If you were an experienced real estate agent looking to set up shop as a new independent brokerage, what would you do to set yourself apart from the crowd?
If you’re Troy Palmquist, who works in the high-end Ventura County, California real estate market, then you create an office space that makes passersby do a double-take — and stop in for a drink and a chat.
After spending more than a decade building up his understanding of the Ventura County market — working at Re/Max, Help-U-Sell and Engel & Völkers franchises as well as with an investor — Palmquist opened The Address, his brand-new brokerage, with a specific focus: to create an office environment where clients (and agents) want to spend time.
He says that his philosophy about the importance of a brick-and-mortar spot in real estate emerged when he started working at a “little mom-and-pop real estate and mortgage company” as his first real-estate-related job.
“I was 20 years old,” he remembered, “and my friend and I were getting haircuts next door. He went in to look at a house and, after talking to them, they ended up offering me a job to be a transaction coordinator.”
Not only did he learn about the mortgage side of the business, but he also noticed the company’s ability to drum up business simply by being located where it was.
“It was next door to a barber shop,” he said, “and every morning there would be a walk-in because we had properties hung up in the window, and barber shops always have a long line, so people would come in because they had nothing better to do.”
After spending a couple of years driving across state lines to help manage transactions for an investor (Palmquist is a licensed agents in four states and a broker in three) he says that he became weary of the sub-par service many agents offer their clients and was ready to stop traveling so much so that he and his wife could start a family. (Palmquist actually found out that his wife is pregnant almost immediately after he decided to launch The Address.)