How do you succeed in the post-collapse real estate and mortgage markets?
Few companies have answered this question correctly in the past several years. Even fewer have been able to build a thriving business. But that’s not the case for 2011 Pinnacle Award Winner Atlanta Housing Source at Solid Source Realty, Inc.
Founded in 2005 by Anne and Mark Lackey, Atlanta Housing Source started as a residential real estate team serving the north Atlanta suburbs. Six years later, the company has expanded into rentals and investing, and manages approximately 200 homes in the Gwinnett County region.
According to the Lackeys, their secret to success is two-fold: early adoption of emerging technologies and a return to personal service.
“In 2007, Anne and I attended two local conferences to learn about viral marketing and how it could impact our business,” says Founder Mark Lackey. “We started writing and distributing articles and press releases online and after a time our writings began showing up all over the world.”
Encouraged by their initial efforts, the Lackeys began reaching out to local podcasters and radio hosts, looking for additional sources of exposure and traffic.
“I put together a speaking package and offered to be the guest on an Internet radio show. The show was later podcast and soon I started getting calls from folks saying they heard us on the radio.”
Regular podcasting eventually grew into a weekly radio show, which ran for 26 months. Around this same time, the Lackeys began expanding into social media (utilizing Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn), recording and distributing training materials, and strengthening their online presence with new websites, branding graphics and search engine optimization.
“Knowing how to make the web and social media work for us is a big advantage,” Lackey says.
The next step was to expand the company by building a team of customer-oriented agents to focus on developing relationships and meeting client needs.
“We have adapted well to the new market and taken the time to learn the direction the world is taking,” Lackey continues. “The economy has been hard on many people and we are consistently working to find the best solutions for customers in difficult situations.”
“This compassionate approach has been vital to the team’s success,” Lackey says.
“We are early adopters of this new way of doing business,” he says. “Those in my industry who remain stuck in the past are being left behind.”