Iron Valley Real Estate – United States

January 31, 2024

Iron Valley Real Estate

Successfully Sustained Growth in Real Estate Franchising


Visionary leadership and operational support spark a positive company trajectory

Successful real estate franchising demands the meticulous execution of every strategic decision. At the apex of this dynamic industry, proactive leadership sets the tone for growth.

The allure of its brand does not just determine a franchise’s success but also the thoughtful integration of technology, fostering a sense of community, and empowering agents at the most essential level.

A real estate franchise must possess a clear and compelling brand identity that seamlessly fuses tradition with innovation. Technological integration is paramount, ensuring that both franchisees and agents are equipped with cutting-edge tools to navigate the digital landscape.

Among the key players in this landscape, Iron Valley Real Estate has emerged as a franchise with a model for success. Founded in 2016 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, the company’s trajectory is nothing short of remarkable.

Managing partners Adam Gamble, Corey Kaplan, Rob Cleapor, and later Lisa Loser together nurtured the key elements that have fueled their growth and plans for the future.

Their strategic decision-making at the corporate level trickles down to tangible support and mentorship provided to agents on the front lines because the heartbeat of a successful real estate franchise reverberates at the grassroots level.

Iron Valley’s commitment to accessibility, mentorship programs, and collaborative recruiting efforts creates a familial environment that nurtures agent success. It understands that recognizing the unique needs of diverse markets and adapting strategies is key to sustainable expansion.

The real estate franchise stands as the perfect example of success, measured not merely in numbers but also in the collective achievement of its agents, the thriving community it fosters, and the enduring imprint it leaves on the industry.

Inventive leadership, technological acumen, and grassroots support harmoniously paint the canvas of success for this real estate franchise – a masterpiece that continues to evolve and inspire.


Iron Valley Real Estate - United States

Exhibiting booth display at Triple Play REALTOR® Convention and Trade Expo 2023

Evolution and Expansion: A Journey Since 2016

Iron Valley Real Estate’s journey began in 2016 when Adam Gamble opened its first office in Lebanon, Pennsylvania. What followed was rapid growth, with over 30 agents joining in the first eight months.

The expansion continued strategically, with offices opening up in Lehigh Valley, Lancaster, and Harrisburg. The pivotal moment came when Adam, Corey, and Rob partnered in the Harrisburg location, realizing that franchising was the next logical step.

Since selling its first franchise in late 2018, Iron Valley has burgeoned to 49 locations across six states. In a competitive market, Iron Valley distinguishes itself by marrying the traditional and modern facets of real estate branding.

Rob Cleapor, who groomed the franchise model into one worthy of being nationally implemented, emphasizes their unique approach, which can be characterized as a distinctive merging of tradition with modernity.

“We look and feel like a traditional brand in the sense that we have brick-and-mortar locations,” Cleapor says, explaining that the company maintains the conventional benefits of physical locations and local broker-owners while simultaneously leveraging cloud-based technology to streamline operations.

Iron Valley’s brand ethos fosters agent entrepreneurship, diversity, and inclusion, setting it apart in the real estate landscape. It embraces the fact that agents want to do business the way they see fit, so it does not attempt to shove them in a box like typical real estate brokerages.

The franchise takes a relational approach in its communication style. The four main managing partners are accessible not just to the franchisees but even to the company’s agents.

This down-to-earth sentiment has been very effective in establishing a positive and collaborative culture of relationships and rapport between owners and their clients.

Balancing  the Costs and Returns of Success

The technological backbone of Iron Valley’s success lies in embracing cutting-edge tools.  Adam Gamble, with a keen eye on technology, initiated the integration of cloud-based solutions from the company’s inception.

“I’ve seen a lot of brokerages that have not evolved enough yet to incorporate technology… so that was one of my key points, to incorporate things. Something as simple as QuickBooks, transaction management systems, or cloud-based CRM systems would be more efficient and inexpensive for the agents to utilize,” Gamble explains.

All Iron Valley agents now have access to one of the top real estate-related CRM systems in the market, kvCORE. The system is wonderful for enhancing communication between the franchise’s many related services.

Pictured Corey Kaplan (left), Adam Gamble (middle left), Rob Cleapor (middle right), and Lisa Loser (right)

This uniform use of technology across franchisees ensures efficiency and reinforces the brand’s identity in the digital realm. Brand cohesion will be especially vital as Iron Valley continues to grow, as new franchisees will benefit from an even more optimized operational workflow.

When speaking of potential franchisees, one cannot ignore startup costs. According to Corey Kaplan, who outlines the structure, there is a $15,000 franchise fee for a five-year term that renews for $2,500 and additional startup costs for office fit-out ranging from $54,500 to $143,500. The ongoing Royalty is $150 per Transaction Side.

The company brings in all prospective franchisees for thorough training that gets them well acquainted with the company basics, culture, and everything they need to get their business up and running.

What sets Iron Valley apart is its commitment to a supportive and hands-on approach. “We’re here day in and day out answering the phone for any issues that [franchisees] may have… most company owners are not answering the phone for their franchisees and helping them through situations,” Kaplan says.

This emphasis on accessibility, with the managing partners actively engaged in day-to-day operations, weekly Zoom calls, mentoring programs, and collaborative recruiting efforts, fosters a familial atmosphere, a rarity in the industry.

Many of Iron Valley’s franchisees often attest to the unparalleled support they receive, and it is undoubtedly due to the tailored mentorship franchisees receive based on the specific conditions set by their local corner of the market.

“Your approach has to fit your market because not every market in the U.S. does the same thing, so not every approach is the same,” explains Lisa Loser, pointing out that for new businesses, finding the appropriate threshold and balance of guided and individualized management is key to finding the best scaling method for themselves.

Through this process, local broker-owners really get to safely discover their way while building relationships with their agents and supporting them throughout the real estate process.

Recognition and Future Aspirations

Iron Valley Real Estate is not just expanding; it’s garnering recognition. The company consistently sees many of its agents achieve high rankings in the RealTrends Agent Rankings, and 2023 is no different.

It will continue to change the real estate landscape, and looking ahead, the company’s leaders are setting their sights on strategic market expansion in 2024, focusing on key regions to elevate the franchise’s brand visibility.

Improving overall support and training for agents remains a top priority, reinforcing Iron Valley’s commitment to sustained success. “One of the big reasons that we decided to go more of the franchise route is because our franchisees are all independently owned and operated,” says Adam Gamble.

Gamble is referring to the fact that Iron Valley’s largely independent yet cohesive culture is reflective of what’s best suited for its owners and agents. Such a diversity of ownership demands a diversity of support, which requires a diversity of market knowledge.

“For 2024, one of our main focuses will be honing in on strategic markets. So, really looking across the nation’s markets and deciding [where] we feel our brand needs to be in now,” Cleapor says.

As we step into the new year, Iron Valley Real Estate will be keeping itself tactically poised for expansion in the areas its leadership feels will best help it appeal to newer audiences.

In a landscape where many aspire, Iron Valley has achieved, marking its presence as a force to be reckoned with in the world of real estate franchising.

It will certainly continue to improve on its value adds for franchisees and agents alike on its journey to refine the optimal blueprint for growth, combining innovation, supportive leadership, and strategic vision.

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Iron Valley Real Estate

What: A thriving real estate franchise that seamlessly combines tradition with innovation, fostering a supportive and entrepreneurial environment for its agents.

Where: United States



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January 2024 cover of Business View Magazine

January 2024

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