Four real estate salespeople switch agencies They join O'Conor, Piper and Flynn CARROLL COUNTY FARM/BUUSINESS

April 29, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

Four former Long and Foster real estate agents have moved to O'Conor, Piper and Flynn in Westminster, about two months after their former affiliate sponsored a champagne breakfast to attract new agents and thank the agents they had worked with throughout the year.

James Finecey, Michael Kelly, and Mary and Paul Steger transferred from second-place Long and Foster to the No. 1 brokerage to be with a group of agents who network with one another, said Dottie Wells, manager of the Westminster office of O'Conor, Piper and Flynn.

The last time an O'Conor, Piper and Flynn agent voluntarily left the Westminster office was about a year ago, she said.

O'Conor, Piper and Flynn has held the largest market share -- sold the most houses -- for much of the past six years, Ms. Wells said. Long and Foster had the largest market share in January, but usually is a "strong second," Ms. Birch said.

Mr. Finecey, who works primarily with builders, said O'Conor, Piper and Flynn's market share is why he switched.

A real estate agent for three years, Mr. Finecey said his builders all are working in Westminster now.

"I feel I should be in an office that's productive in the area you're going to build in," he said. "In Westminster, that's OPF."

Mrs. Steger said she and her husband, who has been an agent for 20 years, decided to transfer because most of their transactions are in Westminster.

The couple owned a real estate company in 1990, then went with Long and Foster in the Hampstead area.

Mrs. Steger has been selling real estate since 1985.

"It's not anything to do with the companies," she said. "[O'Conor, Piper and Flynn] is No. 1 in the county now, and we wanted to be where the action is."

Real estate officials said agent transfers are not unusual because all agents are independent contractors.

"They move around all the time for various reasons," said Juli Verrier, public relations officer for Long and Foster.

Companies use a variety of techniques to attract agents, such as Long and Foster's Feb. 11 breakfast at Wakefield Valley Golf Club. At that function, displays of the company's marketing materials surrounded the room, company officials encouraged agents to switch agencies, and Long and Foster president Wes Foster briefly addressed the group.

"It was a subtle recruiting technique, but we did design it as a thank-you breakfast for the agents that had worked with us throughout the year," said Ms. Birch.

"Any time you do something like that, you try and put your best foot forward," Ms. Birch said.

"It'd be foolish not to let them see what we have in our marketing department."

Real estate companies also invite agents to informal luncheons or discussions over coffee, send letters and fliers to top salespeople at other companies, sponsor real estate certification classes or run ads asking for agents.

"Our agents recruit other agents, particularly top agents that they want on their winning team," Ms. Wells said. "They just hand pick them."

O'Conor, Piper and Flynn spokeswoman Leslie Wilson said agents usually leave companies one at a time.

"It is unusual when that many people jump ship," she said of the four who left Long and Foster to join O'Conor, Piper and Flynn.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.