Q&A: Ginger Holmes of Woodmont Realty
AUTHORS William Williams
Ginger Holmes serves as partner with and managing broker Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Woodmont Realty.
The entity — which is sometime referred to by the acronym — recently set up shop in the Woodland-in-Waverly district. Holmes recently chatted with PostManaging Editor William Williams about various topics, including the new office.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices | Woodmont Realty has operated from the Douglas Corner area in Woodland-in-Waverly, often associated with the Waverly-Belmont and Wedgewood-Houston districts, for only a few weeks. Your focus is on the surrounding neighborhoods, particularly WeHo. You will also use the office for networking and prospecting in East Nashville. In terms of logistics and thrust, how do you expect your efforts to unfold given these are, in many respects, new markets for the company? And why the move to this area?
We are taking advantage of this natural direction for growth in terms of bricks and mortar once again in Nashville proper. We have always serviced Nashville’s diverse neighborhoods, and as our team continues to grow and evolve their business, it only made sense to offer this new location to serve their clients and accommodate their needs for local access. With the new office, we attain a footprint in the WeHo, Gulch, Midtown and East Nashville neighborhoods. Important to this new location is the fact we are continuing to attract the younger more adventurous and urban-minded real estate professional. We also have an experienced team who has been active across these developing neighborhoods that are creating so much “buzz” and who have driven significant [company] growth.
BHHS|WR has operated in Brentwood for almost 20 years. The new office is in an area that — in terms of its residential form and function — is vastly different than the residential areas surrounding your new, second office. As such, you might deploy some different marketing, customer service and sales strategies. Thoughts?
This office takes advantage of a new dynamic in our strategies of marketing and communication, especially with the growing, younger demographic. It is drawing agents that realize Nashville is now a destination as a relocation hub, encompassing the residential and land market. We have embraced the growing trends of digital marketing and use of social media including the more conventional strategies, coupled with the always essential need to foster personal relationships. It is important to appeal to the distinctive personalities and preferences of the market that are attracted to a more urban vibe and that bring with it a unique character and a desire to become a part of and support the locally owned business community. For everyone to be successful — the city, the community, our firm — we are committed to helping these neighborhoods realize their potential with quality growth. And while our strategies may shift and evolve, our core values and service components will remain constant.
Berkshire Hathaway was founded as Woodmont Realty in 1990 and was located in the general Green Hills area. It ceased operations at that location in 2008. Now, you once again have a physical presence in Davidson County. After a relatively strict focus on homes in more suburban and affluent areas, you are broadening your focus to include urban districts and, in theory, some less pricey homes. Your take?
These areas are initially being embraced by younger adults and more adventurous individuals looking to downsize from their larger, urban residences. They all benefit from the close proximity to downtown activities and Midtown shopping and commerce, while playing an active role in the forging of Nashville’s new neighborhoods. Many of this groundbreaking population are not new to the area and many are children of longstanding Nashville families looking to make their own residential mark. BHHS|WR is there to guide them with local real estate expertise and a commitment to partnership. Price point is not always an issue. In fact, price per square foot in the urban markets is often surpassing many in the suburban, larger property neighborhoods. It is about developing with the cultural evolution that Nashville is experiencing.
You have various Davidson County-based agents who might now not spend quite as much time in the Brentwood office and, instead, devote that time to the new office. How will that work in terms of space, logistics, etc.?
This is one of the key reasons for our new location, to offer a convenient alternative for our agents who have been selling more in Davidson County and have an affinity for these up-and-coming neighborhoods. We have ample space for both full-time and drop-in agents to meet with their clients in our technology maximized office concept featuring work from local artists, a coffee bar and private conference rooms. Conveniently, this location is only about 15 minutes from our Brentwood office and right in the middle of the new building activity taking place in the district.
How many of your agents currently either live in or have had significant personal association with any of these urban neighborhoods on which you are now focusing? If that past experience has been modest, how will you quickly change that dynamic?
BHHS|WR started in Nashville 26-plus years ago. We left the bricks and mortar but did not leave the market, choosing to serve it from our Maryland Farms location. We have always had a select group of experienced realtors that have sold in these urban neighborhoods, as well as the more traditional ones. Currently we have somewhere between 10 to 15 percent of our existing team with a more direct link to these vibrant, evolving areas and expect this number to go up over time.
How would you describe your office?
This location is a showcase for our “SMART” office concept which is all about taking a very technology-focused approach that signifies a “social, media-centric, active, responsive, tech-driven platform.” Agents have access to the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices’ global network platform — a robust suite of online tools, applications and services, plus ongoing consultation, education, training and marketing support. This helps our agents cover more ground with greater efficiency (at both our locations). That’s the best news for our home-buying and selling clients.