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VOL. 37 | NO. 51 | Friday, December 20, 2013

Adding lead generation group works for Sumner's HALO Realty

By Hollie Deese

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The holidays are hectic, but that’s not what has Mark Williams, principal broker and master auctioneer with HALO Realty in Hendersonville, busier than he’s ever been during the three years he has worked with the company.

In fact, the season should be a slow time for home sales.

“If we are working this hard around the holidays, it really shows you how the real estate market has turned around,” says Williams, who has been working long hours, including weekends, to show potential buyers the somewhat limited office and residential inventory in Sumner County.

In November, there were 230 residential closings with an average price of $213,324 in Sumner County, up from 214 closings with an average of $209,912 the previous November.

Each month of 2013 saw an increase of closings from the previous year’s month. The year’s biggest jumps happened at the end of summer, with 297 closings in August over the previous year’s 220, with an average increase in price at nearly $25,000 (year over year for August).

Those numbers do not include condos, farms or lots.

HALO Realty, and owner Danny Hale, are best known for commercial and development projects such as the 400-acre Indian Lake Village lifestyle development in Hendersonville. In recent years, the needs of clients have pushed the company toward an emphasis on residential real estate.

Clients come into the market needing both commercial space and homes for employees.

“We have a lot of people moving in from areas that are high-tax, like Chicago and California,” Williams says. “A lot of people move their businesses as well. They get better quality of life, less cost, better schools, better everything. Office space is something we are limited with – but is in high demand.”

Recently, HALO has invested tens of thousands of dollars to build a Lead Generating department within the agency. In the first 90 days of its creation, hundreds of leads have come in, many producing money down and deals closed.

“HALO has had a few residential real estate agents working here, but we never put a big push on residential,” Williams adds. “We know the commercial side of it, but now we need them [residential agents].

“People are coming from outside of the area and moving their businesses, and that spins off into residential as they look for housing for themselves and housing for their employees.”

HALO has already hired six new staffers to deal with the increase and are actively looking to hire an additional 15 real estate agents to handle the generated leads.

“Not many agencies have a department strictly devoted to generating leads for their agents like we do,” says Mary Grace Guarke, HALO’s director of marketing. “Our theory is that the more support and tools you give your agents the happier and more successful everyone is. This lead generating process is multi-faceted and is growing daily.”

The new hires will all be housed at HALO’s unique office space in the House of Cash.

The Hendersonville building was built in 1960 as the Plantation Dinner Theater until Johnny and June Carter Cash bought it in 1970, converting it to offices and a recording studio. Hale purchased the building from the Cash estate in 2004, renovating it for HALO offices and other tenants. The adjoining Amqui Train Station was donated to the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

The company doesn’t anticipate the hiring to stop anytime soon. HALO also manages more than 500,000 area properties, and continues to add more to their roster.

“We are mainly hiring real estate agents for now, and then we will be hiring more support staff and then maybe looking at more HOA managers as well,” Williams says. “As that grows and we get more associations, we’re going to need more.”