Despite the overall housing slump, it’s been a productive year at Janet McAfee. Over the past year, the realtor has experienced what company president Ted Thornhill describes as ‘conservative growth.’ “During this slightly slower time, we focused on strengthening the company,” he says. “And I’m happy to report that this strategy puts us in an extremely good position to represent the upper-end market in St. Louis.”
The company’s merger with Edward L. Bakewell Realtors, which became official earlier this year, cemented McAfee’s presence in St. Louis’ most exclusive communities, Thornhill says. “Bakewell had a great market share in the Central West End, so we were able to pick that up,” he notes. With the addition of Bakewell’s 42 agents, Janet McAfee now boasts a directory of 160 real estate professionals, as well as its own brokers and in-house marketing, relocation and closing departments. “When (Janet McAfee principal) Janet Horlacher and I began talking with Sarah Bakewell about the possibility of joining our companies, we realized that we had many similarities, including the experience level our agents possess,” Thornhill says. “The knowledge of the St. Louis market currently at Janet McAfee would be hard to find elsewhere.”
To expand its reach beyond St. Louis’ central corridor, Janet McAfee has recently partnered with St. Albans Realty. Thornhill says the idea to share resources came during a round of golf with St. Albans Realty president Joe Pottebaum, who also happens to be an old high school friend. “We have always had a respectful relationship and saw an opportunity to do something unique together,” Thornhill says. “Because they were competing against larger real estate companies, they wanted to cast a bigger net. By being affiliated with us, they can,” he says.
Thornhill says the new partnership gives homeowners the best of both worlds. “With our agreement, the seller is given the option to co-list,” he says. “This enables the seller to have consistent personal service that combines the extensive national and international marketing capabilities of Janet McAfee with those currently in place at St. Albans Realty.”
Thornhill says he’s been around long enough to experience a good taste of the real estate business. He’s been with Janet McAfee since 1987, the year Thornhill Company, a firm his father founded, merged with McAfee. “We’ve been successful because we run this company as a team,” he says. “The teamwork and experience that exist here cannot be beat, and because of that, we’ve positioned ourselves to react quickly when the market comes back.”