We sat down with Barry Matheny, Vice President of Relocation Services at John L. Scott Real Estate and PSRC Sponsorship Chair, to hear about the many charitable initiatives the company is spearheading and where he sees the real estate industry going in the future.
Where is your company headquartered?
John L. Scott Real Estate is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. We have over 100 offices with more than 3,000 brokers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California.
For how many years have you been involved with the Puget Sound Relocation Council (PSRC) and why did you decide to become a sponsor?
I have been involved with the Puget Sound Relocation Council for more than 15 years. As a company, John L. Scott has been involved with PRSC since it was established in 1991.
What, in your opinion, is the most valuable part of being involved with the PSRC community?
For me, the most valuable part of being involved with the PRSC community is the opportunity to learn and make our industry better. Through PRSC, you can network and collaborate with some of the best in the industry, which really elevates our work as relocation professionals. Lastly, I appreciate being involved with the PRSC’s efforts to give back.
What makes your company unique? Please be specific!
John L. Scott Real Estate, led by third-generation Chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott, has been helping buyers and sellers realize their homeownership dreams since 1931. JLS is recognized as one of the top 20 residential real estate brands in the nation. Last year, John L. Scott closed over 35,000 transactions, totaling more than 20 billion dollars in sales volume.
In support of the company’s core value, Living Life as a Contribution®, the John L. Scott Foundation helped sponsor 29 events for 17 children’s hospitals in 2021, which helped raise over $15 million for children’s healthcare. In 2022, John L. Scott also provided 40 dinners for Ronald McDonald House Charities.
How does your company fit into the relocation process?
John L. Scott primarily deals with residential real estate transactions, and we have a segment of our company dedicated to relocation. We are proud members of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) and have six support staff members focused on all aspects of inbound and outbound referrals and the relocation process. Additionally, we have a wide broker base of broker associates who are vetted and certified through our relocation department to be eligible for client leads secured through our partnerships with RMCs.
The Relocation Department at John L. Scott plays a major role in our company throughout our footprint. We are celebrating 52 years of service and are proud of our successes and accomplishments. At the end of the day, we help people find homes by offering professional, experienced, and friendly service to our relocation clients. This unique opportunity to make an impact is not taken lightly by our capable team.
What are your company’s core values? Please provide a few examples of these values in action.
John L. Scott Real Estate’s core value is Living Life as a Contribution® in every facet of life: at work, at home and in the community.
The John L. Scott Foundation is a great example of our core value exemplified. It was founded in 1997 in honor of John L. Scott, a philanthropist and community activist who believed in the value of Living Life as a Contribution®. Our mission is to help kids be healthy and at home.
Through the generous voluntary contributions made by John L. Scott broker associates and employees, our foundation can help sponsor events for nonprofits like Seattle Children’s Hospital, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Camp Korey, St. Michael Medical Center and more. Last year, our event sponsorship helped raise over $15 million for children’s healthcare.
We also support the Ronald McDonald House, a nonprofit that supports the families of hospitalized children by helping them access the medical care and resources they need. At the Ronald McDonald House, the John L. Scott Foundation has coordinated volunteers to serve dinner and has also purchased either catered dinners (during Covid times) or the ingredients to make dinner that is to be served to residents (pre-Covid but will be started up again soon).
What, in your opinion, is the most exciting/rewarding part about the work your company does?
One of the most inspiring and rewarding things John L. Scott Real Estate does is our efforts to further diversity, equity and inclusion in the real estate industry. We believe that together we can make an impact in our industry and society as a whole.
Our impact in DEI includes our company’s sponsorship of several scholarships for diverse teacher candidates to obtain their teaching certificates. We have high hopes that this initiative will assist in creating a quality education experience for more youth of diverse backgrounds, which in turn will lead to greater employment, inclusion, advancement and equity.
Another area of focus is modifying racist language in real estate titles through our Driving Change initiative. Through this program, John L. Scott is partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop a consumer-facing website where homeowners can search for discriminatory language in their home title documents and request its modification/removal.
Listening to feedback from members of our employee and broker base is important, which is why with the help of a diversity consultant, we continue to host focus groups to identify challenges and opportunities in DEI. We continually foster an environment where our employee, leadership and broker base feels comfortable in sharing their perspective and providing input, as well as helping shape the company’s approach to DEI moving forward.
What are some of your company’s goals and initiatives for 2022? Please be specific and tell us what you’re doing to meet these goals.
In 2020, our company launched Market Ready Plus+™, a program intended to help homeowners address funding gaps to ready their homes for the market. Through this program, John L. Scott will help qualified sellers coordinate improvements, and provide an advance to complete the work to ready the home for the market. John L. Scott is reimbursed from the sellers’ final settlement at closing, with no fees or interest attached.
In 2022, we are taking this program full circle with an innovative program helping clients “close like a cash buyer,” edging out other buyers to secure their dream homes. This offering will enable borrowers with our lending partner Priority Home Lending to submit purchase offers with no financing or appraisal contingencies and compete with possible cash offers. We will be announcing more information on this soon but are looking forward to creating seller certainty for our buyer clients through this program.
What’s one fun fact about your company that may not be well known?
John L. Scott Real Estate was started by our current Chairman & CEO J. Lennox Scott’s grandfather, John L. Scott, back in 1931. When Lennox was 10 years old, his father and CEO at the time W. Lennox Scott asked him if he wanted a job painting open house signs. Lennox agreed and this was his summer job for a couple of years!
To paint the signs back then, Lennox would start by painting white primer on the signs and then paint a beige color on top. After that, a sign company would finish them off with stencils displaying the company name.
How do you see our industry evolving in the next 3-5 years?
Overall, the real estate industry will continue to evolve, moving toward a fully integrated transaction process. We are currently down to a process that can be as quick as 10 days and that will be reduced further as time goes on. Beyond just the length of the process, in the future, we can expect further integration with partners in mortgage, title and escrow, and insurance, which will help create certainty and an enhanced experience for our brokers and clients.
On the relocation side of things, I see our industry continuing to evolve in the years ahead. I believe that those relocating want to know that they will be handled in a caring and professional manner when they move from one area to another. Relocating individuals also desire the security they will feel knowing they have a reliable group of professionals that will make sure a smooth transition occurs. I also believe that to get there we must have transparent communication from each provider involved that is clearly defined and understood.
About John L. Scott Real Estate
John L. Scott Real Estate, led by third-generation Chairman and CEO J. Lennox Scott, has been helping buyers and sellers realize their homeownership dreams since 1931. JLS has over 100 offices with more than 3,000 brokers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. JLS is recognized as one of the top 20 residential real estate brands in the nation. Last year, John L. Scott closed over 35,000 transactions, totaling more than 20 billion dollars in sales volume. In support of the company’s core value, Living Life as a Contribution®, the John L. Scott Foundation helped sponsor 29 events for 17 children’s hospitals in 2021, which helped raise over $15 million for children’s healthcare.