Continuing Customer Excellence in the Evolving Real Estate Market
Joe O”Kelley and Diedra Sorohan are strong role models for every lawyer at their Firm, O”Kelley & Sorohan, Attorneys at Law, LLC. Once friendly competitors, the two joined forces 12 years ago to open their real estate law firm where their bottom line focus is on providing a customer friendly approach that has made them resilient and successful even in the most challenging of times.
“We were competitors and we marketed against each other, but it was never mean spirited. We just got to a point where it seemed like the next logical step was to start a practice together. This allowed us to do things our own way,”# says O”Kelley.
O”Kelley & Sorohan law firm practices in the areas of closings (including residential, commercial, short sales, real estate owned (REO) and corporate relocation services), default services, and civil litigation. Additionally, the firm offers family law and wills, trusts and estates services to individuals and small businesses.
With the main office located in Duluth, their practice also spans across the Atlanta metro area with several satellite offices in Alpharetta, Athens, Buford, Cobb County, Conyers, Cumming, DeKalb County, Gainesville, Johns Creek, Kennesaw, Midtown, Peachtree Corners, Snellville, and Stockbridge. In addition, the Firm maintains a satellite office in Orlando, Florida.
Even though their customers visit different locations for the practice”s various services, their experience is the same from office to office. Customers of the Firm always comment on the lawyer”s and staff”s great can-do attitude and friendly demeanor, which makes the O”Kelley & Sorohan law firm stand out from the pack. “I believe we stand out because we”re very personable and nice. We will do everything in our power not to say “no” to our customers, and we want to be a valuable resource for each of them,”# says O”Kelley.
Sorohan adds, “We focus on hiring people that are smart and likeable. We always look for the best – great people who happen to also be stellar lawyers.”#
The friendly experience that brings customers back time and time again is in part due to the law firm”s strong training. “Every lawyer that joins our team must go through training, so all our new employees begin their career at our main office in Duluth. We”re fortunate enough to hire lawyers with great personalities and attitudes.# Our centralized training allows us to blend those great personalities with a standard way of doing things the OS way,”# says O”Kelley.
Their comprehensive business background and business-minded ways have also allowed O”Kelley & Sorohan to be tremendously successful by running their Firm just like a business, while still practicing law at a high level. The Firm places their primary focus on the customer, not on the dollar. This methodology permits their lawyers to be themselves and treat every case individually. “It”s not cookie cutter, so we teach our lawyers to not look at it that way and to adapt and change with the closing or case, allowing them to be more service oriented,”# says O”Kelley.
By placing a consistent approach on how they practice law, the Firm has been able evolve with the ever-changing real estate market.
“During challenging economic times, we, as a Firm, had to evolve to a new way of learning how to handle REO and short sale transactions from the seller and lender side as well as all the moving pieces involved. This differs from the traditional buyer/seller transaction we were already accustomed to as a Firm, and it required a lot of time and effort from each of us to make the closing experience pleasant for all parties,”# says O”Kelley.
“We were also encouraging our lawyers to keep their passion in each transaction because every single piece of paper affects somebody, whether it”s the investor, lender, buyer, or seller. We”ve had some of the nicest compliments come back on our lawyers that said how gently the transactions were handled,”# adds Sorohan.
O”Kelley and Sorohan also decided it was beneficial to create a short sale department, which was not a profitable venue, to help the agent community.
With if there is a will, there is a way outlook, the law firm, even in the toughest of times, was able to maintain their staff without laying off many employees and within the last few years, has grown exponentially. “That”s all business foresight and strategic planning, not law expertise. We didn”t look that up in a law book,”# says Sorohan. Today, O”Kelley notes that the market has come back full circle to where the lawyers are now handling more traditional buyer and seller closings.
Since its inception, O”Kelley & Sorohan has been committed to providing its customers with the best real estate closing experience possible. They do this by providing each customer with the highest quality legal service while controlling the cost of services and remaining focused on the customers” needs and goals. “Our clients are entitled to their individual preferences, accessibility to lawyers and staff, and above all, good communication. We believe that as lawyers, we have a duty that goes beyond merely what takes place at the closing table or in the courtroom,”# says O”Kelley. Because of this belief, the Firm has continually expanded its practice areas and established a full service set of business, commercial, and litigation groups that will be prosperous for many years to come.
For more information on O”Kelley & Sorohan, Attorneys at Law, LLC, visit www.okelleyandsorohan.com.