HomeSmart Legends is about to celebrate its one year anniversary in Fallbrook. Bob Miller, broker/manager of the office explained that the franchise was founded in January of 2000 by Matt Widdows in Phoenix, Ariz., and started with only two agents. Today there are 66 offices throughout 13 states, plus two international locations. Powered by almost 8,000 real estate agents, the company has effectively made its way into the top 10 brokerages in the nation.
Highly specialized Internet technology is part of the successful design of HomeSmart, and combined with its experienced real estate professionals, produces outstanding success for clients.
Widdows structured the website with efficient and effective tools for both agents and clients. For example, each agent has access to a portal, which enables them to monitor and conduct transactions.
In this area, the home office is located in Temecula, co-owned by Skip Bettarel and Luis Jubany. The Fallbrook office is located in the same building where The Jacques Company used to operate, on the southwest corner of Fallbrook Street and South Main Avenue. After The Jacques Company closed, HomeSmart invited 13 of their seasoned agents to become the core of the HomeSmart Legend office. A year later, there are now approximately 30 agents in the Fallbrook location. Although experienced throughout San Diego County, HomeSmart Legends focuses specifically on Fallbrook, Bonsall, and Southern Riverside County.
“In reference to current sales activity in the housing market, we are still facing constrained inventory, yet although investors are still approximately 35 percent influential in the market, we have been seeing an increase in the last few months,” said Miller. “The Realtor caravan traffic has multiplied significantly compared to one year ago, and our agents in Fallbrook have had as many transactions in the Temecula Valley as in Fallbrook and adjoining communities,” said Miller.
In regards to volume, the Temecula and Fallbrook combined locations had 746 closed transactions in 2013, and from January through May of this year, 297 closed transactions. Miller also said, “In all of San Diego County, Fallbrook is one of the best kept secrets with the quality of life for the best value.”
Exposure through media forms such as Trulia.com and Zillow.com, as well as Facebook and YouTube, enables a potential buyer to have access to research prior to contacting an agent. Miller explained that when he first entered the real estate industry, the agents would all have to share a binder of listed homes, with only a copy of a small black and white photograph of the house.
“We have come a long way from those days,” he said. “At this point in the business, we have to disclose the fact that we disclosed a disclosure.” Miller added with a hint of humor that a large amount of information flows between buyers, sellers and their agents, yet emphasized that this line of communication benefits all parties.
When visiting the HomeSmart website, buyers and sellers are sure to see the well-organized “Smart Move” system that the company utilizes. Smart Panel is a part of the website that agents use as a management center to perform and track all prospects and transaction activities, through their portal. This saves a large amount of time and is very user-friendly for the agents, simplifying paperwork and also saving money.
Smart Tour enables viewers to see homes that the seller chooses to showcase via this type of presentation by experiencing a virtual tour along with up to 25 photos. Smart Gallery highlights details about the property with custom images, as well as information about any open house schedule, neighborhood and map information. The Gallery also includes satellite images and a contact page for requesting more information. There is also a seller page and a buyer page, each with user friendly formats for information exchange.
Although proud of the website that HomeSmart employs, Miller said that even with these highly efficient tools, whether one is a seller or buyer, it is recommended to retain a real estate agent to guide one through the process.
In addition to the ‘one stop shop’ website, HomeSmart has an in-house escrow company. This division helps improve and expedite the process through closer communication and interaction. “The more that you can control those variables, the smoother the transaction will go,” said Miller.
With many benefits to offer, HomeSmart is known for its technology as well as its highly professional staff.
“ I think one of the reasons why HomeSmart is such a success is because of the value proposition that we have for our agents,” said Miller. “Our commission structure is one of the most generous in the industry. Additionally, the tools that we have to offer are the best available.”
HomeSmart Legends Fallbrook office is located at 701 S. Main Avenue; (760) 451-1600. Home Smart Temecula is located at 27645 Jefferson Avenue; (951) 491-7800.