JP & Associates Realtors (JPAR) confirmed to Inman Monday that it’s hiring Brad Smith, a veteran of Weichert Realtors, Regus and Dairy Queen, as the chief growth officer for the company’s franchise business. Smith will report to Geoff Lewis, the CEO of the company’s franchise division and help manage and drive growth as well as train franchise sales teams and put systems and accountability in place.
Smith has more than 20 years of experience leading sales teams, according to Lewis, including most recently at Regus, a co-working company where he was chief development officer. He also previously served as vice president of franchise development at Weichert Realtor.
“His whole career has been in franchising and he has 20 years of experience leading teams, so we’re adding him to our team to help drive and manage our growth,” Lewis said.
The role is a new one for JPAR and comes at a time when certain markets are grinding to a halt, due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).
“We are confident that this is a temporary situation that will pass and there is going to be a lot of pent up demand when it does pass,” Lewis said.
Lewis was serving in an executive role at RE/MAX during the 2008 housing crash and said he saw a lot of brokers and agents fleeing to lower-cost models. JPAR offers a capped transaction-fee model and he believes it’s going to ultimately attract a lot of franchise sales when the market turns around.
“We’re moving to position ourselves to capture that growth,” Lewis said.
JPAR is also temporarily waiving its minimum transaction fee for franchisees, due to COVID-19 and reducing the fee to onboard new agents by 50 percent. In the past, franchisees paid a small monthly minimum fee that would count towards their transaction fee and then would pay a set transaction fee afterwards. For the month of April, franchisees just simply need to pay per transaction, according to Lewis. The change is currently only for April but JPAR will reevaluate.
“We all hope this thing passes quickly but nobody knows right now,” Lewis said.