Keller Williams Emerald Coast-Navarre, the largest local real estate brokerage by agent count, has announced a partnership with the Emerald Coast Association of Realtors (ECAR).
The Dec. 19 announcement means a split from the Navarre Area Board of Realtors (NABOR). Keller Williams had been associated with NABOR for five years, and the decision to leave was not an easy one, said Linda Grayson, the firm’s business center leader.
“Every year we look at this, and in the past we always felt it was more beneficial to stay with NABOR. … This year, because we are a bigger organization, we dug into it really deep because it was a big move,” Grayson said.
ECAR is a real estate association currently supporting members in Okaloosa and Walton counties through education, technology and other services. The partnership with Keller Williams brings the association across the county line into Santa Rosa as well.
NABOR provides similar services to members throughout Navarre.
Outgoing NABOR President Lorie Coogle said her association has been serving Navarre for 40 years, benefiting its members’ business, industry and community needs
“Since that time the board has worked hard to serve literally hundreds of Navarre real estate professionals and is the respected voice of Navarre real estate,” Coogle said. “It is obviously disappointing that the Keller Williams office seeks to use the services of the Emerald Coast Association based in Fort Walton Beach, but, as an organization, we are strong; fiscally sound; have committed staff with 24 collective years of Realtor association experience, and are well placed to continue the legacy of providing the education, services and products our members need and deserve to be successful, and to advocate on behalf of homeowners right here in the Navarre community.”
Grayson said Keller Williams appreciates the work that NABOR has done for the community, but benefits were identified with ECAR that NABOR did not offer, including 24-hour IT support.
“We have grown. We have almost 100 agents. We are looking for an organization that is positioned to take us into the 21st century, so to speak,” she said. “We met with both boards. We love both boards. We supported NABOR and still support it. This was strictly a business decision.”
Grayson said ECAR’s more than 3,200 members, 16 staff members, updated websites and other technology supports such as a security app will benefit the company.
The technology and support services offered through ECAR are critical for new agents attempting to learn the latest technology and to achieve the optimum success in making sales, she said.
“They don’t have that support with NABOR,” she said.
Membership dues for each Keller Williams agent will increase by $6, raising the amount to $236 from $230 per year. Education courses through ECAR are free to members, while NABOR charges a fee for those courses.
To make the final decision, the realty company asked both boards to make a presentation to the agents. They then held a vote, and ECAR came out on top.
Grayson said customers can expect the same service that Keller Williams has always provided.
“Nothing changes for them. It may take a couple months to get everything running, but we are going to be more efficient and responsive,” she said.
As seen in the Jan. 3 issue of Navarre Press.
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