BrokerageIndustry News

Real estate startup targets high-end market

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Southern California is recovering from a series of wildfires while its housing market is in a dive and a credit crisis threatens to deepen the crater. You might think that's a recipe for disaster for a startup real estate brokerage company. But the high-end luxury market is a unique beast. And Lou Piatt, an industry veteran who is co-founder and CEO of a new real estate brokerage firm, Teles Properties, said he believes this new company will thrive despite the slowdown. "We think it's a perfect time to start a real estate company," said Piatt, a former president of Jon Douglas Co., a real estate company that he managed for 15 years. Jon Douglas Co. merged with Prudential California Realty in the mid-1990s. "We want to build a company around confident and productive agents. We think that they tend to shine and tend to be even more important in a difficult market," Piatt said. "A lot of the older, more traditional (business) models have been built on the massive size of offi...