Springfield Real Estate News

 

Five Questions: Randy Thomas

By sbj.net Brian Brown - Reporter

After 15 years with Murney Associates Realtors, Randy Thomas and his wife Jenny of Team Thomas Realtors joined Keller Williams Realty this spring. The move, Randy Thomas says, came following years of consideration just as the Springfield market began to transition to a seller’s market. A former franchise partner in Computerland, Thomas says he has long promoted Web resources to support real estate sales. Largely through online marketing, he says Team Thomas has doubled sales to $18 million amid slow market conditions since 2007.

Climbing Ranks
“There is just a whole different business structure and business philosophy at Keller Williams. Keller Williams is really family oriented. … In our case, I’ve been watching them for the last five years, and the one thing the company did during what you might call the recession is while everybody else dug their feet in the sand … it put money into technology, education and training for all its Realtors nationwide. In our Springfield market, I could track numbers every month, every week, every day, and the one number that came flying out was the number of Keller Williams agents coming up through the ranks because they were using all the tools they’ve been given. They’ve been trained well. I think right now, (Team Thomas) is ranked No. 7 [in sales in the Springfield market], and Nos. 3 and 4 are Keller Williams agents.”

Quick Turn
“All of our listings came with us. They all transferred – probably 30, at the time. … It was right before spring selling season, so it was an easy move. … We should be in the $22 million range [in 2013] for Team Thomas. We could do $25 million if things fall into place. I think last year was $18 million. Our business has kind of followed Economics 101. I actually think the rates have been down too long. Buyers don’t have any urgency when the interest rates stay stagnant. With the rates fluctuating right now, we are probably at one of our lowest levels of inventory. We are having people write contracts for over list price. It went from a buyer’s market in January or February to a seller’s market in May. That’s how fast the market turned.”

Ahead of the Curve
“Murney Associates had probably been open six months when I decided to get into the business. … I go back to the Computerland days. … As I was growing (my franchise), I kept going to Realtors and trying to show them how to use personal computers to grow their business, but they really lagged behind for a long time. I just saw that as an opportunity to take my skill set and lay it on the real estate industry and make it work. … I was the owner of the Computerland franchise here in town. There were 10 of them altogether (through a partnership). All of those companies were sold shortly after the big-box companies got in the business. We couldn’t compete with somebody like Best Buy. With the use of the computer, use of software and the Internet coming around, it was just perfect timing for me to take all my skills and bring them to real estate.”

Team Leader
“I’m a little bold. When I actually started, I didn’t have an office space at Murney. Before I even finished real estate school, I had hired an assistant. I had already produced my TV commercials and newspaper print before I ever started. I won Rookie of the Year for 1999 from the [Greater Springfield] Board of Realtors. I started out basically as a team. I had myself, an assistant and within two years I had two buyer’s agents working with me. I haven’t stopped since. … Jenny’s background was in television marketing. She was the national sales manager at KOLR-10. That company went through two or three mergers and that was getting to her and I needed her at my business. She loved working with buyers and it worked out really well (when she joined) in 2004.”

Worst of Times, Best of Times
“It’s interesting; 2007 was the only soft year for our team. We had our largest years in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. I’ve had my five best years in the worst market. … You’ve got to come to work every day, and you can’t let things wear you down. Because of all the technology I was using with our team to go out and find business through the Internet – we ran multiple websites – we were able not only to survive, but we grew our market share. … From 2007 to 2008, we were probably up 35 percent [in sales]. From 2007 to now, we’ve more than doubled.”


 
 

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