Josh Zimmerman and Holly Carter and their mascot, Luke the Dog, are well-known and respected in their community. The two agents started NextHome Priority in Stevens Point in 2018, and in 2019, they were voted Best Real Estate Agency in Portage County.
Providing a Client-Friendly Experience
Their company is part of a franchise that helps people buy and sell property, including residential, commercial and undeveloped lots. Currently, there are five NextHome Priority offices in Wisconsin. Josh and Holly’s number one goal is to be client-friendly. Their innovation in marketing strategies and hiring practices sets them apart from competitors.
Their team of agents are caring and genuinely interested in giving back to the community through activities like volunteer work. Josh likes to refer to having the top 20 human beings in the business instead of the top 20 agents. Clients said of working with Holly as their realtor, “As parents working around a newborn’s schedule, we really appreciated Holly’s flexibility and her understanding.”
Obtaining Entrepreneurial Assistance
Growing such a quality team in just over a year was no easy task. Josh and Holly came to the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) because they knew they wanted to expand and they had plenty of management experience, but they weren’t sure about establishing short- and long-term goals. They came to the SBDC for help with financial projections and a review of their business plan before they officially opened. The SBDC at UW-Stevens Point’s Center Director Melissa Meschke was thrilled to work with them. “They have been great to work with. Both Josh and Holly are motivated, organized and experienced.”
Josh said of his work with the SBDC, “Melissa made it as stress-free and pain-free as possible. We wouldn’t be as organized or as successful as we are today without her advice.” One of the many strengths of NextHome Priority is their marketing. They use professional photography in all their materials. In yards of the homes for sale, Josh and Holly place reflective signage that can be easily seen at night. Luke, the bright orange mascot dog, is put out on lawns of homes even before the real estate company puts out their sale sign. Luke is very recognizable and definitely noticeable.
Accomplishments with UW-Stevens Point SBDC:
- Short- and long-term goals
- Business plan
- Financial projections
Giving Back and Looking Forward
Another strength of the company lies in their support of veterans and other groups of people. Josh works with the Veterans Round Table initiative that the SBDC at UW-Stevens Point puts together twice per year to organize resources and accessibility to small business resources for veterans. He also helps to sponsor a Homes for Heroes program by donating 25% of his commission to clients who are veterans or active duty military as well as healthcare workers, school teachers, police officers or fire fighters.
Even with all their experience, opening their business still came with a few bumps in the road. Obtaining funding through banks took longer than they anticipated, so the two decided to rent their office space instead of buying. Then, in Spring of 2019, NextHome Priority purchased the 12,000-square foot building. Josh and Holly are now even more focused on future expansion due to the purchase, even considering the possibility of opening a new office. Melissa commented on what comes next for Josh and Holly saying, “Their drive and ambition will help them accomplish whatever they set their minds to!”