Lessons From a Leader - Competitors Can Be Some of Your Best Allies

Real Estate Broker/Owner with ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors

One of the benefits of living in Washington is the availability of premium quality locally-produced wines. Washington is the second-largest producer of wines in the U.S. (after California, of course!) The leading winery in the state is Chateau Ste. Michelle (CSM), recognized for its premium wines that are regularly rated with 90+ scores.  


This wasn’t always the case, however. In the 1980s, this winery and the Washington wine industry in general were struggling when current CEO Ted Baseler joined the board.  He set out on a mission to not only raise the quality and production of his winery, but also recognition of the state industry as a whole.


He started a total quality management program that is now emulated in other wineries. Noting the similarities in latitude, soil, and growing environment between Washington and Bordeaux, he focused their efforts on French techniques of lower yields, oak barrel aging, and legacy fermentation process.  The results speak volume of his dedication: not only has he regularly received top awards, but Chateau Ste. Michelle has been recognized as Winery of the Year 22 times by Wine & Spirit magazine. 


What many don’t know is that he almost single-handedly helped save the industry when it was in dire straits.  As the winery started gaining exposure and recognition, there was a terrible freeze one year that wiped out many smaller vineyards.  He offered them his company’s grapes to help them with production that year.  He recognized them as not only “neighbors and friends”, but critical to the evolving industry as a whole. With his help, the state is prospering with nearly 1,000 wineries and 60,000 acres of vineyards.


With the overwhelming success of CEO Ted Baseler and Chateau Ste. Michelle, we can take a lesson from his attitude. Do you see other agents as your competitor, or do you see them as co-creators? Are you always in a combative mode during a transaction, or cooperative? If we want to improve the overall quality of service, and recognize that we all have a common goal - helping people make important transitions in their lives -  then it is much better to work together for a successful result.  Certainly, we must do the best to represent our clients, but often that means working together and not as adversaries. 

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ViewHomes™ grew out of our passion for nature, beautiful surroundings, and peaceful environments. Starting together in an urban environment, over the years we've gravitated towards areas with smaller populations and less density. We now enjoy our lifestyle in a rural environment, but with close proximity to metropolitan areas where we appreciate all the amenities of fine restaurants, shopping, and an easy drive to an international airport.
Living in ViewHomes™ is like having “elbowroom for the soul”.

314 NE Cedar Street
Camas, WA  98607






Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 09/22/2017 05:35 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 11/26/2017 01:00 AM
  3. Debbie Reynolds 09/23/2017 11:00 PM
  4. Gabe Sanders 09/30/2017 11:40 PM
Local News and Events
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washington wines

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Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD
Roy and Dolores Kelley Photographs

Congratulations on your feature recognition. Thanks for sharing this story.

Dolores and I enjoy their wines.

Sep 23, 2017 09:39 AM #37
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Well Debb and bernie, I may have to get my wife to plan a trip to Washington for a wine tasting trip.  Her and her girl friends go to Napa every Oct. for wine.  She shipped lots in and I get the big bill a month later.


Sep 23, 2017 09:46 AM #38
Betsy N. Robinson - Serving the Sandhills, NC
Everything Pines Partners, LLC. - Whispering Pines, NC

All relationships are important in real estate, but those with fellow colleagues are to me the difference between being highly successful and being just mediocre.

Sep 23, 2017 11:44 AM #39
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Specializing in Brookside, Waldo, Prairie Village

This is true--other agents are competition but also--we must work together to get deals done!  There must be mutual respect and cooperation.  Those are the agents I most like to deal with

Sep 23, 2017 02:11 PM #40
Kathleen Luiten
Resort and Second-Home Specialist - Princeville, HI
Kauai Luxury Ocean Home Sales

This post has an important message for all of us. We need each other, preferably with supportive working relationships between competitors, to serve our clients and close our transactions. 

Sep 23, 2017 04:08 PM #41
Corey Martin
Martin Presence Group - Ruston, LA
Real Estate and Management Solutions

A great post that exemplifies the need for cooperation and camaraderie between all poeple. If more people did things like this, the world would be quite a different place. Thank you for the inspiring story. 

Sep 23, 2017 05:57 PM #42
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams fox cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi Debb,

I am glad that Debbie Reynolds shared this one.

I learned early in my career the value in working with my competition to make both of our companies stronger and the profession stronger.

Thanks for sharing this inspiring story.


Sep 23, 2017 11:39 PM #43
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Debb and Bernie - what a great example.  If you help others in your industry is helps all of you.  A rising tide lifts all ships.

Sep 24, 2017 05:47 AM #44
Paul McFadden
Paratex - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Interesting. Thanks for sharing. In my business we try to cooperate as well. 

Sep 24, 2017 09:08 AM #45
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Putting on your armour and drawing your sword is never a welcome way to

begin a real estate relationship....though we have seen it happen with the same people over and over.

Sep 24, 2017 11:34 AM #46
Sham Reddy
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Absolutely, competition forces agents to get sharp, educated and stay ahead of them and distance themselves

Sep 24, 2017 01:15 PM #47
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great post and your point is crystal clear. We are put on this earth to help each other and cooperate. Professionalism is the key and being overly aggressive and combative is not professional.

Sep 25, 2017 05:01 AM #48
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Local grape juice... it did not turn sour and ended up with a sweet note. We all improve the local real estate list and sell by making the sport something to strive to improve together. We rise and fall together.

Sep 25, 2017 05:13 AM #49
Rochelle Kretchmar
GenEquity Mortgage - Lewisville, TX
Simply Irresistible Staging

Great post!  I have to say I love Chateau St. Michelle wines the Cabernet Sauvignon being one of my favorites at a very affordable price. But I never knew that bit of history.  Great way to put things into perspective.

Sep 25, 2017 07:36 AM #50
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Such an inspiring story - glad I saved it for Monday morning!   Thank you!

Sep 25, 2017 07:50 AM #51
Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA
Future Home Realty - Seminole, FL
Providing the integrity and service you deserve.

Working together is a much more pleasant experience for all than the alternative. Congratulations on the featured post. 

Sep 25, 2017 09:52 PM #52
Shuchi Agrawal
VIP Realty - Flower Mound, TX
Serving Dallas / Ft. Worth

Great post! There's nothing like collaboration and having a win-win mentality. 

Sep 26, 2017 01:23 AM #53
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you so much for a great history lesson on Washington wines.  I've heard of Chateau St Michelle's rise in quality but had no idea of how the entire state benefited from one man's efforts. What a selfless attitude we could all learn from.  Kudos for a great, well written post on Washington wines! 

Oct 02, 2017 06:51 PM #54
Michael Eisenberg
eXp Realty - Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Real Estate Guy

In Real Estate we all have to work with our competition and the best way is through collaboration. Negotiating through collaboration will always be better than through being competitive and trying to only satisfy yourself or your client

Oct 21, 2017 05:41 PM #55
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD - What an inspiring story. I have heard of Chateau St. Michelle but not aware of Ted Baseler's efforts. A rising tide floats all boats!

Nov 26, 2017 07:07 AM #56
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD

REALTORS® in Clark County, WA
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