John Jackson’s vision for his newly launched brokerage is to create a culture of balance and efficiency and to become a fixture in the local community.
He began his real estate career at the age of 22, and up until this year when he launched John Jackson Neighborhood Real Estate had worked as part of a team at a larger brand.
Why launch an independent brokerage?
“I felt the big brokerage was limiting my local reach,” John said. “I wasn’t trying to go bigger; I was trying to go smaller and more local.” And the company he was affiliated with wasn’t connected at all to the neighborhoods where he sold real estate.
He started making moves to change that. He moved his office to a neighborhood three blocks from his home and five blocks from his kids’ school.
As a father of seven, being local became important for both personal and professional reasons.
John talks a lot about work-life balance. Families demand your time and he’s constantly looking for ways to enjoy work and home life. One of the things he implemented right away at his new brokerage was a general rule not to work between the hours of 5:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. Instead, he’ll often do house visits with clients between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m., allowing him to spend the crucial evening hours at home, but still be available for clients.
Part of this vision for balance is also ensuring he and his affiliated agents are all working on their careers at capacity. This means he’s not bringing on agents who are not 100% committed to their career or who aren’t selling.
He says he’s not interested in being a recruiter. He’d rather grow the business by referrals – and when the referrals start to demand the addition of new agents, that’s when it’s time to grow the agent roster.
“I want to grow my team in a way that will allow me to maintain integrity in transactions,” he said. “Anytime you bring a new person in it’s a risk to offset the current vibe.”
A constant stress over transactions tends to lead to a drop-off in the quality of those transactions. This makes building by referral difficult.
Capacity in John’s market is around 40 transactions per agent per year.
“If I worked more, I could probably do more than 40 deals per year, but that’s not really the goal,” John said. The goal is to create a balanced atmosphere that is productive and firing on all cylinders.
The local brand connection
John’s goal is to be a well-known, well-respected and well referred local brokerage company. In creating the brand, he decided to use his name because he feels this local connection starts with people.
“I stand by my name,” he said. People see the name, face and neighborhood connection and start to get interested in his local insight.
For marketing, he’s been doing a lot of local sponsorships for athletic and fitness events. Local sponsorships are still a mainstay for building recognition and a sense of community.
“We also do customer appreciation events,” he said. He’s been renting out a local movie theater each year for family-oriented gatherings. As he gets more established and settled into his brokerage this year, he’ll be doing more of these.
What does the future hold?
John’s only interested in growing one agent at a time. This means he’ll focus on ensuring each agent is at full productivity before affiliating another. He’ll let the market dictate when it’s time to grow.
With a focus on referrals, he’ll be focusing a lot on reinforcing his role as a valuable member of his community.