Nicole and I recently joined Sereno Group Real Estate in Los Gatos. Both of us have long experience within the real estate industry as Realtors which can lead to being a little cynical about brokers.
However, Sereno Group is turning out to be completely different from any other office we've known or been associated with. Real estate is a very competitive industry - especially over the last few years as the market experienced a significant downturn and short sales and lender owned properties became a large percentage of properties for sale. Realtor sales representatives are independent working under the supervision, guidance and support of brokers. Volume is king - and so major players dominate the market - leading to environments of the greatest number of agents in an office possible in the hope of generating many transactions.
We had been watching Sereno Group over the last couple of years as they developed a reputation for high quality agents and customer care. We finally decided to bite the bullet and make the change - to move out of our comfort zone, so to speak, with the objective of both building our business and providing greater buying and selling opportunities for our clients.
At Sereno, we found a company that put fundamental principals first - above all other considerations. We were initially impressed by the focus on people within the company. This is not a top-down driven environment, but one where no move is made without agent buy-in. We had been aware of the reputation for highest quality and expertise of the Sereno team, but were still taken aback by the absolutely consistent focus on the best customer service possible in the industry by everyone we met. And this is not just posturing; the degree of knowledge and expertise throughout the office, the complete professionalism across all agents, is very impressive.
However, it is the cultural foundation that truly sets Sereno apart from others. An example was an (optional) office meeting we attended. The founding partners got together with interested agents to review the ideas and concepts in a book they had all recently read, and discussed how they could use what were life lessons to be more effective in their Realtor careers. The passion and energy in the room was palpable - this was a serious exchange of ideas - no hidden agendas, no impatience, a team working together to become better at their jobs. Agents work to help each other serve their clients, knowing that the success of a compatriot can lead to more success for everyone.
The enthusiasm and energy is evident in every meeting, course, showing, home tour and other activity. Agents in Los Gatos and Saratoga are among the top in any event. They have nothing to prove and are therefore open and receptive to other members of their community. Sereno Group agents seem to be the cream of this cream. All they ask is that new members of their group (Nicole and I) strive for the same levels of cooperation and community spirit.
Changing brokers for a Realtor is a huge decision - but we are immediately comfortable that it is the right one for both us and our clients. We have considerable expertise in South Santa Clara County having lived and worked there for many years. We came to Los Gatos because so many of our clients were from Silicon Valley, and we wanted to be closer to them to serve them better. Los Gatos is our natural environment, a wonderful city where we are immediately comfortable. And Sereno Group is our home base in Los Gatos - a solid foundation to build from. We feel confident this is where we will be for many many years to come.