JACKSON TWP. – Real estate companies are turning to technology as they navigate a hot sales market, and Delta Media Group has benefited.
The local company's established products have been modified and improved, helping customers become more efficient, said Michael Minard, owner and chief executive officer.
Because of growing sales, the company is adding employees. Over the past three years, Delta Media has grown from fewer than 20 employees to 65. Minard said he recently added 10 employees and expects to have 80 people on board before the year ends.
Current business growth trends indicated Delta Media could have about 140 employees by the end of 2022.
The coronavirus pandemic has been a factor in the company's growth, as well as in hiring.
Minard said that because of the pandemic, real estate agents accelerated their use of technology. Smaller agencies began using the programs — for example, search engine optimization drive content and instant social media posts — that had been a mainstay of larger real estate companies.
As a result, Delta Media's real estate brokerage sales jumped 53% by the end of 2020. The record growth has continued this year with brokerage sales up 84% compared with 2019.
The growth made hiring necessary, while the pandemic led to telecommuting and working from home.
"That opened our eyes to what is possible," Minard said.
Telecommuting has made it easier for the company to find new employees, he said. Meanwhile, Delta Media is finding plenty of talented software engineers and technicians in the immediate area.
Minard said the company's growth reflects the business activity of a start-up instead of a business that launched in 1994.
Delta Media started in Oregon, working with real estate brokers and giving them an online presence. The company moved to California's Silicon Valley four years later, but almost went out of business in 2000 when the dot com bubble burst and venture capital investments dried up.
Minard said James L. Bray, former Cutler Real Estate president, was an adviser for Delta Media. When Bray learned about the company's financial problems, he asked about buying it. Minard, Bray (who died in 2015) and two other investors bought Delta Media and moved it to Northeast Ohio.
Since then, Delta Media has been building on the products that gave the company its start. Each year, the company reinvests millions into tech development, Minard said. Just before the pandemic took hold, the company launched the DeltaNET 6 product line, which offers most of the software and services a brokerage would need for marketing.
The DeltaNET 6 platform is driving the recent sales growth, Minard said.
Now Delta Media is looking at how technology developed to help real estate agencies can be transferred to other business lines.
Minard bought out his partners in 2016, making Delta Media a family-owned company. The operation is remodeling a building at 7015 Sunset Strip Ave. NW to serve as headquarters.