Independent luxury brokerage The Address announced Friday a joint partnership with 4 Malibu, a 14-agent luxury real estate team that specializes in residential and commercial sales alongside leasing, property management, design and development.
“We are not in the business of brokerage shopping, but when we find alignment that makes sense, we reach out to see if we can provide more to the market as a team versus separate entities,” said The Address founder Troy Palmquist in a prepared statement. “That is what we found with 4 Malibu.”
The now 49-agent brokerage will operate across four offices in Agoura Hills, Channel Islands Harbor, Newport Beach, and Malibu under The Address brand. The brokerage will soon move into its new headquarters, a 10,000-square-foot Agoura Hills HQ that will house an upscale coffee shop, digital printing press and its extensive marketing and tech support.
In a phone call with Inman, Palmquist explained that he’s admired the 4 Malibu team for years, and that the partnership came naturally as The Address and 4 Malibu teams realized how they could benefit each other in Southern California’s hyper-competitive luxury real estate market.
“They’ve been a brokerage in the Malibu market for years, and they’ve built an amazing business with some of the top agents in the Malibu market,” he said. “I think that the brand and the people and the cultures aligned, and it just came together naturally. Things kind of happen when you’re not looking for it, and that’s what the case was here.”
Having an aligned vision between two markets is what matters, said The Address’ managing directer Zachary Eglit, who helped broker the partnership. The way that 4 Malibu has conducted itself is what makes me believe in this partnership.
Palmquist said 4 Malibu was attracted to The Address’s in-house tech and marketing staff that includes videographers, photographers, public relations specialists, a creative and strategic director, a digital and property marketing team and property description writers.
“I think with small, independent brokerages it comes down to being able to have technology or have services that can really support the customers and the agents,” he explained. “And with the tech stack that we’ve put together and the marketing team that we have, we have something they didn’t have. They have an amazing group, an amazing structure and culture, and likewise we also have the technology.”
On the flip side, 4 Malibu partner Brant Didden said the partnership is creating a path for The Address to break into Malibu’s highly desirable luxury market.
“I would say that the luxury market can be very specific, and in my experience, clients are best served by agents who really know their market intimately well. I mean, they know it backwards and forwards, inside and out,” Didden told Inman. “And 4 Malibu has had that for a really long time, and I think that’s part of why The Address was excited about working together on this venture.”
“I think they knew they couldn’t come into a [new] area, and expect, no matter how much money you throw at it or how much you put in terms of tag lines or what you may be capable of,” he added. “All the money in the world isn’t going to help you build a successful real estate business if you don’t have the agents with experience and who know that area.”
Palmquist and Didden have huge hopes for the new partnership. Although they don’t have an exact goal in mind, they do expect “to grow quite quickly over the next six months” as new location provides room for a bigger brokerage.
“It’s definitely not something I’m against the idea of,” Palmquist said of possibly bringing other independent brokerages under The Address umbrella.
But, he said whatever steps The Address takes next, he doesn’t want to take an overly aggressive approach like Compass and other large name brokerages that have come into the So-Cal market. Over the past year, Compass has acquired four California brokerages, including Pacific Union International, Paragon Real Estate and Alain Pinal Realtors.
“I don’t necessarily believe in the way that Compass has gone out and acquired brokerages,” Palmquist said. “Independent real estate companies wanted to be independent for a reason because they didn’t identify with the big-box brokerages. So, I’m not in the business of acquiring businesses like Compass [does].”
“I’m not into writing a check so agents will come and work [at The Address],” he continued. “I don’t see how that business model will work — what happens in a year or two years [when] the contracts are up and the agents were there because of an acquisition? I want to build a brand and a brokerage where people want to be there.”