Bordentown City residents were disappointed when Farnsworth Avenue stalwart App’s Hardware closed its doors earlier in the decade. But this month they’re getting a new neighbor who will be looking to serve the community for as long as the hardware store did: Smires and Associates Real Estate, which is opening its second location in App’s former home after giving the historic building a much needed revitalization.
Edward Smires, a veteran with 25 years of experience in the real estate business, says Smires and Associates invested in modernizing the century-old building while retaining as much of the character as possible. In the 24/7 world of modern business he knows his staff must have the modern conveniences that neither they nor their clients can live without.
At the same time, he knows the value of working right there on the main street of the community. Smires and Associates opened its first office in Robbinsville in 2009 in a 1,500-square-foot space. In 2016, they moved into a brand new building down the street, doubling the size of the office while also relocating directly in the heart of Town Center.
Smires and Associates embodies that hometown-downtown philosophy in more ways than one. In the increasingly corporate world of residential real estate, Smires and Associates is a throwback to the days of independently owned companies. “Local real estate is done by local companies,” Smires says. “We’re real people. It’s not corporate, but we take the business very seriously. We’re excited to bring that energy to Bordentown.”
Smires is hands-on. He has his own portfolio of listings in addition to supporting other agents and managing the company along with co-owner Justin Reed. He takes pride in the little things that he believes add up to setting his business apart. For example, when people call during office hours, they’re greeted by a human voice, not a recorded message. “I’ll always insist on that, no matter what,” he says.
At the same time, he doesn’t like being referred to as a “boutique” agency. Smires says his agency was the third most productive real estate concern in Mercer County last year in terms of units sold, and has more than quadrupled its annual sales volume in dollars since 2010. “We’re a small business, but we produce like a big agency,” he says. “We did a billion dollars in sales in nine years. There’s not a lot of places that can say that.”
In Bordentown, Smires and Associates will look to replicate that same ethic in a community where they are already a familiar name. “We started with the core of our business in Robbinsville and Hamilton, but over the years we’ve been expanding down this way. We feel like Northern Burlington — Bordentown, Florence, Chesterfield, North Hanover — is an emerging market,” Smires says.
James Traynam will be the broker of record of the new location, and Kevin Kerins the office manager. Both are Bordentown Township residents. Traynham lives with his wife Kelly and kids Seamus and Sloane. Kerins lives with his wife Nicole and children Hadley and Makenna.
“We live in the community,” Kerins says. “You want to know where we go shopping, where’s the closest train station? You want to know about the schools? Our kids are in the schools, we can tell you all about it.”
Traynham echoes that sentiment. “My son plays sports here. We’ll have a lot of agents working for Smires Bordentown who live in Northern Burlington, who know everything about the area because they live in it.”
Situated as they are in a walkable downtown, they look forward to being good neighbors. Real Estate is more than ever a business conducted via phones and computers, but the Smires and Associates team looks forward to welcoming passersby into the new shop. “People should feel free to stop in and chat, see what’s going on,” Kerins says. “There’s a lot going on in this area. We have everything from new construction in huge developments to 100-year-old homes with lots of history.”
Smires says his agency is widely known for its professionalism. “Our support staff is some of the best in the business,” he says. “Our own agents, and even agents from other firms always compliment us on that. We have a good relationship with other offices in the area. They know when it comes to home sales that we get the job done.”
Smires, who is from Hamilton, resides in Upper Freehold with his family. He spent many years working in real estate for other people. When he and Reed decided to strike out on their own, it was because they wanted to break free of the top-down, corporate style of management employed by many rival firms. He says he never wanted to be the type of boss who wasn’t hands on, or who wouldn’t listen when his agents had ideas about ways to take the company forward.
“[The company is] run by real estate agents. It’s not run by someone who’s working on the fourth floor, who’s never paid their dues on the street,” he says.
Smires and Associates, 375 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown. smiresandassociates.com.