A major incentive for Creig Northrop to transition his business from a team to an independent brokerage is the potential for expansion.
Now operating as Northrop Realty, A Long & Foster Co., the business plans to open offices in places, such as Pennsylvania, Delaware and Virginia by the end of the year. The Clarkesville-based firm currently has five offices in Maryland, including Silver Spring, Timonium and Annapolis.
“I think it’s more (about) opening more doors for more people,” Northrop said.
Northrop’s team, since launching in 2000, has been a powerhouse in the region in terms of sales. The company has also made its mark nationally, posting top annual transaction volumes.
In 2017, when the company was still operating as The Creig Northrop Team of Long & Foster Real Estate Inc., it was tops in the nation in sales volume, according to real estate consultant group Real Trends. Northrop’s team also achieved that distinction in 2011 and 2010.
After achieving everything they wanted to as a team, Northrop said, it was time to move to the next stage of the business. About five months ago, he started the process of becoming an independent brokerage, a goal he said he’s always harbored. He also called the transition, which became official earlier this month, the next “revolutionary” step in the real estate business.
As a Long & Foster team, Northrop was limited to operating five offices. Expanding the geography the firm serves allows the company to sell more homes. One area where the move will particularly help, Northrop said, is with finding property for investors from out of the area.
“We look like a heck of a deal here (compared to New York or California),” he said.
There’s also more business to be garnered in finding homes for residents moving to the Mid-Atlantic region. Northrop Realty has already opened a relocation department to help facilitate those transactions.
“It allows (agents) more expansion in areas where (customers are) moving to,” Northrop said.
Deciding to transition to an independent brokerage was also fueled by a desire to provide associated agents greater opportunities to grow. The move allows agents to start their own teams under the Northrop Realty banner while maintaining the advantages of being associated with Long & Foster, such as the partnership with luxury real estate brand Christie’s International Real Estate.
“We were capped at a certain point,” Northrop said
Transforming into an independent brokerage provides the freedom to start NorthropU. The program, in partnership with the Frederick Academy of Real Estate, will focus on training the next generation of real estate agents. Course titles at NorthropU include The CEO Mindset, Setting Up an LLC or S-Corp, and Salesforce Lightning and Listing Lead.
Despite all the expansion, changes and new offerings Northrop said the focus still remains on a client’s experience. The emphasis, he said, will be on building a business relationship that lasts for five homes sales, not just one.
“(Customers) will remember us,” he said.