For many years, Liz envisioned the perfect real estate company....a brokerage where all the greatest agents want to work, and where the business is solidly and predictably built on word of mouth referrals from loyal past clients and personal acquaintances. In 2001, she decided to make that vision a reality. Realizing that it would be impossible to totally transform her existing traditional real estate office into her ideal model, Liz set to work writing a business plan that started totally from scratch. She traveled extensively for several years, researching what were heralded as the best and the brightest brokerages across the country.
She was disappointed. She was disappointed that from the West Coast to the North East, most real estate companies looked alike. Wherever she went, she found business as usual...very little vision...hardly any passion for customer service or innovative ideas. Marketing was at best ho-hum... in fact, there was so little distinction between companies that one could easily erase one firm's logo in an ad and substitute another and no one would notice.
Convinced that there was a better way to practice real estate, and that timing was right for an enlightened boutique brokerage, Liz enlisted the guidance of Dyan Dobbyn, one of the nation's leading real estate management consultants. Under her guidance, 10,000 local families were surveyed about their real estate experiences over the past five years. One message was loud and clear: too many families had one unfortunate experience in common...frustrating and costly last minute surprises and expenses which made the overall real estate experience highly stressful.
The mission became clear: to develop a real estate company that truly reinvented the pro- cess, empowering consumers and agents alike with up front information and more control. So, with the help of long-time friend and colleague, local attorney Brian D. Lytle, Liz set to work to create a business plan for the perfect real estate company.
The firm would partner with an independent appraiser, to provide a full mortgage appraisal to sellers at time of listing, as well as an NAHI-certified home inspector, to conduct a thorough property inspections before the home is put on the market. These services would be provided free to the consumer. With peace of mind for clients as the goal, these up-front services would enable sellers to rest easy that once they negotiate price and terms with a potential buyer, they no longer need to fear the unknown: low appraisals, or costly unexpected repairs. Fewer surprises, less stress.
Interestingly, by launching a plan to deliver to the customer what they wanted, the ideal marketing platform was born...Real Estate. Reinvented. Unique competitive advantage in the market would be established by offering a level of customer service that had never before been seen in real estate. Looking for a distinct and highly boutique image for the new firm, Liz exhausted literally dozens of ad agencies before she found one who "got it." She hired Dixon Partners out of Tampa, Florida, who works closely with agents and staff alike to create high impact and meaningful ad concepts and marketing materials for the firm.
Next, it was time to build the internal strategy ~ to design the perfect brokerage from the inside out, setting in motion the systems and resources that would allow agents to deliver exceptional customer service. Liz and Brian hired an architect and interior designer who were charged with creating a state of the art office environment that would "wow" customers and optimize efficiencies for agents. Custom software was developed to give agents more control of the process, as well as administrative systems to track production and provide an infrastructure of contact management resources for the agents, long before commercial CRMs were readily available.
Freed from the issues associated with transforming an existing brokerage, Liz was able to focus solely on designing the perfect real estate company. Onerous tasks such as direct mail and creation of marketing brochures would be taken over by the company, freeing up the agent's time to focus on dealing directly with customers. A system was designed to insure that past clients are contacted frequently, a critical step in synchronizing consistent referral business.
Liz recognized that one of the keys to delivering a seamless real estate experience to the consumer was to assemble a great team of affiliates. The best partners for mortgage, settlement services, home inspection, and appraisal were identified, courted, and easily sold on the vision for a true one stop shop. 5 of the area's leading mortgage companies were selected, based on competitive pricing, a wide variety of mortgage products, and track records of excellent client service.
Finally, it was time to execute. Liz began a series of interviews to select the inaugural sales and administrative team. Recognizing that change is difficult for even the most confident salespeople, Liz was uncompromising in her vision. Agents were selected based on their willingness to put self interests secondary to those of the consumer, to commit to lofty goals for learning and professional development, and to set new standards in the industry for professionalism and customer service.
By the end of their second full year, in one of the most competitive markets ever experienced on the Peninsula, Liz Moore & Associates was ranked as one of the top offices in the market in overall sold volume. In 2006, Liz was recognized by the Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce as the Entrepreneur of the Year.
In the fall of 2005, the company opened its first branch office, in the New Town section of Williamsburg. Two years later, a new 12,000 square foot building was completed to house the rapidly growing Williamsburg office, which now enjoys a #1 market share position and participating in 1 out of every 6 sales in the greater Williamsburg market.
Recognizing that consumers were hungry for the Liz Moore commitment to client service in other real estate pursuits, Liz also launched Property Management Services in 2005. The Property Management division has grown to 5 property managers and moved to its own building in New Town managing a portfolio of over 400 properties.
In 2014, Liz was recognized as Small Business Person of the Year by the Greater Williamsburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
2016 brought fresh excitement to the team as Liz opened a 3rd branch in Richmond, at the time named the 4th hottest real estate market in the country. 2 years later, the Richmond office was recognized as the Best Work Environment in RVA, edging out VCU and Capital One for the honor. This year, the Richmond team will move to its brand new state of the art office on Midlothian Turnpike.
2020 rang in much excitement, along with a new decade: The marketing team launched a new brand identity, logo and color palette, along with a brand new home search app, and updated version of lizmoore.com. In September, we welcomed a new branch office in Kilmarnock — formerly Chesapeake Bay Properties.
What does the future hold for the real estate industry? Who knows? One thing is clear, however; Liz Moore & Associates will be leading the market to the next level.