Howard W. “Hoby” Hanna IV, president of Howard Hanna Real Estate Services (HHRES), recently discussed the strategy behind Howard Hanna’s growth during a tight market in an interview with Inman, the industry’s leading source of real estate information.
In the interview, Hanna credit’s Howard Hanna’s nimbleness as an independent brokerage as a driving force in the company’s ability to innovate and grow. Howard Hanna’s footprint stretches across 13 states, but the company remains a private, family-owned business.
“I think a lot of independents can pivot and move quickly on those type of things where they don’t have to worry about a board of directors approving it [or] shareholders who have quarterly earnings needed,” he said during the interview. “They sometimes can find some innovation, put a real plan around it, take some risk, and use it to move in markets when they get a little tighter.”
Hanna goes on to explain that in recent years, Howard Hanna has focused on growing through mergers and acquisitions with other independent brokerages. In 2022, HHRES announced partnerships with HER, REALTORS® in Ohio and Beverly-Hanks REALTORS® in North Carolina. Thanks to this ongoing growth, HHRES remains the #1 family-owned and -operated real estate broker in the country*.
“Our expansion has been by merging and acquiring really well-run, good, solid companies,” Hanna told Inman. “In fact, we did some franchise deals, but many of them were done with independents that had a similar culture.”
Over the years, Howard Hanna has differentiated itself by building lasting customer relationships and by supporting agents with the latest tools and technologies. While speaking with Inman, Hanna said this commitment to quality remains especially important as interest rates rise.
“Stay true to who you are. Focus on what you do best,” he explained in the interview. “I think as markets get tighter, whether it’s recessionary pressure, whether it’s lack of inventory, at least in my career there always seems to be a flight to quality.”
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*National rankings derived from the REAL Trends 500 report; based on 2021 closed transactions.