Beverly-Hanks’ 40th Anniversary (May 2017)
Four decades into the game, Beverly-Hanks still keeps its eye on the real prize: people.
With the real estate market being a key economic driver throughout Western North Carolina, it will come as no surprise to learn that some of the more successful businesses in the region are involved in real estate. Chief among them is Beverly-Hanks & Associates, Realtors, now celebrating its 40th year. But what is the mark of a successful business? Is it profits tallied? Units moved? Longevity as legacy?
For Beverly-Hanks, the answer is “company culture,” that hard-to-define, oftentimes ephemeral quality that people can rarely quantify but instinctively recognize. People always come first might even be the unofficial mantra—the clients the company serves, of course, and the communities within which it operates. And, perhaps most important, the people who make up Beverly-Hanks.
It all began in 1976 with the merger of Beverly Realty and W. Neal Hanks & Associates, both prominent, successful businesses. “In the 1970s,” recalls Neal Hanks, Jr., “the real estate industry was very casual—a lot of mom-and-pop operations. My dad and George Beverly saw that as a unique opportunity. They had a very different vision for the real estate business. After merging, the business came out of the gates really fast.”
George Beverly agrees, adding, “We were very good competitors, but we were also good friends. Neal was going to take care of the residential, and I was going to do the industrial end of the business. That’s how it all evolved. I think we had a total of 12 associates then.”
The company now has over 300 agents who operate throughout the mountain region, representing more homes and land for sale than any other real estate firm in the area.
Neal Hanks, sadly, passed away unexpectedly in 1999, following an illness. Suddenly thrust into a leadership role, Neal Hanks, Jr., was determined that there would be no interruptions or road bumps for Beverly-Hanks during the transition. As one long-time employee recently reflected, for a 40th anniversary company video, “The agents would have done anything for Neal, Sr. We knew that he had our interests at heart, and he knew that without his agents, he didn’t have a company. His agents came first, no matter what. You knew that he had your back—and Neal, Jr. is the same way.”
“When Dad passed away, one of the things that helped me deal with it, ironically, was working,” says Neal. “He loved Beverly-Hanks and he loved working. And he and I had spent lots and lots of time talking about things we wanted to do. We wanted to continue to grow geographically. We knew there were opportunities for our commercial business. And we also wanted to get into the mortgage business.
“Then in 2006 George Beverly [was ready to retire] so he and I were able to negotiate my purchase of George’s stock. We had a great year in 2006, 2007; and in 2008, as everybody knows, that’s when the wheels came off—the Great Recession. It was a very trying time on many of us as individuals. And certainly as a company, those were very difficult days. But even then we knew we had to evolve as a company.”
It’s now 2017, and Beverly-Hanks is a full-service firm, with residential and commercial brokerage, plus marketing, developer, and mortgage services. Executive Vice President Debbie Williams observes that the focus has always been “on attracting top talent. They had a genuine concern for one another and for their customers. The mission of the organization is [still] to be the company where agents have the opportunity to be successful.”
Concludes Neal Hanks, Jr., “You know, it’s fun to celebrate and certainly it’s been fun reflecting on 40 years of success for Beverly-Hanks. A lot of things have changed in those 40 years, but what excites me is that a lot of things remain the same: our commitment to each other; our commitment to our profession; and our commitment to the communities we live and serve in are unwavering.”
To learn more about Beverly-Hanks, visit them online at www.Beverly-Hanks.com.
To view the original article, click to open in fullscreen…