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Press Release

APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Promotes Mark Kotch To Regional Director of Career Development in East Bay

April 1, 2015

Experienced Sales Professional Will Oversee Training and Coaching in Six Offices

Mark Kotch
SARATOGA, CA – Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth largest real estate firm in the United States, announced the hiring of Mark Kotch as the Regional Director of Career Development in the East Bay. In his new role, Kotch will be responsible for training and career development, including mentoring and on-going coaching assistance, for new and experienced agents at APR’s six East Bay offices.
Kotch brings over a decade of real estate experience and joined Alain Pinel Realtors as a sales associate in 2009. Prior to his career in real estate, Kotch built a successful career in sales and marketing for luxury skin and hair product lines, serving as National Sales Director and Vice President of Sales. In his role, he trained thousands of entrepreneurs and marketing teams on product marketing and how to properly run a successful business. He has built many successful sales and marketing teams that have set the standards still valued in the professional beauty industry today.
“Mark’s vast background in training and coaching, coupled with his knowledge of real estate, sales and marketing, make him a great addition to our training team,” said Rainy Hake, Executive Vice President of APR. “I’m excited about Mark’s role in enhancing our agents’ skills and capabilities and ensuring they meet the high level of service APR is known for.”
Kotch received many honors as a real estate professional, including being a four-year Platinum Award recipient of the Quality Service Certification (QSC) for Outstanding Customer Services as independently surveyed by his clients. He also has been named a Certified Buffini Mentor (part of the popular real estate training program by Brian Buffini). He also holds a number of specialized real estate designations and titles including Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), and National Association of Realtors ePro® Certification for digital marketing.

APR in the News

Wine Country Veteran to Lead Alain Pinel Realtors Sonoma Office

March 16, 2015

Mark Stornetta Named Sales Manager for the Wine Country

StornettaSONOMA, CA – Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth largest residential real estate firm in the United States, has named Mark Stornetta as the Sales Manager for the Wine Country overseeing the brokerage’s Sonoma office. The Sonoma office will continue to be managed under Rick Turley, APR Vice President and Managing Broker of San Francisco and the Wine Country.
Born and raised in the North Bay with over 30 years in the wine industry, finance, and real estate, Stornetta has represented some of the finest vineyards, ranches, and residential properties. Having built his business on referrals, he prides himself on his honest, ethical, and detail-oriented approach to real estate.
“Mark has extensive knowledge and knows the Sonoma and Napa markets better than anyone,” said Turley. “With his professional approach and vast experience combined with the trusted brand and historical track record of Alain Pinel Realtors, I am confident we will grow our footprint with incredible sales associates throughout the Wine Country.”
The move reflects an ongoing commitment from APR to grow its presence in the area. APR made a splash last year when it hired Turley, former President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s San Francisco Bay Area Regions, to oversee growth in the area. The firm also hired Tim Freeman, a former manager of Coldwell Banker’s largest Wine Country office, to oversee the training of new agents.
“I look forward to working with Rick and the rest of the leadership team at Alain Pinel Realtors in furthering our reach in the region. Having lived and worked in the Wine Country, I’m thrilled to be part of a team that believes in its promise.”
Stornetta earned his B.S. degree in agricultural business from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, then spent nine years as a Farm Credit loan officer and branch manager in Sonoma Valley before joining Glen Ellen Winery as a general partner and CFO. For the past decade, Stornetta has been pleased to be involved with complex purchases and sales of Wine Country real estate.

APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Partners with Year Up; Hires Two Graduates to Work at Saratoga Headquarters

August 26, 2014

APR offers real-life work experience to urban young adults; Year Up helps fill strong hiring demand

APR Year Up

Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth largest residential real estate firm in the United States, partnered with Year Up, who provides young adults with skills and experience, and connects them with employers, by offering two young San Jose graduates the opportunity to fulfill their dream of starting a professional career. Chelsea Wester and Greg Kinnicutt will be based in APR’s offices in Saratoga, working as Computer Support Technicians.
“Year Up’s a remarkable organization helping young adults enter the competitive marketplace and secure meaningful employment,” said Tom Flanagan, Vice President of Technology for APR. “With Chelsea Wester and Greg Kinnicut, APR benefits from their technical knowledge and talents, and in turn, they have the opportunity to work in Silicon Valley with the 5th largest residential real estate firm in the country. APR’s collaboration with Year Up is a true win-win.”
APR is one of the first major real estate companies that have hired Year Up alumni for technical roles in the Bay Area.
“It is through partnership with innovative industry leading companies like Alain Pinel Realtors that we are able to make a difference. The staff has been a pleasure to work with and we know that our alumni will thrive here,” said Autumn Andrews, Year Up Corporate Engagement and Alumni Success Specialist. “This opportunity is a huge first step on their path to success. We appreciate the support of Alain Pinel Realtors in helping us close the Opportunity Divide.”
Wester and Kinnicutt will be responsible for APR’s computer and mobile technical support, assisting agents and managers in person, online, and by phone. Support includes installing new applications/software, deploying computers and solving technical difficulties.
Wester recently finished her technical internship at eBay and Kinnicutt at Cisco. Both new hires live in San Jose.
Year Up’s mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education. Year Up achieves this mission through a high support, high expectation model that combines marketable job skills, stipends, internships and college credits. Its holistic approach focuses on students’ professional and personal development to place these young adults on a viable path to economic self-sufficiency. Year Up currently serves more than 2,100 students a year at sites in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco Bay Area, the National Capital Region, and Puget Sound (Seattle). To learn more, visit http://www.YEARUP.ORG or http://www.YOUTUBE.COM/YEARUPINC.
 
 

Notable Listings / Sales

Record Sale in Downtown San Jose Condo Market

August 21, 2014

Transaction Tops $1,478 per Square Foot

005_Patio (2)
SARATOGA, California (August 21, 2014) — Adriana Plut of the Alain Pinel Realtors Los Gatos office closed the sale of 88 E. San Fernando Street Unit 2101, a penthouse unit of the 88 in Downtown San Jose. The all-cash condo sale, which closed last Friday, was for $2.2 million with an astounding $1,478 price per square foot.
The 1,488 square foot, two bedroom, two bath penthouse is situated in the 88, a luxury high-rise tower in Downtown San Jose. The unit boasts the largest sky deck of any penthouse on the property with grand views, perfect for entertaining. The previous owner also meticulously upgraded and cared for this home adding many luxury finishes. The building amenities at the 88 include a full-sized pool, spa, generous fitness center, gardens, a gourmet kitchen, media room, business center, and concierge service.
The property was sold off-market, in one day, following a private showing. Plut credits the record price per square foot to an extreme shortage in supply. “Millennials and young professionals love the urban, walkable lifestyle that these luxury, high-rise buildings allow, but there is virtually no new inventory,” says Plut. “With all of the new towers being rent-only, the only opportunities to buy are re-sale units in the three condo towers – AXIS, City Heights, and the 88 – which are few and far between, so people are willing to pay large premiums for them.”
The unit previously sold in November of 2012 for just under $1.16 million.

APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Strengthens Presence in San Francisco and Wine Country

August 13, 2014

Rick Turley promoted to Managing Broker of San Francisco and Sonoma offices; Tim Freeman named North Bay Director of Career Development

Rick Turley and Tim Freeman
SARATOGA, California (August 13, 2014) — Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth largest residential real estate firm in the United States, announced the promotion of Rick Turley to Vice President & Managing Broker of the San Francisco and Sonoma offices, effective August 12. The firm also named Tim Freeman, formerly Manager of Coldwell Banker’s largest residential real estate office in Sonoma, as North Bay Director of Career Development.
Turley replaces Tim Murray, who will continue with the firm, transitioning into a role as a Realtor focusing on high-end properties and international investors in both the San Francisco and Wine Country markets. Murray, who has been with APR for seven years, opened the firm’s San Francisco office locations and oversaw over 100 sales associates. He helped develop the firm’s commercial presence by overseeing the APR Investment Group, who are now the #1 sellers of apartment buildings in the city.
“With the real estate market booming in San Francisco and more Silicon Valley entrepreneurs investing in high-end homes in the Wine Country, this is an opportune time to broaden our presence in these regions,” said Paul Hulme, APR President, Founder and CEO. “Rick’s strong leadership and Tim’s deep knowledge of the real estate market and coaching skills bring the best of both worlds to our clients –comprehensive real estate services and the most knowledgeable agents in the business.”
Turley previously served as APR’s VP of Strategic Planning and Growth for San Francisco and Wine Country. In his new role, he will be responsible for day-to-day operations and growing APR’s presence in The City and North Bay. Turley brings 28 years of real estate experience, including 14 years as a high performing sales agent, and the remaining 14 in managerial roles including manager of a high volume San Frnacisco office and as President of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s San Francisco Bay Area Regions.
Freeman will be responsible for training new and current agents, as well as providing mentoring, marketing and on-going coaching assistance. Prior to joining APR, Freeman managed Coldwell Banker’s largest office by dollar volume in Sonoma County and Wine Country. Before working in real estate, he was Principal of Neveric, LLC, an investment banking company and Assistant Corporate Controller at Informix Corporation. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Hayward; and is a California certified public accountant.

APR in the News

Michi Olson Participates in Luxury Buyers Panel at Inman Real Estate Connect

August 5, 2014

Michi Inman
Michi Olson, SGMS, Alain Pinel Realtor’s (APR) Vice President of Global Business Development & Relocation, sat on the “Where in the World are the Luxury Buyers” panel at Inman Real Estate Connect, which was held in San Francisco from July 16-18.
During the session, Michi discussed APR’s international marketing strategy, which is targeting the rapidly growing number of international real estate homebuyers investing in the San Francisco Bay Area. As well as launching China.APR.com, the firm’s Chinese language website, APR has expanded their international listing syndication, developed relationships with international service providers and financial institutions, and is offering global attaché service and personalized international client assistance. Olson outlined what APR is doing to train their agents, notably their APR Global Specialists, who help foreign nationals transition into their new communities and lifestyles.
During the session, Olson also discussed how the firm is building stronger relationships in China, including their participation at the recent LPS Property Showcase, held May 16-18 in Beijing, which Olson attended along with a team of APR agents. Olson spoke at the event, presenting on Bay Area lifestyle, the state of the local market, and living in the area. This coming December, Olson and APR agents will be attending the next LPS Property Showcase in Shanghai, where they will continue to develop future partnership possibilities with other brokerage firms, investment consultants, and wealth management companies.
Olson was also recently named “One of Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders for 2014” by Inman News.
Real Estate Connect, produced by Inman News, is an annual real estate technology event where thousands of influential real estate leaders gather to network, make deals, explore current trends and technology, and learn how to embrace and leverage the change that surround the real estate industry.

APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Hires Tim Freeman as North Bay Director of Career Development

August 4, 2014

Seasoned Real Estate Professional Will Oversee Training and Coaching in Eight Offices

Tim Freeman
Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the fifth largest real estate firm in the United States, today announced the hiring of Tim Freeman, former Manager of Coldwell Banker’s largest office in Sonoma County, as North Bay Director of Career Development.  In his new role, Freeman will be responsible for training new and current agents, including mentoring and on-going coaching assistance for agents at APR’s eight San Francisco and North Bay offices.
Freeman brings over a decade of real estate experience both as a sales professional and office manager to APR. After beginning his real estate career as a successful sales agent in Chicago, he was quickly promoted to an assistant managing broker where he coached and mentored the office’s 250 associates. He went on to become managing broker of Coldwell Banker’s Gold Coast office, a “luxury boutique” office with the highest average sales price in the city. He led the office until returning to the Bay Area and his most recent role as manager of the Santa Rosa office overseeing 100 sales professionals.
Prior to working in real estate, Freeman was Principal of Neveric, LLC, an investment banking company and Assistant Corporate Controller at Informix Corporation. He also held a number of positions in the accounting, finance, strategic planning and organization building for a number of firms including Deloitte & Touche, as well as major retail companies including The Gap, Inc. and The Nature Company.  A Bay Area native, Freeman holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from California State University, Hayward; and is a retired California certified public accountant.
“We are very proud of and committed to our superior and comprehensive training programs for our agents and Tim is a great addition to our team,” says Executive Vice President Rainy Hake. “His wide-ranging background spanning real estate, finance, technology, and coaching make him a uniquely valuable asset in enhancing our agents’ skills and capabilities to better serve our growing client base in the North Bay.” This marks APR’s continued commitment and increased presence in the region, following last month’s hiring of Rick Turley, former President of Coldwell Banker Northern California, as VP of Strategic Planning and Growth for San Francisco and the Wine Country.

APR in the News

SkySlope Forms Partnership with Largest Privately-Owned, Independent Brokerage in California

July 8, 2014

Transaction management software provider working with renowned Alain Pinel Realtors

APR SkySlope
SARATOGA, California (July 8, 2014) — SkySlope, the industry leader in digital transaction management solutions, has formed a partnership with Alain Pinel Realtors (APR), the largest privately owned and independent brokerage in California. The expansive partnership will grant APR’s approximate 1,400 agents access to SkySlope’s complete suite of cloud-based transaction management tools.
SkySlope offers a unique set of easy-to-use tools to assist agents, home buyers and sellers throughout a transaction. Through mobile apps, cloud access, task lists, paperless transaction and document processing, a 24/7 helpdesk, compliance review, digital signing and more – the platform brings step-by-step ease and convenience for agents and their clients.
APR, which primarily serves the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe, has chosen to implement SkySlope’s solutions as it aligns with the firm’s mission. “We look forward to pairing our unique customer service culture with a cutting-edge platform to produce exceptional experiences for our clients,” says APR Executive Vice President Rainy Hake. “It is our belief that technology is only useful when it creates ease; this partnership allows our agents to create exactly that for our clients throughout the entire home buying and selling process.”
The family-owned brokerage changed what real estate offices looked like in 1990 when it opened its first office featuring computers on every desk. The implementation of SkySlope’s solution is another major step in reimagining more eco-friendly real estate offices of the future as it allows agents to work in more mobile, efficient and paperless ways. APR’s commitment to leveraging the most effective tools and technologies have helped it become the fifth largest residential brokerage in the United States.
By working with APR, Skyslope is adding yet another prominent client to its California portfolio. In a relatively short time, SkySlope has become the favorite digital transaction management provider for a number of renowned firms. The firm credits this to the fact agents quickly adopt their software and allows them to efficiently meet state compliance requirements through tools like text message tracking, email compliance and other digital footprints.
“I believe the reason SkySlope has been so successful with large brokerages is because we understand what they value most,” says Tyler Smith, Founder & CEO of SkySlope. “We have been developing our platform much longer than our competitors and we recognize that agent adoption and compliance are two of the highest priorities for both brokers and owners.”
SkySlope is the industry leading Digital Transaction Management software provider offering superior support to brokers across the United States. The network currently includes more than 1,000 brokerages and 100,000 subscribers, all leveraging the company’s full suite of solutions in the form of powerful mobile apps, cloud access, paperless transaction processing and other services. Created by a former top-producing agent, CEO Tyler Smith works to ensure that SkySlope sets and then exceeds the industry standard for paperless real estate offices.
 

APR in the News

Alain Pinel Realtors Ranked Among Top Real Estate Professionals in U.S.

June 27, 2014

Nationwide report based on sales volume

WSJ Top 1000 List_2014
SARATOGA, California (June 27, 2014) — The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends, Inc. have announced the 2014 rankings of the top real estate professionals in the entire country based on 2013 sales volume. Ten Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) sales professionals were included in these prestigious rankings, with four individuals and three teams listed as the top producing agents in the country.
Topping the list for Top Teams by Sales Volume are APR’s Mary and Brent Gullixson from the APR Menlo Park office, ranked #6 with a sales volume of over $323 million. This is Mary Gullixson’s fifth consecutive year ranking in the top six by sales volume, either individually or as a team with her son Brent. She has been represented in the top of the list each year since the list was created in 2006.
The Top Agents by Sales Volume list includes:

The Top Teams by Sales Volume list includes:

“Through their determination and hard work, these agents earned incredible results in 2013, and are among the best in the entire nation,” said Paul Hulme, CEO & President of APR. “We are proud that they represent Alain Pinel Realtors in providing top quality service to our clients.”
The Wall Street Journal Top 1000 designees are recognized as the top one half of one percent of nearly one million licensed REALTORS® nationwide. The list includes the top 250 agents or teams in four different categories, including top individuals ranked by closed transaction sides; top individuals ranked by closed sales volume; top teams ranked by closed transaction sides; and top teams ranked by closed sales volume. All results from the study are based on calendar year 2013.
Visit http://www.realtrends.com/products/rt1000 to see the full lists.

APR in the News

APR Attends LPS Property Showcase in Beijing

June 20, 2014

Michi and Mark at LPS
SARATOGA, California (June 20, 2014) — Alain Pinel Realtors (APR) had a network of agents accompany Michi Olson, APR Vice President, Global Business Development and Relocation, to the LPS Property Showcase, held May 16-18 in Beijing. Olson spoke at the event, presenting on Bay Area lifestyle, the state of the local market, and living in the area.
This invitation-only expo welcomed an audience of Chinese luxury property buyers, high-end investors, and wealthy individuals. Now in its seventh year, the event held at the Legendale Hotel featured over 80 exhibitioners from over 20 countries and focused on international high-end properties, with 5,000 targeted visitors in attendance. Firmly established as Beijing’s leading luxury property show, the event allows Chinese luxury home owners to interact with well-known property developers from China and leading overseas luxury real estate professionals, like Alain Pinel Realtors.
APR’s participation in the conference coincides with the launch of their International Marketing Strategy last month, targeting the rapidly growing number of international real estate homebuyers investing in the San Francisco Bay Area. As well as launching China.APR.com, the firm’s Chinese language website, APR announced expanded international listing syndication, affiliate offices in China, image ads in international publications, relationships with service providers and financial institutions, and personalized international client assistance.
“The conference served as a unique opportunity for APR agents to network and build international relationships in China and with other global luxury real estate professionals,” said Olson. “The LPS conference is yet another example of how the business world is getting smaller.”
The experience gained from the event helps APR agents to better guide international buyers, as well as gain more exposure for their listings. According to Bob Brushwyler, APR Saratoga, the quality and interest of the contacts was of a higher caliber, and agents came away with more new contacts than from any past LPS conference.
Mark Wong and Daphne Chou, APR Saratoga, visited a well-established Beijing real estate brokerage firm which shares a similar philosophy as APR. The founder and CEO invited them to speak to all their agents and staff regarding the current housing market in the San Francisco Bay Area. They were invited back to Beijing next month to speak at a widely-publicized real estate and investment seminar.
“APR agents explored future partnership possibilities with other brokerage firms, wealth management companies, investment consultants, and individual entrepreneurs,” said Wong. “We gained first-hand experience about Chinese culture, business practices, and real estate opportunities, and also visited Central Government financial institutions to learn more about their monetary policies.”
According to the California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) Annual Housing Market Survey, the share of international buyers is growing in California, with 30% of international buyers coming from China. In a recent interview with Forbes, Wong said international investors look to buy in the US to diversify their portfolio. C.A.R.’s 2013 International Real Estate Consumer Survey shows 16% of international buyers as interested in investment/tax advantages in the US, and 38% of buyers intending to use their property as an investment or rental. With its weather, business opportunities, and public education system, the Silicon Valley is a natural target for these buyers.
Chinese clients look for brand-new, furnished single-family homes built with high-quality materials. Important home amenities among international buyers according to the international survey are designer kitchens, outdoor pools, and hot tubs.
According to the international survey, 69% of international buyers are bringing in all cash offers, have a median income of $260k, and are highly educated, with 82% being college educated. As this increase in investment buyers translates to an increase in rentals and fewer owner occupied homes, there is a transition in local neighborhoods, with communities becoming increasingly diversified.