Meet F. Ron Smith: President at Leverage Global Partners
Since the launch of the Leverage Global Partners website on April 2, 2013, F. Ron Smith and I have been planning this interview. Having shared multiple conference calls, to Thailand, London, Vail, Greece and more, we have a rhythm and enthusiasm about this process.
We laughed on the phone together at 5:45am as we tracked down our international partners and ironed out the global conference call process. Over the years, I have spent many hours getting to know and becoming great friends with the co-founder and President of Leverage Global Partners, so it brings me great pleasure (and a genuine sense of honor) to present to you, F. Ron Smith.
With over 20 years of experience in real estate at companies like Coldwell Banker and Sotheby's, F. Ron Smith, along with three associates, started Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage and Acquisitions in 2009. At a time when the economy was limping its way back from a recession, many of his partners thought that starting a business venture like this one was crazy. But, I've come to know that Smith is a passionate guy who is not afraid of a challenge. And now, with Partners Trust having closed $1.14 billion in transactions in 2012 alone, that leap of faith is paying off.
Smith realized, after his years in franchise and corporate environments, that networking "was more of an expression or a buzz word, rather than something tangible. None of it was vetted, you didn't have direct access, and you didn't know whom you were calling on the other end," he says of his previous experiences with referral companies.
The idea of Leverage Global Partners, which he calls a "genesis," was conceived from his desire to directly connect to like-minded, independent brokerages like his own. "You maintain your independence as a company, and yet you've got strength in numbers and the ability to just pick up the phone and go right to any market and find the best ambassador possible in that area."
A passion project long in the making, Smith says that Leverage had to meet the needs and expectations of high caliber boutique brokerages, like Partners Trust. What this meant for Leverage was a refined social media practice, ease of use for members, and an extensive research process to vet and connect with like-minded owners of other worldwide brokerages. No easy feat. With the technological implementation involved, Leverage has been a long time coming.
When asked about what he loves about Leverage, he voice lights up. "Oh man, I love this question! It's the ability, day in and day out, to pick up the phone or email the best and the brightest, throughout the country and throughout the world. It's a ‘who's who’ of really successful people. I would be thrilled to have any one of these individuals as my mentor, so to have the opportunity to reach out to them on an ongoing basis really excites me," Smith says, enthusiastically.
With his oldest son at NYU in New York, and the youngest entering USC in Los Angeles this fall, Smith gets a fresh perspective on the "networking" needed to stay connected. Often reaching out to his sons for insights and a youth perspective on social media, Smith is a committed and enthusiastic father.
I have experienced Smith's true connection and commitment to his children and the obvious priority he places on family. His wife, Tracy, plays an integral part as well. With unwavering support and contribution to his endeavors, Tracy, as he says, is "dialed in to understanding the seamless connections between all social media platforms, such as Instagram, Pinterest, and even writing a blog. That kind of insight is invaluable to me."
Smith recalls a specific turning point in his career two years ago, when his company, Partners Trust, opened its second office. It was then that Smith realized the strength of networking with like-minded people "that were not caught up in the corporate quagmire." He began connecting with those individuals and companies throughout Southern California and the East Coast.
Over the past several years, Smith has seen firsthand the importance of, and need for, an online presence. The cornerstone of Leverage Global Partners is the Internet and social networking, the prime source for marketing, promoting, and showcasing property
When Smith is not selling prime Westside Los Angeles real estate or networking with his friends around the globe, he is seeking out the best cup of espresso. He thoroughly enjoys traveling the world with his family, and is "fascinated" by TED. He is an active person, up at 5am every morning to start the day with a brisk but meditative walk. His more daring exploits include white water rafting, which he enjoys every year with friends.
While working with Smith, I have gotten to know him well and think the world of him. He is kind and welcoming and generous, with a tenacious work ethic. I think that it takes a very particular type of person to do this work and to do it well. He makes people feel at ease, which is a huge part of why he is so successful. It's no wonder F. Ron Smith has been a force in this industry for over 20 years. Get to know Ron for yourself, and you will know exactly what I mean.
By the way, if you are wondering what the F. in front of his name stands for, or if he ever used that name, you'll have to ask him about it yourself.
Ron, and everyone at Leverage Global Partners, is extremely enthusiastic about the future and stand at the ready to field any comments, questions or inquiries.
F. Ron Smith welcomes you to the Leverage Global Network.