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Cover Story

The Cutler Real Estate Story

Stephanie Hollender

You Can Go Home Again

If the name "Cutler Real Estate" sounds familiar, it comes as no surprise. A household name in the Ohio real estate market, Cutler Real Estate has been in business for over 70 years serving the Columbus and Central Ohio, Greater Cincinnati, Northeast Ohio, and Northern Kentucky real estate markets.

Cutler Real Estate OwnersThe company's history and leadership span three generations. When E.L. (Al) Cutler started his real estate business in 1947, hoping to earn enough money to open a sporting goods store, he probably never imagined the extent to which his company would flourish. Real estate soon became Al Cutler's passion, and his love for the business continues with his family and extended family members today.

In the 1970s, the business grew to add Jim Bray, Jim Camp, and Jay Cutler to its leadership team as partners, President, principal broker, and general counsel.

Andy Camp Conference

Today, Andy Camp leads Cutler Real Estate as an owner and its President. We sat down with Camp to talk about his company's past, present, and future growth strategies, but most of all, its relationship with Delta Media Group.

Expanding the Cutler Real Estate Footprint

Cutler Real Estate represented Gallery of Homes and Better Homes and Gardens as a franchisee for over 30 years. In 2005, the company faced the decision to renew its relationship with the franchise network or declare its independence. After a comprehensive review and research, Cutler Real Estate chose to chart its own course in 2006.

And what a wise choice they made. Ultimately, the company's decision allowed them to extend their reach beyond their core markets of the Akron-Canton area.

Andy Camp, Cutler Real Estate's then General Manager, led the firm's aggressive multi-state expansion, which began in 2012 in Cincinnati and rapidly grew into Columbus, Northeast Ohio, and Northern Kentucky real estate markets.

Andy Camp, President and Owner Cutler Real EstateCamp shares, "What started in 2012 really wouldn't have been possible if we hadn't made the decisions we did in 2006 to go independent. The limiting factor of a franchise network would have been completely cost-prohibitive for us to expand into Cincinnati or Columbus. Our decision to look at our company as a legacy brand meant we intended to be here for years and years to come; that expansion was the next step in our growth strategy."

He continues, "Expanding outside of our core markets into a multi-state operation was challenging at first for some of our sales associates that were with us for 10, 12, 15, 20 years. However, if you're not growing, you're shrinking. While change is sometimes tricky, longevity in the real estate business means you need to think differently than the competition. You need to create a vision about how you're going to grow and be successful. You need to understand how to give and take opportunities.

"The decisions we made in 2006 and the brand we built allowed us to take our company anywhere. We have a tremendous growth opportunity, and we're committed to it, but we're not going to forget where we came from either. Akron-Canton remains, and will always remain, an incredibly important part of our company's success."

 

How Innovation Helped Cutler Real Estate Grow

During the internet's infancy, Cutler Real Estate, led by Jim Bray (then partner and President), adopted the power of technology and the internet into their daily business practices.

Camp comments, "Jim loved technology. He chomped at the bit for the release of the next tech tool. His commitment to technology is why innovation and technology are such an important part of the fabric of our company today. One of the most important things I learned from him was to continue to drive our company forward, we needed to use technology and innovation to do it. We make such a positive impact on people's lives and in their careers. Since technology changes so quickly, it's critical to stay focused on connecting our team with the best platform to impact their clients' lives positively."

Michael Minard CEO and Owner Delta Media Group

Michael Minard, President and CEO of Delta Media Group, comments, "In addition to Jim's partnership in Cutler Real Estate, he independently held interests in Delta Media Group too. His willingness to test drive new technologies at Cutler Real Estate that other firms were not yet ready for helped both companies succeed in our respective industries. Andy's actions today at Cutler Real Estate are carrying on Jim's vision to the next generation of his business and our partnership together."

 

 

 

 

Andy Camp on Being Named President of Cutler Real Estate

When Andy Camp was named President of Cutler Real Estate in 2017, he became only one of three people to lead the company. Camp shared his thoughts about running a third-generation family business and Cutler's plans for the future with Delta Media Group as its online partner.

Camp says, "To say the least, it's an honor to be at the helm of Cutler Real Estate. 

Cutler Real Estate Awards DinnerOur company has been in business for over 70 years. We have had three generations in this company and a total of three presidents, including me. That is something that I take a great deal of pride in; however, it also comes with a great deal of responsibility."

"Being named President after Jim's passing is something that is very near to my heart. With someone with such big a personality and someone as iconic as Jim Bray, there's only one way you can do this. And it is to take what he worked hard to build and take it to the next level to move our company forward," shares Camp.

Cutler Real Estate's Departure & Return to Delta Media Group

"Cutler Real Estate and Delta Media Group partnered for more than 20 years to bring innovation and technology to our business. During strategic marketing sessions, we decided to move our website and online marketing to a different provider to take those efforts in a new direction," comments Camp. "We evaluated our options in the real estate space and in 2016 decided to change real estate technology providers. At the time, we believed we were partnering with the most innovative and cutting-edge provider in the market."

From 1997 to 2017, Cutler Real Estate and Delta Media Group worked together to grow Cutler's online business. However, after Cutler Real Estate's departure from Delta Media Group, the company saw a total traffic decline of 39 percent. Organic traffic dropped 56 percent (or approximately 74,000 visitors) from 2017 to 2018.

Andy Camp Mike Minard"By leaving Delta Media Group, both of our companies were able to examine our partnership with a fresh set of eyes. To their credit, and the leadership of Mike Minard, Delta Media Group pivoted and invested in innovation while other providers were selling out. So when our new provider sold to RE/MAX, we were able to re-establish a partnership with Delta with a fresh perspective and a shared vision for the real estate technology platform.

Camp continues, "How good is Delta at what they do? They are at the top of their game. Their SEO software is incredible. The SEO software backed into the platform drives traffic and leads to our REALTORS® to help them close more business.

Cutler Real Estate Delta Media Group"Mike Minard and his team at Delta Media Group listen to our ideas and give you their honest opinions about the best way to move forward with a plan. They make you feel like you're their only client, even though you know you're not. They are quick to answer emails, phone calls, and the occasional cry for help. No playing phone tag or waiting days and days for a return email."

Cutler Marketing Team"Here's a prime example of how their expertise in real estate technology places them—AND US—at the top of our games. When we requested that our previous vendor write an MLS data feed for one of our new markets, they quoted us an 11-month time frame to complete the job. When we requested that same feed from Delta, they pretty much finished the project in 24 hours. A delay in data translation for us means our prime cities and neighborhoods cannot be marketed on our website appropriately, causing a lack of traffic, leads, and loss of potential revenue. That is one of the best examples I can give you to demonstrate the differences between having a partner with your best interests in mind and working with just another vendor. Cutler Real Estate views Delta Media Group as an extension of our company. They continually develop new ways to increase our business while saving us money at the same time," says Camp.

Suzi Stepanovich, Cuter Real Estate

Suzi Stepanovich, e-Commerce Manager/Business Development for Cutler Real Estate, says, "I have had the privilege of watching our website evolve over the last 21 years. To say the 'grass isn't always greener on the other side' is an understatement when it comes to a website vendor. We quickly realized during our switch to another vendor and subsequently, our switchback, that we made the right decision. Delta Media Group exceeded our expectations in three short months to develop systems we wanted in place that was outside of their normal platform, and I look forward to collaborating once again to grow together to provide the best, most simple and efficient way to help our customers find their way HOME!"

 

Andy Camp on the Future of Cutler Real Estate, the Real Estate Business, and Delta Media Group

"As a real estate company that has been around for over 70 years and plans to be here for years and years to come, the business decisions we make today will have rippling effects on the next generations. The internet, technology, and innovation are here to stay, and so is Cutler Real Estate. Remember our philosophy: If you're not growing, you're shrinking? You won't believe what's coming next. We're in development meetings with Delta creating strategies to make buying faster and easier for tomorrow's homebuyer." says Camp.

Cutler Real Estate cutlerhomes.com

Cutler Real Estate, Local REALTORS® with Global Connections

Cutler Real Estate is a proud member of the Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® (LeadingRE) network. With over 750 brokers in 35 countries, Cutler Real Estate can connect you with a highly qualified REALTOR® anywhere. Cutler Real Estate has earned a reputation for delivering superior service to its real estate clients by achieving the results they desire. Nearly 450 Cutler REALTORS® have the training and experience to help you define and achieve your goals.

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