Legacy Real Estate keep agents satisfied with diversity, support

Legacy Real Estate & Associates leans into the idea that legacy is more than part of its name. Founded in 1971 by Bill Aboumrad Sr. as Good Real Estate in Fremont, the company has built a reputation for high ethical standards, smart and unique approaches to problem solving, and an old-fashioned directive for its associates: Be kind and gracious.

“I’m not really what you would call a corporate guy. It’s a family business for me,” Bill Aboumrad Jr., president of the company, which ranked second for midsize organizations on this year’s Top Workplaces list. In 2022, he is leading the company and maintains the standards and expectations his father initiated.

“My dad was the one who trained me,” Aboumrad said. Anyone who works for Aboumrad will tell you he’s not just posturing. Since his kids from him can call him anytime, he also makes himself available to his agents from him seven days a week and always answers his phone from him.

“I think one of the reasons why our retention level has been as high as it’s been for all these years I have been doing this is because everybody feels like they’re part of the family,” Aboumrad said. “They have someone they can go to when they have questions and need help.”

Despite the fact that Legacy now has five field offices across the East Bay and an international presence through its affiliation with ERA Real Estate, the company intentionally has a boutique feel and sensibility.

Judi Nield, Legacy’s marketing director, said the company’s success is driven by Aboumrad’s leadership and values. “Bill Aboumrad has built a collaborative, forward-thinking and fun workplace culture where employees and independent contractors alike are empowered to think outside the box, celebrate successes and learn from each other,” Nield said. Aboumrad’s emphasis on listening to his team and encouraging them helps set the organization’s supportive tone.

Nield believes one of the company’s subtle strengths in relating to clients is its diversity. “We represent over 35 different nationalities and are home to over 300 sales associates in all adult age brackets — we have personality and panache. It’s an amazing place to work,” Nield said.

Kathleen Minser, Legacy’s operations manager, chairs an advisory council for Legacy’s independent contractors (the majority of agents who work with the company), which meets once a month. “We talk about ideas that they hear on the street from other brokerages or things they want to throw out there to be implemented.”

Even though most of the company’s initiatives are vetted through the council, they can come from anywhere in the company. “If we get a suggestion from an agent that’s not part of the advisory group, we throw it out to the adviser group and say, ‘Hey, what do you think about this?’ And it could be anything from new platforms, new apps, new marketing. A company party idea. But the basic bottom line is, we take feedback from the people who work at Legacy,” Minser said.

Nield depends on the company’s open communications — input from the leadership team as well as the sales associates — to develop and implement the company’s development strategies.

“Without a collaborative culture, the department’s efforts would undoubtedly be stunted,” Nield said. “Additionally, I work remotely from home. An employee may feel like an outsider in that environment but not at Legacy Real Estate — here, it feels like family.”

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