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50 Best Companies to Watch 2021

Creig Northrop, Founder, and CEO of Northrop Realty Speaks to The Silicon Review: ‘Despite the Pandemic, We Continue to Build on Our Foundation And Forward-Thinking Model’

thesiliconreview-logo-northrop-realty-21“We opened offices in West Ocean City and Harford County in 2020, and plans are underway for two additional offices in coastal Delaware along with one office at Quarry Lake in Pikesville, Maryland. This will not only increase our footprint but take us to 14 offices serving Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and Florida.”

Northrop Realty, A Long & Foster Company, is a full-service brokerage serving Maryland, Washington D.C., and Delaware.

The brokerage’s mission is to be the leader in the real estate marketplace, using the highest degree of professionalism and expertise to meet and exceed the needs of its clientele.

Northrop Realty is headquartered in Clarksville, MD.

Interview Excerpt: Creig Northrop

Q. When was Northrop Realty incorporated? Brief us about the journey so far.

Northrop Realty was incorporated in 2018.

I have over 30 years of experience in the real estate industry and am the co-CEO and co-founder of Northrop Realty. It was named #1 Specialty Brokerage by Real Trends in 2020 after completing 2,500 transactions for a combined value of over $1 Billion in volume in 2019.

Carla and I started the Creig Northrop Team in 2000 and became the #1 Team unprecedented three times in the nation. Accomplishing the pinnacle of performance as a team, we sought new levels of success, and in 2018, we rebranded Creig Northrop as Northrop Realty.

Q. You’re a full-service brokerage company. How did this idea come to your mind? Were there any past experiences that led to the establishment of Northrop Realty?

In 2000, during a vacation in Ocean City, MD, we sat on a park bench, taking in the shore's sights and smells. That’s when we determined we could transform the Northrop name into a real estate brand, creating their “IBM Approach to Real Estate,” which comprises five sectors: client care, staging, marketing, information technology, and training—all essential elements of success in today’s real estate arena. I served as the Creig Northrop Team’s president, and Carla ran the administrative side as vice president.

Delineate a short overview of the services your company offer.

We have a unique edge over our competitors by offering full-service at no extra cost tour clients. The Northrop Edge provides everything from professional staging advice to award-winning marketing. It’s unlike anything ever experienced in real estate and includes our agents who thrive in helping our clients achieve their goals, represent them and their best interest when negotiating on their behalf. Our client care coordinators assist throughout the process by providing a constant open line of communication during the transaction. Our ASP® certified Accredited Staging Professionals provide a custom plan for staging our clients’ homes to sell fast and for more money. We provide professional 4K fusion photography, 2-D floor plans, and 3-D tours giving buyers an in-depth look into our listings with the ability to take a virtual ‘walkthrough’ tour. Our in-house marketing department promotes our listings in new and innovative ways with a strategic approach that focuses on where home buyers look most. Using new media together with traditional tried-and-true methods, we publicize homes to millions of potential buyers.

Q. ‘Our mission is to be the leader in the real estate marketplace using the highest degree of professionalism and expertise to meet and exceed the needs of our clientele.’ How do you interpret this?

With a talented staff and an ‘Everybody Matters’ mindset in place, the brokerage approaches real estate as a relationship-building opportunity and not a transaction. Our brokerage is comprised of passionate real estate, marketing, and administrative professionals committed to proactively promoting and selling homes. We always strive to achieve high-quality service and stellar results for our clients. From contract to close, we are here for them. Every client receives the highest degree of professionalism from our agents and staff. This includes a strong work ethic, professional appearance, being timely and punctual with our appointments, being accountable for our actions, and providing consistent proficiency with confidence, kindness, and humility.

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Q. What were the roadblocks you had to overcome during the initial days?

When I first started as a sales agent, I learned to fail forward. Sales are all about the client, not about you, and it is important to know that you never lose as you learn. To be a top agent or team, you can’t be a part-time agent or even a full-time agent but an all-the-time agent who builds relationships, not a transactional agent. You have to fall in love with your clients, and build an everlasting friendship for referrals, solve their problems because your income is proportionate to the bigger problems you can solve, and lastly, have fun. Your attitude is an asset making real estate a lifestyle and a job that creates fun for you, and more importantly, your client's experience. Making real estate fun is one of the founding principles that help me not just go through it but grow through it.

Q. Speaking of the hurdles, was there any challenge you overcame successfully? If any, would you like to share the story with us?

Steering through the 2008 recession with a solid survival plan and by invigorating our staff, we became the #1 real estate team in the nation by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends that same year. More recently, when COVID-19 struck, we realized that adaptability was the key to sustaining our brokerage; we needed to pivot, not pause. My wife Carla Northrop quickly prioritized safety in all aspects, communicating daily with the leadership team, sales agents, and staff members in our 11 offices via Zoom meetings. The Northrop Realty leadership tirelessly collaborated on modifying operational plans, assuring the staff that we would successfully navigate the associated challenges.

Q. Briefly walk us through your plans. Where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

I see myself as the leader of one of the top brokerages in the Mid-Atlantic and dominating the market with our forward-thinking model built from a strong foundation, great leadership, outstanding administration support systems, state-of-the-art marketing, NorthropU for our agents, and our newest training platform ELEVATE along with our amazing all the time agents. My goal is to help build the next #1 individual agent and team in the nation, starting with each county we serve first. Zig Ziglar said it best, “You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want,” which is the model we follow at Northrop Realty. Despite the pandemic, we continue to build on our foundation and forward-thinking model. We opened offices in West Ocean City and Harford County in 2020. Plans are underway for two additional offices in coastal Delaware along with one office at Quarry Lake in Pikesville, Maryland, which would not only increase our footprint but take us to 14 offices serving Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and Florida.

“Steering through the 2008 recession with a solid survival plan and by invigorating our staff, we became the #1 real estate team in the nation by Wall Street Journal and Real Trends that same year. More recently, when COVID-19 struck, we realized that adaptability was the key to sustaining our brokerage; we needed to pivot, not pause.”