The company was located in the back of the building overlooking an alley.
“I didn’t feel any connection to the street or the community,” said owner/broker Liz Brent. “And this is wonderful up here. It’s also wonderful light. We’re all in much better moods.
“It feels good to be much a part of the community,” she added.
Brent opened her own brokerage in January of 2018 after being affiliated with a larger agency. The move bucked an industry trend of larger, even national, brokerages buying up smaller, often family-owned, agencies.
“I was rebranding and I didn’t want to have to share that space with anybody,” Brent said. “I wanted to be completely on my own.
“We are such a community-focused brokerage that aligning ourselves with a national broker or another broker just wasn’t particularly useful,” she added, noting that 10 of her employees live within about mile or two of the office.
The move also allowed Brent to expand, adding two agents who specialize in Hyattsville and the Route 1 corridor, and to offer more services to its clients.
“You hear about staging,” she said. “We were the first people to do staging. That’s only a very small portion of what we do.”
The brokerage also helps owners to clear out homes for sale, find moving help, deal with vacant properties, out-of-town owners, awkward family situations, or rentals and provides other services, using local businesses and resources when ever possible.
“It’s harder to make retail work anywhere you are, I think, and Silver Spring is no different,” Brent said. “But we’re all looking for more help in our lives, and more services in our lives.
“We’re definitely seeing more of a service atmosphere here,” she continued. “It’s much harder to make it as a small retail shop.”
Photo of Liz Brent outside the new office by Mike Diegel.