The Smires and Associates family in the company’s Robbinsville office. (Photo by Ariana Pulhac.)

Two years ago, Smires and Associates Real Estate celebrated a major milestone when it departed its original office above a retail shop in Robbinsville, for an office double the size in nearby Washington Town Center. The state-of-the-art headquarters gave co-owners Edward Smires and Justin Reed and their staff a proud new base of operations.

Now, Smires and Associates is celebrating a new milestone: a billion dollars in total sales since its founding, which the agency achieved in 2018. Smires says reaching a billion dollars in sales is a significant achievement for an independent, locally owned firm.

“It’s pretty remarkable when you average it out across the years,” Smires says. “Last year, we were the third highest producing agency in Mercer County in terms of units sold.”

Smires and Associates was founded in 2009. In the wake of the 2008 Great Recession, it was not a great time to be starting a new venture in home sales. Yet the company persevered, and then prospered, to the point that it has seen a 400 percent rise in annual sales, measured in dollars, since those early days.

Smires attributes the growth in part to what he describes as a positive vibe that members of his staff share. “We are not that old stiff elevator music real estate company,” he says. “When you walk into our office you feel that energy. Every day people are excited to come here and work.”

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. “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.”

The billion-dollar threshold is not the only major milestone for Smires and Associates this year. The agency has also opened the doors of its first satellite office in Bordentown City. The new office is in the former App’s Hardware store on Farnsworth Avenue.

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 [that 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.

“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.”

Smires, a Hamilton native with 25 years of experience in the real estate business, says his company 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.

Smires and Associates looks to 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.”

Indeed, 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 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 Real Estate, 2330 Route 33, Suite 101, Robbinsville, and 375 Farnsworth Ave., Bordentown. smiresandassociates.com.