With his recent change in brokerages and roles, Ray Ferguson’s three decades in Richmond residential real estate has, in a way, come full circle.
Formerly a longtime agent with Joyner Fine Properties and more recently ending a four-year stint as the regional lead for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty (BHHS), Ferguson has joined another brokerage – Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville Real Estate.
The move reunites him with some of the local firm’s principals whom he’s known for decades. Ferguson and SRMF co-founder Scott Shaheen worked together at Joyner nearly 30 years ago, after both followed their fathers’ leads into the business – as did fellow principal Mahood Fonville, who’s known Shaheen since they were teenagers.
“We were all running companies, and all of our fathers kind of guided the (Richmond) real estate industry to where it is now,” said Ferguson, who is moving from leadership to sales as an associate broker at SRMF.
“They’ve all passed now,” Ferguson said of their dads, “so it’s kind of like the next generation.”
Ferguson is the son of William “Bill” Ferguson, who owned local firm Ferguson & Associates Realtors in the 1980s during a 45-year career in local real estate. Fonville’s father, Pace Fonville, was part of Bowers, Nelms & Fonville, which was sold in 1998 to Long & Foster Real Estate, now part of Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America.
Mahood then moved to Long & Foster – as did Shaheen from Joyner, which his father, Arthur Shaheen, helped form. The younger Shaheen and Fonville would work at Long & Foster together for nearly two decades, until they left with Martin and Ruth to form SRMF six years ago.
“Mahood and I, we’ve worked together forever, and Ray has been in and out of that working relationship,” Shaheen said. “The history goes back a long way. We’re very excited to have him as part of our company and to help him get back into sales and back up and running again.”
Having focused more on management with BHHS until his position was recently eliminated, Ferguson is getting back to home sales that he said had been his forte. He said he’s been busy since joining SRMF in November putting a mailing list together and reaching out to contacts ahead of some higher-dollar homes he’s planning to list in coming weeks.
“I figured, let me go back to selling. Let me go back to what I’m good at,” Ferguson said. “That’s what I did for 30 years.”
In doing so, he’s taking a path similar to Shaheen’s, who said he hadn’t sold a house for more than a decade when he left Long & Foster as a regional vice president.
“When the time came that his position was being eliminated, we started chatting a little bit and I said, ‘You know, I had not sold a house in 12 years when I opened up Shaheen, Ruth, Martin & Fonville, because I’d been the regional,” Shaheen said. “I said, ‘I jumped right back into it, Ray, and it’s been a phenomenal business,’ and I said, ‘You can step back into it really easily.’
“He’s going to be back into sales, and I think he’ll do very well at it, because ‘Once a salesperson, always a salesperson,’” he said.
At BHHS, Ferguson said his responsibilities were being assumed by Dan Lesher, a senior VP in its Fredericksburg office who Ferguson reported to and who oversees the Central Virginia region. A call to BHHS was deferred to a company spokeswoman, who confirmed Ferguson’s prior employment but said the company does not comment on personnel issues. Claire Forcier-Rowe, who Ferguson hired in 2020, remains managing broker of BHHS’s Richmond offices.
Ferguson said he was offered other roles with BHHS but said he left with no bad feelings after deciding he wanted to get back into sales full-time.
“I could have stayed at Berkshire Hathaway. They’re a great company,” he said.
At SRMF, Ferguson joins a team of 187 agents. Shaheen said the company hit $875 million in sales and 1,575 closings for the year heading into December. He said the brokerage’s average home sale price was $535,000.
For Ferguson, he said he’s joined the right team for the final stretch of his career.
“It’s like going back home,” Ferguson said. “It’s probably the last chapter in my career. I’ll cap out at 40 to 45 years, and then – I won’t be done, but I’ll be in the background so to speak.”