A real estate company in Narberth is staffing up heavily to leverage the growing opportunities its fourth-generation president sees in the rental market.
started as a home-building company in 1923, Will Wolverton told Patch in a recent interview. Throughout the years, "generationally, we all had our different passions," Wolverton said, and when he took the reins in 2010, the company zeroed in on buying, selling, leasing and managing properties.
This year, the major focus is the new subsidiary Rental Co., a regional network of leasing agencies Wolverton hopes to extend nationwide soon.
"The color of money in today's market is primarily leasing," Wolverton said. "It became increasingly obvious to us that the short-term market, and probably for the next five to seven years, is going to be rentals. I think the reality is some people are (suited to be) tenants—they get to move around."
The company, formerly headquartered in Ardmore and Haverford, had about 10 employees before it began last fall interviewing for dozens of leasing agent jobs. More than 50 agents have since been hired in the Philadelphia area alone, and leasing operations have begun in the Lehigh Valley and parts of New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.
Will Wolverton himself left a larger real estate company when he rejoined the family company, a move he said some of his new agents are making, too.
"We think we've reenergized our agents based on the property rental market. I'm pleasantly surprised at the quality and caliber of people joining ... people who are realizing that to stay in the sales market and waiting to see it rebound in time to make a decent living is not realistic," Wolverton said. "It's happening in every region we've interviewed."
The company plans to have offices in Washington, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago and other cities by year's end, "having a general manager for each new site who knows that area very well," Wolverton said. He expects to begin catering to buyers and sellers in new markets once leasing operations are successful there.
Asked why he doesn't see more competition for nationwide leasing, Wolverton replied, "While some larger companies are undoubtedly trying to get into the leasing side, they're too big. Because we started small, it allows us ... to shift quickly to address the changing dynamics of the market."
Visit the company's website for more information about its endeavors.