Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 21, 2023

Peel sets lofty goals for United Real Estate Experts

Lisa Peel is the owner of four United Real Estate Experts offices in Kentucky and Tennessee and the managing broker of the Chattanooga branch. She’s seeking to grow her Scenic City office, which she opened in 2019. - Photograph provided

Born and bred in Lexington, Kentucky, Lisa Peel says her Bluegrass heritage is as much a part of who she is as the marrow in her bones. For some, that denotes love for Wildcats basketball, but to her, it signifies deep and abiding fellowship with her family.

And what a family it is. Peel’s parents, her three sisters and their families, her two adult children and her two grandchildren are as much a part of her life as food and water, partly because everyone lives in Lexington, but also because that’s the way people in Bluegrass country roll, she says.

“My grandkids were at my house for 12 hours on Saturday,” Peel, 57, says by phone from Lexington. “I always make sure I’m home on weekends because I wouldn’t want to miss that.”

On Mondays, however, duty tugs Peel away from the warm hearth of family camaraderie and sends her to Tennessee, where she officially resides. Some days, she makes it as far south as Chattanooga, where she’s nurturing a different breed of family.

As the sole owner and current managing broker of United Real Estate Experts in the Scenic City, Peel is on a mission to create a brokerage that rivals the top firms in town. Currently staffed with 60 agents, she says her goal is to boost its numbers to 280 – a figure that would have her current location at Heritage Business Court bursting at the seams.

Should someone think Peel is full of bluster, she’d point to her track record in real estate as proof that she not only believes she can pull it off but that she’s done it before.

Peel is a former Keller Williams owner and agent who left the office she co-founded (Keller Williams Bluegrass Realty, the first KW in Kentucky) six years ago and opened a United Real Estate franchise in Lexington, a city of nearly 322,000 at the time. She then grew the firm to 280 agents.

Peel – who’s licensed in Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia – also purchased the exclusive rights to open United offices in Knoxville, where she now operates two brokerages, and launched the United branch in Chattanooga.

So, yes, she says, 280 is well within her grasp and would be par for the course for United, which claims to be the sixth largest real estate firm in the U.S. based on agent count (22,000).

Peel assumed the role of managing broker of her Chattanooga site in June to take a more active role in achieving that growth, she says. Job one will involve cultivating an environment of professionalism and expertise, she adds.

Key to this effort will be her firm’s mentorship program, a new system that’s paving the way for freshly minted agents to learn the ropes of real estate and then begin securing clients and making sales.

“We’ve always taken on only experienced agents,” Peel shares. “So, we created a mentorship program that’s onboarding new Realtors.”

As Peel describes her firm’s mentorship program, she draws a mental picture of a tree, with a mentorship director at the root of the system, one-on-one mentors branching out from there and then the agents themselves bearing fruit at the tips.

“New agents pair with a mentor during their first four deals and then we consider them to be independent,” Peel explains. “The mentors take the agents fully under their wings and prepare them to fly on their own.”

Peel says she believes United’s compensation model will also be attractive to new agents, as well as seasoned Realtors. Instead of claiming a percentage of each transaction, the company charges a fee of $595 on sales below $1 million. The fee is higher for properties that exceed that mark.

Some agents outside of United have assumed the company’s low transaction fee indicates a lack of support services, but this is a common misperception, Peel insists. Not only does United offer its agents feature-packed technologies, but every Realtor on Peel’s roster also has access to what she calls the Tennessee Broker Network, a system of office leads who are at agents’ beck and call.

“One of the biggest problems agents have is reaching a broker when they have an issue,” Peel continues. “With five brokers, they should never be without quick help.”

Likewise, United is not a discount brokerage, Peel contends.

“Our motto is ‘Find your freedom,’” she submits. “We allow our agents to set their fees and set their business practices as long as they’re professional, ethical and protect our reputation.”

Above all, however, is Peel’s effort to foster a culture that draws inspiration from the kind of families that lie at the heart of the Bluegrass state. For starters, she says she intends to treat every agent – new and veteran alike – equally.

“If you hang your license at my office, and then another agent comes, you won’t have to sit in the work center with them and wonder if we gave them a better deal than you. Everyone gets the same deal.”

The best parts of said deal, Peel says, are the encouragement and backing her agents offer one another. These, she adds, are the things that turn a business setting into a work family.

“Everyone here roots for each other,” Peel says. “I love to hear my agents cheer each other on.”

That said, Peel might draw the line at her agents spending 12 hours at her house on a Saturday.

Contact Peel at lisapeel@aol.com or 859 509-4226.