RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

SEP 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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96 September 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE They also provide a host of the latest cutting-edge tools and re- sources to their agents at little or no cost. "We are invested in relationships, not profitability," says Proschold, who, in his role as group strategist, is charged with scoping out the best in new business tools and technology. Iwanaga supports that view. "We have no interest in charging fees for the things our agents need to be at their best," he says. "We came from a pervasive multiple profit-center culture, and we want no part of it now. Our aim is simply to provide our people with the best possible resources." For this leadership, the best in- cludes a self-contained, in-house marketing studio with four design- ers and two project coordinators on staff to assist the company's agents in producing upscale collateral rang- ing from postcards, property bro- chures and other custom-printed marketing materials, to the most sophisticated video home tours. Neither the marketing studio, the company's transaction coordination service nor their busy relocation di- vision are intended to be profit cen- ters, Proschold says. Keeping a sharp eye on staffing, operations and facilities, Cole joined the company as a first hire in 2006, before the firm's first office was launched. Currently overseeing the opening of Sereno Group's new Los Altos office, Cole sees herself as a company ambassador. Proschold sees her as, "Master of the Big Picture;" an invaluable resource for the company. But Cole is quick to credit her "high-caliber support team" of roughly 30 hard- working administrators, reception- ists, transaction coordinators and IT support people—even an Ambassa- dor of First Impressions—with going above and beyond to keep the firm's offices running smoothly. "The company is close to my heart," Cole says. "I believe so strongly in what we stand for, and in our commitment to being the best. Chris and Ryan genuinely listen—to everyone—and they make the most thoughtful decisions." That's because everyone at Sere- no Group is a voice that counts, Iwanaga explains. "There's no ego here. We are proud of our family-like culture, our multigenerational roots in this community, and our commit- ment to nurture, mentor and sup- port one another." But if Sereno Group's reputation for quality service, and its standing as one of the top four most produc- tive residential real estate sales firms in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties (in terms of annual sales volume) can be at- tributed to an outstanding sales team, then the buck stops at the non-traditional growth philosophy of its leadership. "We don't need more agents in order to be successful," Trapani says. "The goal of our intentional growth and recruiting plan is to organically attract or develop like- minded agents of the future for the long term." As a result, most referrals come from existing sales staff, and most agents who want to join Sereno Group go through a recruiting pro- cess. "Industry-wide, more than 80 percent of new agents fail in the first five years," says Trapani. "That's why we hire only the best and the brightest, and we work col- laboratively. We are their biggest Trapani and Iwanaga are committed to breaking from the tradition of the large-scale agency.

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