Greg Harrelson, the proud founder of Century 21 Harrelson Group, is the winner of Infusionsoft's Best in Class customer experience award and he has taken some time to share with us how he makes every interaction special.
- Industry: Real Estate
- Location: Myrtle Beach, SC
- Employees: 63
Describe your business in detail.
The Harrelson Group is a traditional real estate company that employs non-traditional lead generation and servicing strategies. We serve the Myrtle Beach and Charleston, S.C., markets, selling residential homes, condos and resort properties. In 2012, we ranked No. 16 of ALL Century 21 offices in the U.S. We were were ranked No. 1 for “Per Agent Production” in the country. We averaged 35 sales per agent in an industry where the national average is only three.
Why did you start your business?
Starting my own real estate brokerage was a difficult decision that ended up paying off very well. I was comfortable being a top-producing real estate agent with a great support staff, yet there was something about building a company and developing others to be top agents that interested me. I wanted to be able to make my own decisions and grow my business the way I thought was best. I also wanted to start building a company under a team-like structure, which was uncommon in 1999. It was a risk that has paid off both personally and professionally.
How has Infusionsoft affected your business?
The biggest benefit I have seen from using Infusionsoft is that it has positioned The Harrelson Group as an authority in our market. Because of Infusionsoft, my company has become well known for providing valuable information to the consumer. The fact that we intend to add value with every message has put us in an authoritative position in our marketplace. I have positioned my company as an authority by disseminating useful, educational content to our local market. The result is thousands of people seeing the value in our content, and they are calling us instead of us calling them.
You won the Small Business ICON Best in Class award for Customer Experience. What are you doing to create happy customers and get referrals?
We have extremely high customer satisfaction due to our streamlined processes, particularly in the contract management end of the user experience. We are handling every single detail of the transaction process to perfection for our clients, which leave them with a great feeling when we have completed a contract. The percent of annual contracts that we can attribute to referrals and past customers exceeds 10 percent, which equates to around 150 homes sold through repeat and referral business!
How has Infusionsoft affected your personal life?
Infusionsoft has really helped me save time. My typical workday is from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. I’m never at the office at night or on weekends, and I usually only work a half day on Fridays. I focus on my wife, kids and friends. I really focus on my personal time. There aren’t a lot of people who can say they work that schedule and still have 1,500 transactions a year AND own another company. It’s unheard of.
Have you had the opportunity to give back to your community?
My company started the Feed a Family charity, which staffs three soup kitchens for the homeless and delivers approximately 350 full-course meals to the doorsteps of needy families, hospice patients and homebound people on Christmas Eve. For 10 days prior to Christmas Eve, our 300 volunteers show up at the Hilton (which donates their banquet facilities) to cook and prep food.
They put together fully cooked, full-course meals that include a turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, pie — the works. It takes 70 drivers, all volunteers, to deliver all those meals in just two and a half hours using maps my real estate agents draw out. Our mission is to raise awareness among children and teach them to give back to their community, so we choose drivers who have children.
They ride with their parents and deliver the meals, and they get to see people who are really in need. Every year, Feed a Family needs to raise $25,000 to fund the Christmas Eve meal program. Last year we only raised $19,000. This year, I built an Infusionsoft campaign to raise money.
Recently, we passed the $30,000 mark and I never made one phone call. I got to spend more time working with other aspects of the charity because my Infusionsoft campaign handled the fundraising for me.