Through natural growth, merger, and acquisition, Adams, Cameron & Co. grew from a small realty in the 1960s, to the market leader in Volusia County, and looks to advances in technology to market an exciting future in home sales.
A family business spanning three generations, Adams, Cameron & Co. is the largest realtor in the area with seven residential offices in Volusia and Flagler counties. While known for high-end luxury homes, the company also leads across all sales in the area.
Since 2004, the real estate market has gone from boom, to bust, to partial recovery. We sat down with President John J. Adams, right after he finished with one of his frequent classes for new agents, to discuss the company and his views.
Everything changed when …
“The housing bubble burst, and everything changed again in 2012, when the market started to recover. We're very much at the mercy of economic conditions. Housing prices went from an average sale price of $100,000 to $250,000 in just five years. We're on an uptick again, but on a more reserved basis. We're still not back to our 2005 pricing.”
My biggest fear last year was …
“That the market wouldn't continue to grow, knock on wood. We're beholden to the market and we don't have a lot of control over interest rates and consumer confidence. We've been very fortunate in the last three years to see the market do very well.
What most people don't know about the business is …
“How important the resources and the marketing are to the success in selling a home. There are so many tools and there is so much technology associated with the business anymore. For example, we put a virtual tour on every single listing. Only about a sixth of the listings in the MLS have that. We put up YouTube videos for every listing. We publish a thousand websites. It's just going to continue to get more complex. You're going to see virtual reality tours. People shop very differently today, with mobile apps. We've added technology so that if you're out at a listing you can text a number and get a full virtual tour directly to your phone.”
The best advice I ever got was …
“My grandfather told me if you love what you do you'll never work a day in your life. I've been fortunate because in each part of my career I've enjoyed it, and when I didn't, I was able to get out. This business is interesting; my grandmother founded the company and my father grew it to be the dominant player in the market. I'd love to do more general real estate. I'd love to go out and show homes, but that's not my job. But I love real estate, and it's very satisfying that we help people find their dream homes. Also, it's satisfying that we're helping realtors get involved in the business, and help them understand the best strategy to grow their business.”
When I was first beginning, I wish I knew …
“I don't think there's a lot I'd put in that category because I walked into the third generation of a well-heeled business. I was already well into two other careers. The wonderful thing about being in a family business when I got started was my grandmother was still around and my father was running the business. I had so much to lean on. I don't have a whole lot I would go back to and say 'I wish I knew about that.'”
I regret deciding to …
“Leave Florida. I know the day I left, I never wanted to leave. I moved to Atlanta and then Chicago. I loved my time and the people in Chicago, but I've always wanted to be back in Florida.
My hero in business is …
“My father. Look at what he did. He took a solid but small business and grew it to the largest in the area. He started our affiliation with LRE. Through natural growth and acquisition, he built the business so that we were the largest, and Cameron was the second largest. Then he negotiated a merger to create Adams, Cameron and Co. He was into a franchise for a while, and he also took us out. I think that was one of the hardest things you can do, because once you get your name as a franchise it is very hard to remove it. His success and what he was able to do in this community makes him someone I'd like to mirror.”
“The wonderful thing about being in a family business when I got started was my grandmother was still around and my father was running the business. I had so much to lean on.”
- 54 S. Atlantic Ave, Ormond Beach
- President: John J. Adams
- What they do: Adams, Cameron & Co. offers residential and commercial real estate brokerage services throughout the area. They are the largest local independent realtor. As a member of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, they cooperate with real estate brokerages across the globe. Superior agent training, non-competing managers as mentors, and top-of-the-line technology ensure that their agents have the tools they need to support their buyers and sellers.
- Awards: Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Website Certification
- Origins: Helen Adams formed Helen Adams Realty in 1963. Robert L. Adams, her son, joined the firm in 1974 and within four years, Adams Realty became the dominant real estate company in the area, with acquisitions of several smaller firms and the merger with Cameron Realty in 1978. As President and CEO, Robert expanded services to include Adams Cameron Title Services and Adams Cameron Auction Division. John J. Adams, his son, joined the firm in 2002 after successful careers in consulting and internet marketing. It is truly a family business; John's brother is part owner and one of the top sales agents, and one sister also has a real estate license.
By the Numbers
53 Years in business
7 Residential offices in Volusia and Flagler counties.
289 Employees as of January 2015
307 Employees as of January 2016
2000+ Properties sold last year.