After 23 years of helping people buy and sell their homes, real estate agent Nancy Glass says she was ready for a change.
Glass still loved the industry but says she was tired of the “cumbersome” administrative procedures she had to follow when working for a large brokerage. So in March, within 15 minutes of meeting broker Dave Cummings, she signed paperwork to join his team.
“As a Realtor, my time should be spent focusing on my buyers and sellers, not with the minutiae of the transaction,” Glass says. “That’s what Dave has managed to provide. He has given us an admin team that provides tremendous support. They help with paperwork; they help with the technology. Not only that but Dave is the only broker that’s ever been accessible to me as a Realtor.”
Cummings founded Cummings & Co. Realtors in 2006. Today, the company has 10 offices in Maryland and Pennsylvania, including its newest in Columbia. It is eyeing an 11th office in Anne Arundel County.
Here’s how the company’s business model works: Each one of the more than 450 agents is charged a flat fee of $295 a month, plus another flat fee for each transaction. While that means less money for the company, the model allows agents to invest more in marketing their business and potentially bring in more revenue.
“Giving them the ability to keep more gives them more flexibility to invest in themselves and what they feel is best for their clients,” Cummings says.
Agents say they appreciate the support they receive from Cummings and fellow agents. Cummings is readily available by phone or email, they say. The company also has an internal social media page where agents share tips of the trade and ask questions about everything from transactions to short sales.
“There’s a philosophy of offering help without necessarily expecting something in return,” says Eric McPhee, a real estate agent with the company since 2006. “If you do good things, they’ll come back to you. That has fostered this real culture of sharing and collaboration with the agents.”