Over the past two years, Peerage Realty Partners has teamed up with best-in-class residential real estate brokers, becoming one of the ten largest luxury re-sale companies in North America. We now have 18 partners from coast to coast and in between.
While the partnership model and organic growth remain fundamental to the Peerage Realty playbook, there are times when the most direct path to expansion comes in the form of a merger.
This was the case in the Pacific Northwest, where Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty and The Hasson Company joined forces in June to create Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty. Co-CEOs Deb Tebbs (formerly CEO of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty) and Steve Studley (formerly CEO of The Hasson Company), reflect on their shared journey:
Why come together now?
Deb: The idea of a merger has been in the works for many years. Both companies commanded market shares in different regions of the state of Oregon and Southwest Washington. Because we dominate the luxury market in different regions, it was a natural fit for us to come together.
Steve: As we like to say, life is about timing and opportunity. Both our organizations always looked for opportunities to grow. In this case, we all felt like this partnership could provide agents with the culture, connectivity, stability, and structure to navigate the next decade and beyond.
Oregon and Southwest Washington are comprised of local communities that support local businesses. Both our firms have agents that know their communities and their markets deeply. In more uncertain markets, that’s critical.
What are the logistical challenges?
Deb: The greatest challenges are the correction in the market and the strategic re-configuration of services provided to the brokers.
Steve: Getting our staff fully familiarized with the Sotheby’s International Realty brand, tools and resources took some time. We’re also focused on a consistent standard of agent support and service across a much larger geographic footprint now.
How do you begin to combine cultures?
Deb: Culturally combining companies does not happen overnight. The brokers on the Sotheby’s International Realty side of the merger were less impacted, so the Hasson brokers are the ones we have really been focusing on. They are familiarizing themselves with the brand amid a correcting market, but there is also a lot of excitement within the company.
Steve: Effort must be put into connecting our team personally and professionally. In the coming months, we will dedicate time, effort, and resources to create more opportunities for our agents to come together, network, and experience the power of our new company, Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty.
How have you figured out how to best work together?
Deb: I think I learned to take a step back and be more patient. I was used to making a decision quickly and moving quickly. Steve is more thoughtful, and it’s taught me to slow down a little and listen. We both bring different strengths and I feel we have learned to work together well.
Steve: It takes a time to understand how we can best utilize the strengths of our team. I’m confident that our agents have leaders who wake up every day trying to figure out how to make this company better for them and their clients. You’ve got to trust the process, avoid focusing on titles, and spend time learning about who on your team can add the most value.
Have current market conditions made it easier or harder to proceed?
Deb: A good cleansing of the market always is helpful long term and it’s a great opportunity for recruiting top talent.
Steve: Our leadership has deep experience, and we’ve navigated the ups and downs of markets. Although the market conditions have changed, we look forward to providing a place for those full-time, fully engaged agents interested in being part of a high-performing organization.
What does success look like?
Deb: Success looks like a strong profitable business offering the ultimate quality and services to brokers and clients. Also, a leadership team that is in lockstep with the values and mission statement clearly provided and communicated across the company.
Steve: Mike Hasson used to say, “be proud but never satisfied.” I know I speak for the entire leadership team of Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s International Realty when I say success is defined by our ability to create an environment that our agents value, appreciate, and are proud to call their home.