By R.J. DeLuke
Being able to adapt to rapid changes in
the real estate industry, fueled by advances
in technology, is among the reasons Janet
Besheer broke away from the Keller Williams
Realty franchise to form her own company,
Besheer had the franchise for Saratoga
Springs. The new entity remains at 38 High
Rock Ave. in the city, with a makeover to reflect
the new Equitas Realty brand.
“I do think real estate the way we know it is
shifting,” Besheer said. Much of that is due to
technology and the growing online presence
for agents and buyers.
The way young buyers search is vastly different
these days, she noted. They have smartphones
at their fingertips and know their way
around the Internet, doing a lot of research
before they even approach a real estate agency,
in many cases.
With all these changes, Equitas wants to
be able to break free from traditional ways of
thinking and create avenues to better serve
customers and help agents in the company get
the best information.
The word Equitas, Latin for fairness, is the
root for the English word equity, and echoes
equine and equanimity, said Besheer, ideas
that she says are integral to a successful business
in Saratoga Springs.
“We want a better marketing platform,”
With data aggregators such as Zillow and
Trulia disrupting the traditional advertising
models by enabling smaller firms to reach a
vast number of potential customers online.
Equitas is able to tap into those tools and its
agents can utilize them.
“We are able to pick and choose as we go
along,” she said. We can make changes that a
large company can’t do on a dime.”
For example, the website the company used
to use was difficult to navigate. Besheer said
she doesn’t want her agents to have to be “computer
geeks” to get the information they need.
“Our website [now] is clean, new and fresh.”
“We couldn’t feel more validated in the
changes we’ve made based on the news during
our launch week that Zillow.com is purchasing
Trulia.com, which overnight changes the
dynamic in the real estate industry to its very
foundation,” said Justin White, managing
director of Equitas Realty.
He said the decision “to leave the franchise
world and become an independent gives Equitas
Realty the ability to change quickly as
the fast-paced changes in the industry occur.”
Besheer said under the franchise, there
were also geographical restrictions for the business,
which was confined to Saratoga Springs.
“I’d like to have four offices up and down the Northway within the next two years or so,” she
said. Such a move will attract more agents and
improve service to customers.
Another plus, she said, is that money that
used to go to the franchise can be put into
the company for better training and services
for the agents. The company is changing its
training syllabus to meet the demands of
“Our agents will have almost mini-MBA
career training,” she said.
She added that at Equitas, the agents “are
working together, helping one another, not
trying to beat each other … There are a lot of
smiles in this office.”
For more information,
contact Justin White at 584-9990.