Independent Park City Realtors form coalition
It was nearly a year ago that Mike Mazzone walked into Jake Doilney’s office at Glenwild Realty with a unique idea.
Mazzone, the principal broker and owner of Park City Realty Group, thought his company could benefit from the knowledge and resources of Glenwild Realty. He wondered if there was a way they could form a partnership while maintaining their status as independent brokerages.
"I just kind of casually said, ‘Would you guys like to get together on a monthly basis just to chit chat and throw some ideas around?’" Mazzone said. "Them being an independent brokerage as well as myself, we have four or five people working for us, so our scale is a lot smaller than some of the big franchise brokers. We could help each other out."
Doilney and business partner Charlie Taylor, a co-owner and agent at Glenwild Realty, were eager to join, and they formed the Independent Real Estate Coalition. It didn’t take long for other brokerages to get involved. Now, the group comprises several of the most well-known locally owned firms in town: Park City Realty Group, Glenwild Realty, Bald Eagle Real Estate, Chateaux Realty and Mountain Town Realty Group.
"The idea was just to collaborate," Mazzone said. "It’s being able to scale our brokerages without necessarily building one big company. We can keep our individual identities but also have the same goals, the same values. We all kind of think the same, treat our clients the same, know the market the same. And we’re all locals who have lived here a long time."
Mazzone said small, independent brokerages banding together makes for a natural fit at a time when larger brokerages are growing in the area. For him, it’s about doing everything possible to ensure a bright future for his company.
"Over the years, we’ve watched a lot of smaller companies go away that were fine real estate companies," he said. "We don’t want to be that. We want to stay in business, and we don’t want to get sucked up into the masses. We want to keep our individual identities."
Taylor said the partnership provides value for all involved. Being able to tap into some of the resources of the other firms means customers are more satisfied, which in turn means better business in the future.
"It’s nice to have that collaborative group to bounce ideas off of," he said. "I just think it’s a positive that we can only grow from. I don’t think we joined it for any reason other than to help others grow their businesses and to help us grow our business.
"This business is about relationships," he added. "So if I take care of you and refer you to another broker who knows more about an area than we do, we’re helping you out as a buyer. So when the client has a better overall experience, that generates business. People are happy to talk to their friends about their experience."
Melissa Band, associate broker at Chateaux Realty, said being able to share information on listings is one major benefit of the coalition that has already become clear.
"Information sharing is really important," she said. "That’s one thing that big brokerages are able to do — they have 70 agents or whatever, and everybody sits down and shares information. But we can now share information, too. And I’ve gotten great information from everyone else that has really benefitted our clients."
John Ordean, principal broker and owner of Bald Eagle Real Estate, said there are plenty of properties to go around, so there isn’t a sense of competition in the coalition. Sara Werbelow, principal broker at Chateaux Realty, added that another thing working in favor of the partnership is that everyone shares the same values.
"We have fundamental respect for one another from a business standpoint," she said. "It’s as Realtors, of course, but also as others who are owning and operating small businesses — we came together out of a fundamental agreement on value as to how we operate out businesses. So we have a lot of initial respect that allows us to move forward and get the benefits of the partnership."
None of the Realtors involved can recall a similar coalition in Park City. But Doilney said they are all excited about where the future of the partnership may take them.
"I’m sure there are (coalitions) in other communities, but it’s unique here," he said. "There’s value in real estate of having real local knowledge of certain areas in town, and that’s what we all have."
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