Honored this week by the Nashville Business Journal as a Williamson County Impact winner, Benchmark Realty Founder/CEO Phillip Cantrell accepted the award on behalf of his incredible team, the only real estate company named for the honor. NBJ Publisher Kate Herman said they were calling attention to ” the leaders, community supporters, business owners and developers who are leading the charge for improvements and economic development in Williamson County.”


Benchmark Realty CEO Phillip Cantrell with Nashville Business Journal Publisher Kate Herman at NBJ Impact Awards Luncheon.

After being nominated, Cantrell answered an interesting NBJ questionnaire on a variety of topics from best place for a business lunch to Williamson County’s secret weapon. Here are his answers:

Summarize Your Company’s Operations:

Launched in 2006, Benchmark Realty LLC is one of the fastest growing real estate companies in Middle Tennessee and was voted one of the Nashville Business Journal’s  “Best Places To Work” in 2012. Based in Franklin, Benchmark currently has over 400 agents serving the Greater Nashville area paying agents on a 100% commission model which allows the individual agent complete autonomy in managing their own transactions.

What is your top professional accomplishment?

Founded out of frustration with the traditional brokerage model, I made the bold move just prior to the housing crisis of 2008 of reformatting and then re-launching Benchmark Realty with just five agents. I’m proud to have created a company based on a 100% commission model which allows the individual agent complete autonomy in managing their own transactions. Today, the agency has over 400 agents in three offices including a newly opened Midtown Nashville office conveniently located at 2500 21st Avenue South, just north of I-440.

Complete this sentence with something from your own life: “You won’t believe this, but…”

You won’t believe this, but founder and CEO of Benchmark Realty LLC is my second career and I’m younger than I look!  As a third generation commercial printer in Middle Tennessee, I found it to be a grueling, deadline oriented, mature industry with slow technological advances. This frustration has served me well as I’ve applied these business principles from another industry, with excellent customer service and the skill set to structure a business with low-over head distinguishing our company in the real estate industry.

Phillip Cantrell Benchmark Realty TN Owner

Benchmark Realty is a second career for its founder Phillip Cantrell. He jokes, “I’m much younger than I look!”

Where’s the best place for a business lunch in Williamson County?

Vanderbilt Legends Club is a great place for a business lunch – although it is by membership only. I also enjoy Amerigo for their fresh menu which includes all local farmers. And, although not a lunch spot, I think Sperry’s has the best steak and salad bar in town!

What attracted you to your current line of work?

The challenge of a new venture while applying my business skill set attracted me to the real estate brokerage business and it was finely honed over years of anguish. I left the printing industry to actually become a real estate investor in the property rehab and restoration segment. However, I realized pretty quickly that I needed a real estate license to be effective in buying and selling properties. Although I’m a heck of a trim carpenter, I realized my talents in supporting my family of six was better served focusing more on building up the real estate brokerage side of my business.

What does Williamson County need more of? Less Of?

Williamson County needs to continue to improve its infrastructure while maintaining a reasonable tax structure for both individuals and business. By continuing our economic development outreach, we will be able to fund needed infrastructure growth including another needed high school. I would also like to see a streamlining of government processes and less traffic!

Interested in learning more about being an agent with Benchmark Realty LLC? Drop us a line!

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