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Still Building on a History of Success

by Paige Tepping
Jim Weichert, Weichert, Realtors president and founder, stands with son James Weichert, a company vice president, in front of Weicherts corporate headquarters in Morris Plains, N.J.

nyone who knows Jim Weichert, founder and president of Weichert, Realtors, has heard him say that people buy people before they buy a product or service. Both his focus on people and a deepseated family tradition permeate the organizationand have since day one. Launched from a modest yellow ofce in Chatham, N.J., the company is now comprised of hundreds of sales ofces and thousands of sales professionals. Through it all, Jim Weichert has been there. Hes watched his company grow and expand, and is in daily contact with sales associates, whom he considers his most valuable assets.

All these years later, much has changed and just as much has remained the same. From his people rst philosophy to the bright yellow Weichert For Sale signs, and even the Chatham sales ofce that still operates out of its original location, Weichert hasnt forgotten the things that brought him early success. Yet, with time, the company has also expanded and adapted to the changing real estate environment. Perhaps the clearest example is meeting the sophisticated needs
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Marty Rueter (left), president of Weichert Real Estate Afliates, and Aram Minnetian (right), president of Weichert Workforce Mobility, ank Mike Robinson, president of Weichert afliated companies. Robinson, who has been with Weichert for 28 years, has been instrumental in guiding the companys growth via its afliated companies.

of todays high-tech consumers. Weichert is proud of his companys success in this area, in particular the website that consistently ranks among the top real estate broker websites in the nation. With a multi-million dollar budget, Weicherts Internet marketing staff ensures that pages on appear for more than a million keywords. This creates enormous exposure online for Weichert listings, and helps to attract buyers who are using the Internet to search for homes in greater and greater numbers. With his son, James, who holds a vice president position within the company, Weichert presides over a vast organization that offers a full range of real estate services that includes everything from mortgage programs and insurance to title and closing services. Weve always understood the customers needs, says Weichert. Not only do they need a house, but they also need a mortgage, homeowners insurance and title insurance to go along with it. That was what prompt-

ed us to expand into all of the additional real estate-related services that we offer today. A Family of Companies All Related to Real Estate Theres also the organizations afliated companies that go beyond the simple residential real estate transaction and expand operations into high-growth areas such as relocation services, franchising, corporate housing and commercial real estate. Using the same winning formula for success, all areas of the company rely on a reputation for quality service and real estate expertise. The reason were so successful, says Michael T. Robinson, president of Weichert afliated companies, is that we keep it simple. Theres not a lot of mystery to being successful in the real estate business. Weve identied the key activities for success, and we make sure theyre being done every day. Constantly seeking ways to improve and expand, Weichert recently completed a re-branding of

its relocation company, a transition spearheaded by Aram Minnetian, president of Weichert Workforce Mobility. Formerly known as Weichert Relocation Resources, the switch to the Weichert Workforce Mobility name helps capture the full scope of the companys capabilities, while also reinforcing its customer Value Proposition: Optimizing Your Mobile Workforce. Its not merely a name change. Its a response to the ever-evolving relocation needs of todays businesses. Companies are investing more outside North America to drive their long-term growth, and shifting demographics are generating new types of assignments. Perhaps most importantly, companies are seeking greater alignment between their workforce mobility programs and their workforce strategies and business goals, a trend seen both within Weichert and throughout the industry. Navigating the constantly changing real estate environment isnt always easy, and that is part of the reason why in 2001 Weichert began offerRISMedias REAL ESTATE October 2013 57

Working together (from left to right), Denise Smith, senior vice president of administration and operations; Jacelyn Botti, head of residential sales; and Steve Adamo, president and CEO of Weichert Financial Services, maintain the companys foundation of helping homebuyers with all aspects of purchasing a home.

ing franchise opportunities to other real estate companies that wanted to benet from the Weichert name and operating systems. There are now nearly 250 Weichert franchise ofces operating in 36 states, with more in the pipeline. Its a win-win situation whereby independent real estate brokerage owners can benet from Weicherts proven marketing and management systems in return for paying a small royalty to Weichert on completed sales. At Weichert, we work in partnership with our franchise brokers, says Marty Rueter, president of Weichert Real Estate Afliates, who has been with the company since 2001. At the beginning, we provide an intense program for getting started as a Weichert afliate and then stay in touch and work with our franchisees to ensure they have a complete business plan in place that will help increase their production and protability. Other areas identied for growth are corporate housing and commercial real estate. Weichert Corporate Housing was created in 2001 as an outgrowth of Weichert Workforce Mobility, specically to provide corporate transferees with short-term housing. After acquiring Manhattanbased Premier Relocation Solutions in 2010, Weichert Corporate Housing has set a new standard for providing all-inclusive, afford-

able interim housing and furnished apartments nationwide. Likewise, Weichert Commercial Brokerage has realized new growth opportunities assisting Weichert Workforce Mobility clients with commercial real estate. The synergies between our afliated companies are yet another way we can expand and improve upon the services we offer our clients, says Robinson. Beyond typical relocation services, we can also be a resource for our clients temporary housing and commercial real estate needs. Buying or Selling, Theres Really a Weichert Difference Despite the companys diverse offerings, Weicherts foundation will always remain rooted in residential real estate sales, according to Jacelyn Botti, head of residential sales. Weichert was founded as a residential sales organization, and still remains steeped in its rich history of helping people achieve the American Dream of homeownership, she says. The company prides itself on its ability to meet the needs of its customers, with each Weichert sales ofce operating as a true one-stop destination for the full range of real estate products and services. Unlike many of our competitors who claim to offer this service but only have an 800 number for people to call, we have a Weichert Gold

Services Manager they can meet in their local Weichert ofce, says Steve Adamo, president and CEO of Weichert Financial Services. He or she has the expertise to provide mortgage solutions and advice, and to streamline the delivery of homeowners and title insurance and even assist with the many details of moving. While relying on tried-and-true sales and marketing techniques such as newspaper advertising and a time-tested Open House program, Weichert also nds itself on the cutting edge of technology. The company has long been committed to an Internet marketing strategy that utilizes the award-winning website in combination with its fully staffed call center. This helps attract Web trafc to its clients listings, and to subsequently pass interested buyers quickly through to sales associates for follow-up. The common thread running through every part of the Weichert organization is something Jim Weichert refers to as the Weichert Differencea noticeably higher level of service that makes a customers real estate experience as easy and as stress-free as possible. It sounds deceptively simple, but its true. Delivering better service to our customers is the Weichert Difference, says Weichert. Our sales associates and other staff are trained to work as a unied team to make sure everything our customers need is available in one placetheir local Weichert ofce. The desire to make the real estate experience as easy and as hassle-free as possible motivates every single Weichert program and service. Whatever the future might hold, its clear that Weichert will continue to build on its success by focusing on the customer and showing them the Weichert Difference. RE

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