Josh Harley on his greatest lesson learned building Fathom Realty

RealTrends GameChanger Josh Harley and Fathom Realty grew 226% by transaction side percentage between 2017-2021

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.

RealTrends spoke with Josh Harley, chairman and CEO of Fathom Holdings, whose firm grew 226% by transaction side percentage between 2017 and 2021 based on RealTrends 500 data (which only includes residential sales), about his firm:

Tracey Velt: What was your biggest aha moment or lesson learned while building your firm?

Josh Harley: Creating a strong value proposition and a fair value exchange is what will ultimately determine how fast your brokerage grows. The value that you provide your agents, which includes culture, support, technology, training, and so on, matters far more than your brand.

In fact, the brokerage’s brand means very little to the client. It is the agents who ultimately win the business and therefore I believe it is the job of the brokerage to provide the environment and resources needed to lift up that agent to be their very best. 

Tracey Velt: In the past five years, what percentage of your growth was organic (recruiting or increasing agent productivity) and what percentage was M&A? 

Josh Harley: Just under 10% of our agent growth has come from M&A, whereas around 35% of our growth comes from our agents referring other agents. The rest is from organic recruiting.

Tracey Velt: Moving forward, what is your main focus for growth?

Josh Harley: Our main focus for growth continues to be centered around further improving our value proposition for our agents. It is important to never get comfortable or complacent and never assume that what you have is good enough. I believe that it is the constant pursuit of improvement and focusing first on your agents that will propel you into greater growth year after year.

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