Fifty years ago, two 30-something veterans came together to build their dream. At an office in Fairfax, Virginia, Wes Foster and Hank Long opened Long & Foster Real Estate. A flip of a coin positioned Long’s moniker first in the company’s brand name and gave Foster the role of President.
Foster led the residential side of the real estate business, while Long managed the company’s commercial services. A single employee joined the two at the company’s outset, and that first year in business, they sold about $3 million in volume—a significant amount at that time, which is now surpassed in an individual luxury home sale. In the five decades since its inception, the single real estate office outside the Nation’s Capital has become the country’s No. 1 independent real estate brand by sales volume, according to the REAL Trends 500.
“It’s one of my proudest achievements that, together, we have positively affected the lives of so many in the past 50 years and that we’ve done so with honesty and integrity,” said Foster. “I’ve always believed that if you put your people first, then success will follow, and our agent-first approach has been the foundation of our business and the reason we’re celebrating 50 years of real estate excellence in 2018.”
Today, Long & Foster operates over 220 offices, and over 11,000 agents are part of its real estate brands, including Fonville Morisey. The brokerage also has expanded beyond traditional real estate sales. In the early 1970s, they opened Long & Foster Insurance, pioneering the one-stop-shop concept. The 1980s brought the debut of Long & Foster’s mortgage and settlement companies. The company also built booming property management, vacation rentals and corporate real estate services divisions.
Long & Foster’s innovative growth remains as strong as ever today. In 2015, the company became a part-owner of Moxi Works, a real estate technology startup in Seattle, Washington. In 2016, Long & Foster acquired Urban Pace, a new home sales and marketing firm. It has also acquired dozens of brokerages of all sizes, including the Triangle area company Fonville Morisey Realty. In 2017 alone, Long & Foster acquired Evers & Co., Monticello Properties, Jefferson Properties and McGrath Real Estate.
“What Wes achieved at Long & Foster and in the industry, is remarkable and is largely a credit to his people-first approach,” said Jeff Detwiler, President and CEO of The Long & Foster Companies. “Wes builds relationships by being there for his clients and agents. That philosophy played a huge role in Long & Foster reaching this milestone, and it will continue to guide our company for the next 50 years.”
Our Winston Salem, North Carolina office is proud to be a part of the long tradition of serving others. Please contact any of our sales associates at 336. 999. 8598 or visit our website at www.longandfoster.com.