In the past five years, Montana broker-owner Dawn Maddux has driven Engel & Völkers Western Frontier’s dramatic growth in her region’s luxury markets. Along with her success in leading the company, she is one of RealTrends + Tom Ferry America’s Best Real Estate Professionals and ranked No. 1 in her state in 2021 sales volume.
Q: What are some of the milestones in your growth over the past five years?
A: I had a strong background in marketing before starting my real estate career in 2010. When I joined Engel & Völkers Western Frontier in 2017, we had four people, including my daughter Raleigh Ward, now in our Kalispell office, and Katie Moriarty, our general manager. We have grown steadily and now have 110 agents and 10 support staff in nine offices in Montana, as well as in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, and Spokane, Washington.
Q. What is your growth strategy?
A. We have grown organically with just two recent office acquisitions. We have looked for top producers and other strong professionals who are ethical, kind and humble – no prima donnas here!
We attract luxury buyers from the coastal cities, particularly California, as well as Texas and Canada. We do see some international demand, but most buyers are domestic.
Q. What do you offer your agents?
A. We have a very high level of support. Marketing is my passion, and our team includes a full-time specialist who helps our agents with everything, including brainstorming new ideas and constant training opportunities. When the leads come in, we rotate them evenly among our agents without including me.
Q. Which services are most important to sellers and buyers?
A. With sellers, it’s marketing. Even when sales were going crazy, sellers need strong marketing to get the top dollar for their properties. On the other side, buyers want professionals who know how to negotiate on their behalf and put together solid offers.
Q. What are your best marketing tools?
A. We are heavy into print, as well as online and social media, particularly Instagram and Facebook. Luxury real estate lends itself to beautiful professional photos and videos. We also post lifestyle photos of families hiking and biking, as well as our natural wildlife.
Q. Have you seen a slowdown in recent months?
A. The luxury market is not as affected by mortgage rates as other segments. While there has been a stabilization here, demand remains strong for large parcels of land with custom-build packages as well as high-end turnkey condos that offer golfing and skiing
Q. What is your recruiting strategy?
A. It’s been very organic. I watch social media to see who has a strong presence in a local market, and could do a good job representing our brand. If our agents have good interactions, we might invite them to join our team.
Q. What advice do you have for other brokers?
A. You have to provide a high level of service that generates referrals and repeat business. Also, remember that your team is your brand. Be selective in who you bring in and if you make a mistake in hiring, act swiftly to correct things and move on.
Q. What are your business goals for the next few years?
A. I want to maintain our trajectory and keep growing our current markets by maintaining our team and providing great service to our customers. As our mission statement says, we don’t want to be the biggest – just the best.