HER is one of the top 10 companies by votes in Columbus CEO's 2020 Best of Business readers' poll.
In 1957, the year after Harley E. Rouda Sr. founded HER Realtors, a flu pandemic hit the U.S. Nearly 65 years later, HER Realtors—whose signs are as omnipresent as Buckeye flags in yards throughout Central Ohio—is up against a similar landscape.
Last year, HER saw $2.6 billion in sales from over 1,000 agents across 89 offices. This year, before the pandemic, agents hosted maskless open houses, offering trays full of cookies, and had dipped just a toe in the virtual waters.
The company hosted family nights at Columbus Clippers and Dayton Dragon baseball games, and they’d golf together and volunteer. “We have associates that have been here for forty-five plus years,” President Shawn Adams says.Stay up to date with the region’s dynamic business scene. Subscribe to Columbus CEO’s weekly newsletter.
But since then, daily operations look a little different. From spaced out appointments to avoid unnecessary client interactions, to pumping hand sanitizer by the gallons, and wearing shoe coverings upon entry, showings may not look the same, but one fact remains: they’re still guiding home sellers and buyers through one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives.
“Sellers want to know when is the right time to sell … it’s now, by the way … and buyers want to know if they are choosing the right home,” Adams says. “This is a lifestyle business and our agents know it.”
Virginia Brown is a freelance writer.