We know REALTORS® have a lot of experience and insight to share, which is why we’re offering REALTORS® Corner, a members-only outlet for sharing peer-to-peer and industry-related content. Let us know if you’re interested in becoming a contributor, too.
In the fall of 2012, we opened a boutique satellite office of Royal LePage Team Realty here in Ottawa. Our 1,000 square foot retail space has 40 feet of street/window frontage, which allows us to market our listings and market to the people walking and driving by the shop. Our boutique office houses the John King Team only and consists of myself (Broker), a small sales team, and a small administration team. I am the team leader and manage day-to-day operations in the office.
Our model was to develop a street presence in a local area and to become known as the “local” boutique for selling homes. We also wanted to create a welcoming and interactive physical real estate office with a casual coffee bar and lounge area that consumers and agents would enjoy.
Having travelled internationally, my partner and I noticed boutique real estate shops. For example, the real estate brokerages in the UK and France have traditionally been exclusive and focused on mostly local business. If you wanted to buy something in a specific area, then you would go to the local broker. We thought we could take what has been an “old fashioned” concept and introduce a local, small-town approach to a great up-and-coming neighbourhood.
Our model is working fairly well. There is an influx of new condo developments within a 1 km radius and several more within a 5 km radius. We have been getting some walk-in traffic and noticing that our local neighbourhood activity is increasing. We are hoping that in the future, with approximately 600 new condo units within a small distance from our shop, our local traffic and listings base will increase. Our goal is to grow our local brand within the immediate demographic.
Our team is constantly expanding. Agents enjoy many benefits working with this model, including increased walk-in traffic, a strong local presence, and in-house marketing and administration.
Our model is different than anything our city has seen or experienced, so agents and the public are just a bit curious as to what we are doing and how we are doing it. At the end of the day, we are simply REALTORS® trying to build a strong and successful business.
Our members use a wide variety of business models. Thanks to John for sharing information about his. Let’s continue the conversation! Share the story behind your business model in the Comments below.