After owning and managing a franchised Remax real estate agency for 12 years, Jason Farmer decided to sell the business last year to start his own brand.
Farmer, an 18-year Realtor who was president of the Chattanooga Association of Realtors in 2007 and was named the group's Realtor of the Year the next year, joined with Realtor Kadi Brown to form The Group in February. The new real estate firm, which bills itself as "local and connected," has opened its office on the Southside in a former art gallery at 2646 Broad Street.
"The name on the sign in the yard is the person you're going to do business with," Farmer says of his new agency. "We're seeing a lot of growth in real estate teams with lots of people, and we're kind of the opposite of that. We're stressing personal service from individuals agents under a local brand."
Brown, who began her real estate career working on land sales across Southeast Tennessee, said she is focusing on residential properties and is eager to build a team of agents dedicated to individually serving their clients.
"We are a local, stand-alone real estate company embedded in the culture and community of this city," she says. "We are dedicated to hand-selecting each agent in our office, so when you look to us for homes for sale in Chattanooga, Tennessee, you know you are relying on local Realtors for all the best insight."
So far, The Group has 15 agents and Farmer said he expects to add more. But unlike most other agencies, he says he isn't trying to become as big as possible.
"Our industry tends to want to hire everybody, but this is going to be a little different," Farmer says.
Farmer said he believes he has the connections with other agents and the ability to effectively market properties online and in print.
"Our business is more complicated and competitive than ever," Farmer says. "There is competition for every click, every page view and every phone call."
Having the right social strategy to market properties to buyers increasing turning to the Internet is essential, Farmer said. But personal relations with other real estate agents to maximize agent-to-agent sales is also key to finding the right buyer or identifying the right house to purchase from the entire multiple listing service.