Almon Residential Real Estate is a boutique residential real estate brokerage created to reunite Ron Berger and John Neidhardt with the son of Joanne Almon, all well-established brokers who formerly worked together under Joanne’s tutelage.
Almon Residential Real Estate works in tandem with Almon Commercial Real Estate while foregoing traditional real estate brokerage business models in favor of fostering a collaborative, transparent and energetic work environment that minimizes the potential for conflict among brokers while maximizing our productivity and efficiencies.
We invite you to come see the difference our environment creates and we look forward to being involved in (and contributing value to) the process of selling or buying your next home. The legacy Joanne began in 1984 is thriving and it shall forever live on.
Traditional real estate brokerages (or ‘firms’) work under either a commission split structure, whereby a percentage of their earned commissions goes to the brokerage (and typically on a sliding scale dependent upon production, tenure and such) or a desk fee arrangement, whereby they pay a flat fee to the brokerage on a monthly basis and retain most of their earned commissions in return for office space, administrative support and certain services. Both models are viable and have their pluses and minuses, but we’re of the opinion that our market’s current real estate climate combined with need for the firm to profit under can too often create problematic relationships between the firm and individual brokers under either business model, whereby conflict, broker turnover, owner and manager salaries and the level of management salary necessary to effectively oversee large firms with inexperienced individual brokers might constantly become a distraction that minimizes efficiencies.
Both our residential and commercial divisions have chosen to operate on more of a partnership basis whereby the firm’s true operating expenses are divided equally among the individual brokers such that the brokerage is able to pay its bills and has enough cushion to absorb unforeseen expenses, after which any overage is returned to the individual brokers (partners, if you will). Put simply, the brokerage cannot profit and has safeguards in place to assure it can function efficiently with the necessary amenities, services and staff our experienced brokers know to be critically necessary to succeed. We choose to remove consciously remove opportunities for infighting and hand holding in return for focusing all of our energy on our clients, and we do so without sacrificing the quality our clients’ deserve.
Bill Almon, Jr., the principal owner, has chosen to forego the ability to profit while passing profits back through to the individual brokers. No expenses of his own are passed through and he draws no salary, nor does he take any income, whatsoever, from this business. He does so as a demonstration of his belief in the abilities and ethics of his chosen brokers. In his words “I’d rather forgo profit on the business so I can help surround myself with the brokers I want to work with, the ones I know to be capable and ethical, who I trust, who I can learn from, who can help me, who provide energy and are simply fun to be around, and who share my passion of adding value to my clients. I believe the financial incentive and work environment I can offer them will help provide me with that luxury. By removing what is often the largest source of conflict within a brokerage (the brokerage itself), I believe we can better get out of our own way and put the focus on the deal and on the client. Put simply, these are the people I choose to spend my days with, and I hope my willingness to provide this environment demonstrates my belief in their abilities as real estate brokers, nevertheless speaks to who these brokers are as people.”
Our brokers are proven self-starters who motivate each other. They celebrate one another’s victories and feel compassion for one another’s losses. They know how to work together, how to help each other and they see the benefit in doing so. Our brokerage model isn’t for everyone. The novice broker may not fit, and is unlikely to succeed. We don’t generate relocation or clandestine internet leads, rather we must rely upon our established client base and word of mouth. Certainly we don’t have the ability or resources to train new brokers off the street. Conversely, we do not have to rely upon new hires, losses of key persons, sales volume or market share. Our motivations lie within maintaining and nourishing our business model, and we feel privileged to not have to be distracted by sales goals, growth, market share and the like.
Select from the below list to see how the characteristics of our brokers fall within those traits;
Our brokers have the highest ratio of listings per individual broker of any firm in Yakima County. They're listing machines. This fact alone demonstrates a unique opportunity to be aware of more prospective buyers or opportunities than a typical broker.
By example, if you're selling a home priced in excess of $1,000,000, for which there may only be between 6-15 homes on the market at any given time within Yakima County, and are deciding between, say, three qualified, capable listing brokers, we suggest there is added value to consider in one of those brokers if they currently are or have recently been marketing another home within that price range. That broker may already have a bonafide and prequalified list of buyers or brokers who've expressed interest in the other home(s) they were marketing. They might be able to direct or redirect those prospective buyers or buyer's brokers who've already or later will inquire on that other home over to yours (and vice versa). These are powerful tools that many other individual brokers within competing firms can demonstrate on an individual basis, but which each of the individual brokers within our firm has historically been able to provide.
Further, by fostering a collaborative work environment where our brokers help one another, and by surrounding ourselves with established, busy brokers, we don't have the need to try to capture business through tools such as designating 'floor time' for our brokers (designated periods of time used as a tool for individual brokers to solicit business by being able to receive most incoming calls on properties), and we suggest that is a benefit to both the buyer and seller. By example, if you call for a listing broker of a specific property and get to another broker on 'floor time,' that broker now has an incentive to try and capture you as a new client, therefore you might get to a 'floor time' broker even when the listing broker is in the office. In the event you aren't able to talk directly to the listing broker of the home you're calling on, you'll get your questions answered or will be redirected to the listing broker without fear of that receiving broker latching onto you with a sales pitch for a property they may know little about. The buyer wins by getting their questions clearly answered without fear of getting the hard sale from a broker who may know very little about the home they're calling on. The seller wins because they can be confident knowing the prospect calling on their home is having their questions answered by the expert they hired to effectively market and sell their home, and certainly the prospective buyer is not being redirected to another home.
Staying in front of prospective buyers, sellers and brokers may not lead to instant gratification, but it's a proven concept that benefits the big picture the brokers at Almon Residential so clearly see. If we capture the attention of these folks with our efforts for a similar home we're marketing or searching for on behalf of another party, or if we establish ourselves as being helpful, knowledgeable experts willing to reciprocate in the flow of information who are more interested in the long term, big picture than they are in sacrificing their principals for the potential of a quick sale, perhaps they'll trust enough in us and our abilities to come back to us when they have a similar need.
Our brokers have proven track records and have established reputations in place for being capable and ethical, all critically necessary components for our principal owner to have considered providing this business. The basic idea of our business model is to forego profit in return for ensuring we can surround ourselves with this type of broker, one who does not need to be groomed, fed business or micro-managed, but who can be trusted to maintain the reputation the Almon family has worked hard to build.
By returning profit to the brokerage back to the individual brokers, we provide for greater financial flexibility among our brokers. They earning power is typically far greater than other brokerage models, which helps them become more efficient while affording the opportunity to take on less transactions or work load. We've tried to minimize the opportunity for unnecessary financial stresses to be influential for our brokers, whereby financial need should not find the occasion to negatively impact relationships or reputation.
One bad broker can cause irreversible damage to a brokerage, and an otherwise good broker might make poor decisions if their back is against the proverbial wall, yet our model allows us to lose or remove those brokers while maintaining the ability to timely pick up replacement brokers, if desired.
Consider this application on a lesser scale whereby a top producing broker has a reputation for being less than pleasant to engage in transactions with among their peers. We believe the client should benefit from our reputations, but certainly not be harmed by such, and there is no question that even the perception of being difficult to work with among our peers can be influential on a transaction, but certainly does not benefit the client. We choose to remove ego and to recognize we are but a small piece of our client's equation, sometimes critically important and sometimes less so, but this is not 'our' deal to force our will upon, it's your deal and it's often one of the most important purchases or sales of your life.
There is not some magic secret to disseminating the availability of your home that one firm has over another. A national real estate brand does not offer you some greater advantage or qualified means of dissemination that we cannot provide (our experienced top-producing brokers would not choose an independent firm if they thought their abilities to produce would be impaired). To be effective, one must combine abilities and the traits mentioned herein with commitment and effort. We believe a broker working less than 40-hour work weeks or those who believe they work only certain times on certain days are doing a disservice to their clients.
Our industry is transforming to one that embraces transparency. We've taken if further by pushing for collaboration and by sharing information among our competitors, and all for the betterment of our client. The end result should be closing your transaction without conflict and with a mutually beneficial conclusion where both sides appreciate the effort, and certainly the broker should be thought to have been a benefit to the equation.
Gone are the days where brokers added value mostly by their affiliation and access to the MLS. We believe brokers, appraiser, lenders and our clients should all have access to the same information and data, from which educated decisions can be made and conflict or harmful over-negotiating can be minimized. As a broker, it's not the information you have, it's how you use it, and how you do so for the benefit of your client, not yourself.
Our office meetings are centered upon the principals of sharing information, brainstorming and helping one-another with a need. Multiple capable brokers working the same subject are so often more valuable than a single broker. Consider the benefit to your transaction when brokers make focused efforts to help one another and bat ideas around during their office meetings instead of setting sales goals or recapping their previous successes. We're interested in bettering ourselves and in finding ways to continue being successful in the future, and that requires the application of solid fundamentals while adapting to an ever-changing, fluid real estate market.