At Inman Connect Las Vegas on Wednesday, Walt Tamulinas, president and CEO of ERA Southern California Real Estate, shared tips on passing the torch to a new owner.

Inman events are the best way to connect, learn and grow. Join us this week, Oct. 26-28, for Inman Connect Las Vegas, in-person or virtually. Then, continue to gain insights, strategies, and tactics to keep your business growing and make 2022 your best year ever with a full line-up of 2022 events! Save the dates, and register now!

Walt Tamulinas is halfway through his exit strategy.

Tamulinas is the president and CEO of ERA Southern California Real Estate. But during a session at Inman Connect Wednesday dubbed “Indie Exit Strategies: What Are Your Options?” Tamulinas explained how he plans to eventually step away from the company.

“A six-year plan is a good plan for doing a phase out,” he said. “And there are three phases over a six year period.”

In Tamulinas case, that six-year plan has involved winding down his own involvement in his company at the same time his own adult children have stepped into leadership positions. So, he said the first two years of his exit plan involved mentoring and trying to build the confidence of the new leaders. The second phase — which Tamulinas is current in right now — involves focusing more on big picture work and working fewer hours. And the final two-year phase will see Tamulinas move into a more “consultative” role. Eventually, he hopes his kids will buy him out, and he’ll set aside the money from the sale for grandchildren and other legacy uses.

Walt Tamulinas at Inman Connect Wednesday. Credit: AJ Canaria of MoxiWorks

The point that Tamulinas was making is that stepping away from a company can be both a lengthy process, as well as one that requires intense planning. And while his particular exit strategy involves family — he raised his kids in the real estate industry and described them Wednesday as “my most beloved employees” — the same lessons apply for those who might be looking to bow out in other ways.

“Try to find someone inside your company that can take it over,” Tamulinas advised other brokers who may not have family available to assume control of their firms. He went on to note that good candidates to take over can include key employees or successful agents within the brokerage.

Successful exits also involve planning ways to make sure that the company being passed along has value. He recommended brokers try to own their own buildings, for example, which is “where the real value comes in,” and to look for opportunities to grow.

“The way you build value is through mergers and acquisitions,” Tamulinas added.

Walt Tamulinas, left, at Inman Connect Wednesday with Brett Jennings, center, and Diana Wall. Credit: AJ Canaria of MoxiWorks

Tamulinas ultimately said he doesn’t think he’ll ever fully depart his company, noting that he’ll always be “a phone call away” to help out with whoever ends up owning his brokerage. But he also recalled how his son is now 40 and consequently spent decades gradually easing into a career managing a brokerage.

That’s not a luxury everyone has, but it does emphasize the long process involved in exiting a real estate company.

“I don’t think,” Tamulinas said, “you can start too early.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

agent advice
Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Hear from Realogy, Pacaso, SERHANT., Spotify, Redfin, Douglas Elliman, and 100+ more leaders at ICNY.Register now×
Limited time: Get 30 days of Inman Select for $5.SUBSCRIBE×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription