Wood Realty Group – Getting to know us!!
Team Motto: Serve people, give of ourselves unselfishly and dedicate our expertise to help clients buy and sell real estate.
Why we do what we do: Real estate is important to each of us here at Wood Realty Group. Our expertise within the real estate industry grows daily and is fueled by a desire to serve, educate and represent the best interests of our clients. Ultimately, this career allows us to help our neighbors and grow our communities, while providing a meaningful and rewarding life for ourselves and our families.
Wood Realty Group history: Where do we start? Well, it really all started with Team Owner, Ron Wood, working in a plethora of jobs that proved to be unfulfilling and without purpose. In 1994, Ron left Mississippi to come back home to North Carolina after years of working for several of the largest Chemical, Bio-tech and Pharmaceutical companies in the World. What once was a goal to gain the next big promotion; became a more difficult goal of finding a career of purpose, service to others and fulfillment of personal growth.
In January of 2005, with real estate license in hand, Ron joined Coldwell Banker in Garner. His first conversation with his Manager/Broker-In-Charge was likely unusual and uncomfortable for her. He bluntly told her he was thankful for the opportunity given but he had no desire to find sellers or buyers in his first 3 months with the large real estate brokerage. He simply planned to attend every training, learn from others and plan the opening of his own brokerage. This was important so he could do it his way without the corporate influence he had experienced during his previous career path.
In late April of 2005, Ron named his brokerage, Choice Realty, and began to run a one person show out of his home. There were a lot of wonderful and hard lessons to learn over the years to come but he was excited at the possibilities. Ron continued to run his one-person brokerage out of his home until mid-2006, when he moved into a humble, trailer office at the edge of Benson. While this looked like a small step to most, this was a big deal for Ron and his vision. The ultimate vision was to create a company of like-minded people to serve the community…while earning a great living. He felt he could only attract real estate talent if there was an official office, with real expenses, potential profit and a real threat of failure.
The years of 2005 – 2007 proved to be pretty good and led to the hire of a part-time assistant and the hiring of the company’s very first agent. Dawn Hall came to work with Choice Realty in 2006 and is still putting up with Ron even in 2017. Dawn has become family and her continuation with the company is likely one of his most proud reflections on the company history.
For those who do not know, late 2007 started what would later be known as one of the greatest housing depressions in U.S. History. It started slowly and Ron really had no idea what was happening. In his defense few people, if any, realized the true impact of what was to come. What started as just a slowing of activity later became what some may say was a complete stop of home buyer activity. Homes would not sell no matter how much money the agent spent on advertising or what tactics were deployed. The bad thing was sellers needed to sell and Ron felt it was his duty to spend more and more money to find the very few home buyers in the market. These facts along with his decreased confidence gave way to the company owing nearly $100,000 in long and short-term debt. This horrible real estate and national economic situation did not affect every area of NC equally. However, it was bad for anyone in the real estate industry and caused many companies to go out of business. The rural areas around the Triangle were hard hit because many of our residents were self-employed and many directly in the home building industry. Our main service areas of Johnston and Harnett County were some of the first to see the slow down and seemingly the last to see the upswing. Many may argue the exact time-line, however, Ron remembers a starting time of 4th quarter 2007 through the 2nd quarter of 2011 before things started to normalize. During this time there seemed to be only one company highlight. Ron negotiated the purchase of a building on Main Street in Benson where the company still calls home today. While looking back this purchase was a great thing, during 2009 and 2010 there were times when he was unsure he would financially hang on to the building. Not believing in debt, Ron felt he could use personal savings from the years in corporate world to finish remodel of the building and keep the small company growing.
In 2009 after 4 years of being a fully independent brokerage, Ron decided to team up with a local company based in Clayton. The owners of Hometowne Realty had created a much larger company and offered to make Choice Realty a Franchise Partner with the Clayton, NC based company. This was and remains an awesome real estate company. The growth of Hometowne Realty has been wonderful for the Clayton area and was a very positive experience for Ron’s small group. At the beginning of this Franchise Partnership, the company name changed from Choice Realty to Wood Realty Group. Of course, we can never look back to know what would or would not have happened. However, Ron believes had it not been for the partnership with Hometowne Realty, Wood Realty Group in its current form may not exist today. The friendship and partnership of Hometowne ownership allowed Ron to focus on real estate and on revenue generation for Wood Realty Group. This partnership remained in place until 2016. During this time, the agent and employee count for the team hit a high of 7 team members.
In 2016, Ron looked for ways to expand the reach of the company while also stream-lining the roles and responsibilities. Ron had been reading and experimenting with a new craze taking over the real estate industry. This craze seems to stem from a book written by Gary Keller, called “The Millionaire Real Estate Agent”. The book is not necessarily about money as the title would infer. It is more about how to develop a team concept real estate company where each individual has a set of expertise and should focus on those skillsets for the growth of the team and team owner. In 2016, Wood Realty Group moved its brokerage to Keller Williams Realty. This decision did not come easy, as to some degree, this move was going in the opposite direction from his vision in 2005. Ron firmly believed the move needed to be made to reach the long-term growth goals for the company, but more importantly, for his own happiness and health. With regret, the move was difficult on the company and its agents. It was not intentional to cause harm or slow our team member growth. However, it was intentional to completely change the structure he had created. He simply felt it was unrealistic to keep moving forward in the current path and reach his long-term goals for the team. Wood Realty Group was part of KW for only 12 months but the amount of knowledge gained by the Team Owner was invaluable. KW represents the best training company in the world and is also the largest real estate company in the world by # of agents. While his team truly struggled during this 12 months, Ron was able to mastermind and gain so much insight on how he would rebuild the team over the next decade. Yes, KW teaches you to think and act in a different manner. For that, I am thankful to my team for giving me the opportunity. Nearing the end of 2016, I had gained so much insight into growing Wood Realty Group. Wood Realty Group had also experienced its 2nd largest year in terms of transactions completed and gross commission income. This was quite impressive since its largest year was 2015. The year 2015 represented a year where everything went right. We had a great team, tremendous growth in real estate market and one particular builder which lead to much of the team’s incremental year-over-year growth. Ron was so proud of the year 2016 with KW because the team found itself with 2 less agents and no longer working with what had been their largest builder for several years. This means with less people and a huge reduction of home inventory, the team nearly met the same production as its largest year. After talking with the Lead Buyer Specialist, Dawn Hall, and Ron’s wife and Vice President, Nichole Wood, an important decision and direction for the company was made. The team decided to take the knowledge and lessons gained from the KW experience and move to Fathom Realty.
With all this new knowledge and having now moved away from the original goal of being independent, why would Ron choose to go with another National Franchise company in Fathom Realty? The answer to that is simple. Ron sees the years of 2017 to 2027 being the actual formative years of the team. He now sees the path it will take to grow a great team and a happy life. The goal is to train experienced agents that can effectively serve our clients and community while helping each Wood group member live their own happy and fulfilling life. In Ron’s opinion, this is easier to do with the backing of a large National franchise. Finding the right partner company like Fathom Realty allows Wood Realty Group to more effectively serve our clients, spend more of our time selling real estate and stay focused on building a wonderful personal life for our team members. These 3 things are important to Ron because having the backing of a Christian based company like Fathom will allow him time to focus on developing a talented team while coaching them to be the best version of themselves. Ron believes the better and more effectively he is allowed to serve his team…the better the team will service our clients and the more valuable each team member will be to their families and communities.
More to come as we grow from 2017 and beyond. If you are looking a real estate professional in your area please give us a call. If you are an agent looking a better professional and personal experience, just contact us.