Every year, RealTrends chooses GameChangers based on five-year, transaction side percentage data from the RealTrends 500. This year, we chose seven independent brokerage firms and 10 franchises who grew their businesses at astronomical rates.
In analyzing this list of top-growth brokerages, these GameChangers grew their brokers in multiple different ways — from mergers and acquisitions to recruiting and coaching and retention.
As owner of Century 21 Legacy in Greenville, Tennessee, Jamie Skeen brought about 85% growth between 2017-2021 by transaction side percentage to be named a 2022 RealTrends GameChanger.
RealTrends spoke with Jamie about the growth of his brokerage:
Tracey Velt: What was your biggest aha moment or lessons learned while building your firm?
Jamie Skeen: I stared as an agent and within 2 years, I bought my first firm. I never intended to go in full time sales, but I had a passion for it and it got me quick. The lesson I learned was that you have to love helping people to be an effective broker. We’re a 330-agent firm, and my goal is to help those agents increase their business. I love taking agents from other companies and turning their business around.
I never go without a budget and know where my operating expenses go. So, I can dial down and look at numbers and run like a business. I was never half-way running it. When we started growing, something clicked, and I realized that the bigger I am; the more I could do for agents and more opportunities were out there. I looked at scalability and put in more departments to handle training and such. I also have a vice president of growth who leads way in M&A.
Tracey Velt: In the past five years, what percentage of your growth was organic and what percentage was mergers and acquisitions?
Jamie Skeen: I had six acquisitions in the past five years. Some of them I rolled into other locations. That made up about 40% of my growth. However, you always have to focus on recruiting and agent productivity at the same time — which made up the rest of my growth.You can’t quit either of them. I pay attention to marketshare. In the market we’re in — I have 10 offices in east Tennessee — everyone has grown organically.
Tracey Velt: Moving forward, what is your main focus for growth?
Jamie Skeen: I think you have to focus on agent productivity. We’re here to help agents do more and better business. We can never lose focus.