose to buy only one stock, and you had to choose between Coke and Pepsi, you would choose Coke, because it has the most sales. Each industry has a “best of breed”, in theory. If you looked at franchised real estate brokerages in terms of volume in the United States, you would see that NRT is the largest. They own a number of brands, Sotheby’s, Coldwell Banker, and Corcoran.
St. Louis Brokerages
I don’t have the slightest idea who the largest St. Louis brokerage by volume is currently. It’s usually the brokerage that sells multi million dollar homes, and in that market, it changes from time to time. For total transactions, it used to be real estate brokerages that did flat fee listings or foreclosures depending on the market. When you have confidence in your own brokerage, you don’t typically worry about what another brokerage is doing in town. There are many more important things to do.
Real Estate Related Industries In St. Louis
For years, there has been one company that is the largest mortgage company in town. We don’t use them very often in our office. It’s not a comment on their quality, rather the nature of the business, and this definitely transfers to real estate sales. Mortgages in St. Louis are about people, just like real estate sales. I know two people at this particular mortgage company. If someone asked me about using someone at that particular company, I would recommend those two people. They also have the most loan officers. This is where recruiting comes into play both for mortgages as well as traditional real estate brokerages. In the most basic of comparisons, whoever has the most agents or lenders usually has the most business due to the people aspect.
Most of our transactions at Deerwood Realty are with the largest title company in St. Louis. Being a small business ourselves, we went with a lesser known title company, and it worked great for a while, but there were personnel issues. I don’t think we are currently at the largest title company due to their size, but I do know we work with a closer and processor that we like and they get things done. Title is all about execution.
How Deerwood Realty Fits In
We’re never going to be the largest brokerage in St. Louis. And, we don’t look at that as a negative. We’re laser focused on providing the best service to our home buyers and home sellers each and every time, and I don’t think that we could ever scale that experience to the levels we would need to be the largest. We work to get to know our clients, and we spend our time learning about the St. Louis real estate market. These things are much more important than any sort of rankings to us.
I’d be interested to know if you’ve ever chosen a company to work with based solely on the size of the organization. Do you actively search out the largest organization thinking that since they are the largest, they must be the best? Or, did you find someone that you knew and trusted that just happened to be at the largest organization?