Agent transforms unsellable homes into chic money machines

Pacific Union International’s top listing agent Tracy McLaughlin can see a home’s good bones through the cosmetic nightmares of her target area and help sellers capitalize on an opportunity. In fact, maximizing value-add on home renos is her stock and …

Tempted to sell your indie brokerage? What to consider

SAN FRANCISCO — It’s not unusual for successful independent brokerages to feel the flattery of being courted. But is transitioning to a big brokerage the right thing to do? There is no prescriptive answer here as what’s right for one indie may not be …

Video Spotlight: Uncovering the Home Valuation ‘Mystery’

Nothing is more powerful for a real estate professional than the ability to arrive at an accurate price—a skill, for many, honed through years of experience. REALTOR® Arrian Binnings, with Payton + Binnings, Pacific Union International in San Francisco, Calif., employs a faster approach to uncover the ‘mystery’ behind home valuation: HouseCanary. Binnings leverages the […]

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Pacific Union International names Brent Thomson COO

West Coast-based independent real estate firm Pacific Union International is expanding its leadership team with the appointment of Brent Thomson to the newly created position of COO, effective August 1.  …

How to merge your real estate brokerage without regrets

The merger-and-acquisition path is littered with casualties. Ryan Abbe, managing director of San Francisco-based M&A adviser and real estate investment banking group JMP Securities, says that’s because the little guys can “die in these big organizations,” and giants often find it difficult to embrace smaller firms …

My big break: 7 top producers on the moment that changed it all

Stephen Shapiro started in apartment leasing when he arrived in L.A. from Philadelphia in the 1970s. Early on, he found a niche leasing property to celebrities including Al Pacino and Mick Jagger in Beverly Hills. Selling agents didn’t think it was wor…

Brokerage M&A activity will be ‘good, not great’ in 2017 — here’s why

The market for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the real estate industry was very strong from mid-2013 to mid-2016 — and then it cooled off. “I think for 2017 across the country, we will have a good, but not great, year in M&A activity,” said Steve Murray, President of Real Trends Consulting, which specializes in valuation and mergers and acquisitions …

Economists forecast a ‘Goldilocks’ housing market (with a few caveats)

Pacific Union International painted a reassuring picture of the economy for the next three years at the company’s annual Real Estate Economic Forecast: Bay Area to …

Why Chinese investors are going to grow in number

When Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest broker Becco Zou has a new client in town from China with a long shopping list, the Chinese-born agent tells them: “Show me the money.” Usually they go away for awhile — and then they come back. They are …

REAL Trends 500: Top San Francisco brokerage firms

For 29 years, REAL Trends has been providing comprehensive lists of who’s doing what in residential real estate. Whereas the numbers qualifying firms across the country to even be considered have changed, the bragging rights have not.