Growing a Successful Brokerage

by Paige Tepping, RISMedia | Published October 2022 Real Estate Magazine

Winston Velpula
Principal Broker and Owner
United Real Estate | Charleston, United Real Estate | Columbia and United Real Estate | Florence
Regions served: Charleston, Columbia and Florence
Years in real estate: 11
Number of offices: 3
Number of agents: 200

Key to continued growth and success: To grow and succeed, you need a strong brand identity, an attractive compensation plan and broker support.

Favorite part of working in real estate: The unlimited growth potential.

Tell us how you got into real estate and how you transitioned to becoming a broker and owner.
I got into real estate as an investor when the market was beginning to dip back in 2008. After learning that the agent who sold me my first investment property made what it cost to replace the carpet within the house, I realized just how lucrative it would be to get my license. I spent the next three years working as a licensed real estate professional before opening my own mom-and-pop shop. I knew there had to be a better way that allowed my agents to keep more of their hard-earned money. I quickly realized that there was a hefty price tag associated with providing the technology, tools and training my agents needed. While I only had four agents at the time, I realized I needed to franchise with someone.

What were the most important considerations for selecting United Real Estate as your brokerage partner?
As I began looking at all the big franchises, it became evident that they were mostly traditional models that offered a compensation plan that was no different than the one I was using in my company.  I also noticed that there were multiple franchise offices owned by different people in the same city, which got me thinking about how leads were allocated with so many offices in one locale. I wasn’t interested in competing with my own brand in the same city, and one of the biggest things that drew me to United was the fact that I had my own territory.

How have United Real Estate’s business model, tools, services and support helped you achieve your objectives in the markets you serve?
As we started to grow, the tools and training offered by United were always there. In addition to cutting-edge technology that our agents can leverage to communicate with clients, we also have access to weekly training on a variety of topics. Due to the fact that we’re not competing with one another, I can always pick up the phone and get in touch with any number of United’s brokers who are more than willing to answer questions and share their knowledge. Being able to share information freely is a huge benefit of being part of the United family.

You recently partnered with a United colleague to open the Charleston office. What are your expansion plans for that market?
Having grown from a handful of agents to where we stand today with a roster of 200, I’ve become a huge proponent of growing through mergers and acquisitions, which is the route we are taking in Charleston.

Winston and his team truly exemplify the work ethic, business integrity, and core values of United Real Estate. Each of these contribute greatly to their success.”

-Rick Haase, President


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