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How brand-fueled growth can bring stability to uncertainty

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Through strategic alliances, brokerage firms can ease the process of breaking into new segments or regions by combining the reputations they’ve built in their markets and the consumer trust brands represent. Such mutually beneficial relationships have many forms, all working to ironclad companies for whatever the economy throws their way.

Corcoran Lifestyles Realty, headquartered in the Seattle suburb of Bothell, Washington, chose affiliating with Corcoran as a path to guide its operations, and ultimately, growth. “Staying on top of the latest programs can be overwhelming,” explained Stephanie McCarthy, a broker-owner at the firm. “Instead of spending our time developing and implementing systems, we’re able to lean on Corcoran’s proven platform.”

That focused bandwidth enables her agents to concentrate on their day-to-day, which she stresses couldn’t be more important in a changing economy.

“As the market changes, our Corcoran partnership prepares us for whatever comes our way,” McCarthy adds. “Having their expertise backing us is enormous. It has been the best professional experience we’ve encountered in a franchise.”

New York-based Corcoran launched its affiliate network in early 2020, quickly becoming the industry’s fastest-growing franchise. Its expansion has happened through direction affiliations, like with Corcoran Lifestyles Realty, and with mergers, acquisitions, and branch start-ups, which have been on the rise for its affiliates.

“For firms with aggressive growth goals, or whose growth is stalled, merging with other like-minded companies is a logical move to grow market share in regions they currently serve or expand into new ones,” explains Stephanie Anton, President of the Corcoran Affiliate Network. “And with the uncertainty we’re seeing today, there’s no better time to pursue those conversations.”

The Corcoran brand helped Sawyer Smith Residential — based across the Hudson River from Manhattan in Jersey City, New Jersey — to merge with Hudson Place Realty, headquartered in neighboring Hoboken. The firms shared a collaborative ethos and common territory which presented a natural opportunity to grow a robust, singular presence together.

“We felt merging as part of our relaunch as Corcoran Sawyer Smith would energize the announcement, and we wanted our new agents to be part of the excitement,” remarked Sawyer Smith, who started his eponymous firm a decade ago.

Smith remarked that his firm’s Corcoran affiliation was, above all, a cultural decision, adding the company’s practices fit them “to a T.”

“Corcoran has developed an extraordinary marketing platform that will allow our agents to focus on what they do best: expertly helping clients achieve the highest level of success,” he said.

Charlotte, North Carolina-based Corcoran HM Properties has also leveraged Corcoran to augment its organic growth. “Many of our clients own multiple homes in the Carolinas, where they work and vacation, and they don’t want to sacrifice the expertise and service level they know from us by working with someone else,” explained Valerie Mitchener, the firm’s broker-owner. “We look to partner with exceptional firms with good people and culture, but in some markets there simply isn’t a fit that can serve our clients to our standards.”

Such was the case when HM expanded to Charleston, South Carolina, opening its new office with a full roster of experienced agents on day one. “The brand recognition Corcoran provided played a significant role in our ability to not only recruit in a new region but connect with consumers at large,” Mitchener added.

Whether growth is pursued through recruiting and territory expansion, mergers and acquisitions, or all of the above, the value of having a powerful brand behind you can’t possibly be understated—especially now.

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