With competition growing in Richmond’s home-selling scene, one of the larger residential real estate brokerages in the region is firming up its local footprint with a new outpost in the Willow Lawn area.
Long & Foster Real Estate is getting a new storefront with the opening of a brick-and-mortar office for Cabell Childress Group, an agent team currently based out of the brokerage’s Innsbrook/Glen Allen branch.
The office, slated to open in mid-June, is at 4904 W. Clay St., a 3,800-square-foot building beside West End Antiques Mall and Verve Home Furnishings, a couple blocks across Broad Street from Willow Lawn.
Group leader Cabell Childress purchased the building in March through an entity called Spider Properties Trust, which paid $580,000 for the quarter-acre property. The sellers were Craig and Linda Peyton, who had purchased it in 1995 for $235,000, Henrico County property records show.
The county most recently assessed the property at $375,900.
Childress, a Henrico native who’s been selling homes locally for 20 years, said he purchased the building as a real estate investment as well as a home for his group, which he formed in the late 2000s.
“This was an opportunity for me to own the building, and it just made sense from an investment perspective,” Childress said. “Obviously, during COVID, it’s been very unique where a lot of people aren’t even using the bricks and mortar. Our team is like a small family, so we like the idea of having our own space.”
The office will bear signs for both Long & Foster and Cabell Childress Group. It will be managed by David Gragnani, a Long & Foster managing broker of the Innsbrook/Glen Allen branch.
The Willow Lawn spot brings Long & Foster’s office count in metro Richmond to 17. Its nearest outposts are in the Libbie-Grove area.
“It’s an up-and-coming marketplace for us,” said Brian Haug, a senior vice president who oversees Long & Foster’s operations in the region.
“It’s a next step for him in growing his team,” Haug said of Childress, noting that his team last year crossed over the $100 million mark in annual sales. “It’s a way for agents to have their own individual space but also still be under our umbrella.”
Childress said his team consisted of eight agents when it closed out 2020 with 250 closings totaling $101 million in sales. The team now has 10 agents and three support staffers, with sales so far this year reaching $65 million.
“We’re having the best year we’ve ever had,” Childress said.
The group’s new home includes an 1,100-squre-foot warehouse/flex space that Childress said they’ll be turning into a lounge and social area for agents and clients. The building also will house an office for Long & Foster subsidiary Prosperity Home Mortgage, and Childress said other agents with the brokerage will be able to work out of the space.
He said the building gives his team room to grow and was appealing for its location near Willow Lawn and Libbie Mill-Midtown. The area has attracted interest from other brokerages as well, as a new-to-market competitor — Chantilly-based brokerage Sampson Properties — recently opened an outpost at Libbie Mill.
The location is the latest addition to Long & Foster’s footprint in recent years. In 2019, it added two satellite offices, including one at Chesdin Landing in Chesterfield County.