An established player in the Hampton Roads real estate market has arrived in Richmond with the help of two veteran local brokers.
Liz Moore & Associates is up and running in Midlothian, where the residential brokerage has set up a branch at 11449 Robious Road led by managing broker Tonya Morrow and Annemarie Hensley of Team Hensley Real Estate, previously with Re/Max Allegiance.
The branch came about from Hensley and Morrow, a former manager with Keller Williams who has teamed up with Hensley, reaching out to Liz Moore for advice on next steps for Team Hensley, which its namesake said had reached a crossroads of sorts.
“We had grown to a certain point, and I was trying to decide: Am I going to open my own brokerage? Am I going to go to someone else? I had a lot of options on the table,” Hensley said.
“When we reached out to Liz, it wasn’t because we wanted to start something with her in Richmond,” she said. “But that conversation turned into: Why don’t we do this in Richmond?”
Moore said she likewise wasn’t looking to open another branch in another market, despite her brokerage’s success in the Peninsula, where it opened in Newport News in 2003 and expanded to Williamsburg in 2005.
“We’re the No. 1 brokerage in Williamsburg and the No. 2 brokerage in Newport News, but honestly, the downturn had dampened my enthusiasm for opening a new office,” Moore said. “So that quickly escalated into us talking about how we could hook up and create something together.”
Since meeting with Moore in April and deciding to open a branch, Morrow and Hensley brought over her six-person Hensley Team and have spent the past several months planning and preparing.
The new brokerage has also won the business of Midlothian-based Perkinson Homes, which will use the company as the broker for its in-house sales team. Owner Brian Perkinson said the company previously used Jefferson Properties as a broker for its agents but was drawn to Liz Moore & Associates for its team approach and resources including an in-house marketing team.
Hensley and Morrow said they were likewise drawn by those resources and other approaches that they said fell in line with their own. Among them, the brokerage’s “No Surprises” business model ensures appraisals and home inspections are done before a property is listed.
“In a typical transaction, that’s done after the buyer and seller have negotiated the contract,” Moore said. “It’s kind of stressful, because you’re worrying about the results of those up until the 11th hour. So we take that out of the equation for the sellers.”
Moore said doing so costs the company as much as $650 per property, but she said the upfront costs are worth it.
“It saves a lot of transactions,” she said. “We don’t have the last-minute releases because people have found that an appraisal has come in low or a home inspection has discovered something. Our No Surprises program doesn’t mean that we won’t find anything; it’s just a lot easier to work through it before a house has been put on the market.”
Since soft-opening in September in a smaller space on Justice Road, the branch has added enough agents – 18 as of Wednesday – to outgrow that space and move to its current location on Robious: a 5,000-square-foot former daycare building that previously housed the Bucci & Dix law firm.
Morrow said the building is yet another temporary location as the branch looks for sites to construct a 10,000-square-foot permanent home base.
Morrow said agents have come to the branch through referrals and have not required much outreach from the company. She said they would like the branch to ultimately grow to as many as 45 or 50 agents, though she said that would be the maximum.
Since launching Sept. 1, the branch has listed or closed nearly 70 properties throughout metro Richmond, Morrow said.
Liz Moore & Associates is the latest name to pop up in an evolving Richmond real estate scene. Earlier this year, Eagle Realty of Virginia rebranded as Precision Realty, Select Properties of Virginia became an Engel & Volkers franchise, and Delaware-based Schell Brothers was brought to Richmond by Shane Burnette – co-founder and former partner of Perkinson Homes.