After working with Freddie Mac for over 7 years helping them sell bank owned homes, Millenium Realty will retrain focus on local listings.
By Jacob Engels
Few businesses have spent over 10 years in the Avalon Park area, but Joe Stout’s Millenium Realty Group is one of those unique entrepreneurial efforts that really blossomed.
Stout founded his business in 2003, and shortly thereafter experienced tremendous growth – both in listings, agents, and most importantly successful sales and satisfied customers. Before laying out his own shingle, Stout was a well-regarded new homes sales consultant for US Homes.
Millenium Realty would end up employing over 140 agents in the Central Florida area and became the undisputed industry leader in the East Orlando area, Avalon Park to be particular. Matt Kent, who sold several homes through Millenium before they changed focus, said Stout and his company had great service and quick results.
“We were able to grow so quickly because we understood the importance of not only taking care of the clients needs, but also making sure that our agents had every tool at their disposal to succeed. Stifling them with gross fees and 60/40 splits on their commissions has never been our thing. When agents succeed, the business succeeds and the fees you see imposed on agents at other firms simply line the pockets of the owners… and that is not right,” Joe Stout, owner of Millenium Realty Group, Inc told us when asked about what makes his firm different.
Millenium has become known for their trademark blue signage.
In 2008, after 6 years of growing Millenium Realty Group, Joe received an offer from Freddie Mac to help them sell bank owned homes.
“At first we were very nervous. Most agents and firms have short-lived stints working with the banks because of how particular they are about the whole process. We saw it as a challenge,” said Stout.
It was during this seven-year period that Stout’s Millenium Realty Group shifted focus from local listings and maintaining a large collective of agents to dedicating their resources to make sure they followed every rule and regulation selling the bank owned homes.
“Millenium tightened up our operation and trimmed to about 60 agents. I focused on the partnership with Freddie Mac and spent the rest of my time continuing to train agents, work our local listings, and maintain the brand.”
But that did not slow down Millenium Realty. Stout would soon head up the sale of the bank owned properties in Seminole, Orange, and Brevard counties. During their time in these areas, Millenium’s Stout and his employees expanded their knowledge base of the local real estate market and received a more comprehensive understanding of the real estate process.
“We do it all for the banks. Check the occupancy of the homes, find out who is living there, offer cash for keys to vacate the property. Perform a BPO, Brokers Price Opinion on the property to see how much it is worth, Oversee the property getting cleaned and preserved back to the neighborhood standards. Work with the bank on coming up with the correct price of the property, listing the property on the MLS, negotiating with the bank and netting the most money possible for the bank. It is actually very stressful,” explained Stout.
“Brokers get fired by the banks everyday, they lose their bank owned accounts. It could be the difference between hundreds of thousands of dollars. We have managed to do things right and keeps our accounts with the banks. We are currently working in Orange, Seminole and Brevard County. The banks love us. They know when they call us with any issue, we will get it taken care of immediately.”
Now, just as Stout and Millenium Realty Group adapted to surviving during the economic downturn, he is realizing that the market is moving in the right direction and that he needs to retool – returning to local listings. Stout told us that he is currently planning an aggressive outreach program to local agents, and is working on re-branding his firm. He will also be offering agent training in partnership with Tom Ferry, a nationally recognized real estate expert.
“What our team has learned over the past seven years working with Freddie Mac makes them the best in the business. Millenium is not just an Avalon Park or East Orlando based firm, we are going to serve the whole Central Florida area. Millenium will still be headquartered out of our space on Avalon Park Boulevard, which we converted from a home to office years ago.”
Joe and Maribel Stout with their children on recent family vacation.
Aside from the focus on growing his business, Stout and his family have been very involved in the Avalon Park community over the past decade. The family has purchased the warm-up jerseys for the Avalon Middle school boys and girls basketball teams for the past three years – even after his children went on to high school.
“Joe has such a passion for sports, and he really loves basketball. When you succeed as a business and family financially, we’ve always felt that you have an obligation to give back,” said Maribel, Stout’s wife who works as the office manager for Millenium. Stout also volunteers his time coaching with the YMCA basketball, soccer, and flag football teams.
“We love our community and doing positive things that impact it.”
Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post & Seminole County Post. He is a seasoned political operative who has led numerous statewide political groups and has worked on several high-profile local, statewide, and national races. Jacob has been interviewed on national television & radio programs, with his work having been featured in the Orlando Sentinel, New York Times, Washington Post, Miami Herald and other publications nationwide. He can be reached at email@example.com