RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

NOV 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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68 November 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE vate and hold on to such talented people is that we give them the resources to be more productive here than they would be any- where else. Our manage- ment team has created a culture of success that's driven by synergy through- out the company. We have over 100 agents serving three distinct markets, but across the board, there's consistency in values, vi- sion and ability. The com- pany is structured in a way that streamlines commu- nication and ensures that every part complements the whole. Michael Sipes: Synergy and Momentum Lead to Growth RE/MAX Gold Coast has been a family-run business for 28 years, with Michael Sipes running the firm as owner and lead broker. The company has six offices, in addition to its own property man- agement division, and it manages both the vacation rentals and long-term rentals that have become a thriving entity over the last five years. What makes your firm unique in your market? Michael Sipes: Over the 28 years, there's been a lot of ebb and flow in the mar- ketplace. Ten years ago, it was a really bad time in real estate with a large number of short sales and foreclosures and property values going down. Our company survived that through our agents. We have 230-plus agents, and some of them have been with us since the begin- ning. The RE/MAX model has always been "you're in business for yourself, but not by yourself," and that's something that our agents epitomize and take to heart. They run very good businesses and are very professional. We do a lot of work with the Children's Hospital, as well. We have some agents here that are the top con - tributors in our region and we're really proud of that. The last I checked, nearly 60 percent of our agent count was participating in the Children's Miracle Net- work, which means that they're divesting a certain dollar amount out of each closing to the Children's Hospital. We're hoping to get that to 90 percent. You mentioned some strong retention numbers. What's the secret to keep- ing agents and making them happy? MS: Communication is key, as is supporting them the best you can. I've been the broker for the last eight years, but I pride myself on answering my phone. Retention here begins from the onboarding. We share all our systems that RE/MAX LLC has provided, as well as the systems that we have here in-house. In addition, the agents are greeted by our escrow team. We also have an IT person who works with all of our agents. He's great, and that seems to be a great asset for our team and our agents. What sort of training does the firm offer its agents to help them succeed? MS: In addition to social media training, we also have a trainer who does something called "momen- tum," which is designed for new agents, as well as seasoned agents who just need a refresher. The synergy that occurs in that group when you com- bine those who have been around for a while and those who are just coming in is awesome. How would you character- ize your market in 2018? MS: We're in Ventura Coun- ty, and in December 2017, the Thomas Fires greatly affected our area. We had six agents who lost their homes, in addition to other agents who had severe damage. The community in general, from Santa Paula to Ventura and other plac- es, was affected, and it im- pacted the beginning of our year quite a bit. Toward the latter part of 2017 and into January 2018, there was a time where lenders weren't funding because insurers were stopping their poli- cies from going through. That did begin to change and loosen up, and it's got- ten back to normal a little bit, which led to a nice first quarter leading into April and May. In fact, this past May, we saw a 10 percent increase in our transaction- al volume compared to last year. Overall, we've had about a 5 percent increase over last year. RE VITALS: RE/MAX Gold Coast Years in business: 28 Size: 8 offices, 235 agents Regions served: West Ventura County 2017 sales volume: Approximately $1 billion 2017 transactions: 2,143 www.californiarealty.com From left to right: Marc, Glen and Michael Sipes

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