Marin County Salespeople Form Co-op

September 1, 1997

SAN RAFAEL, Calif.--Three years ago, a group of Marin real estate salespeople and a loan officer met to discuss ways to grow their businesses.

The group decided to invite 10 of their peers to build an organization that would combine the talents of "the best of the best" in Marin real estate to sell more houses, increase the professional knowledge base, and share resources.

It worked.

"Today, Marin All-Stars represent about 20 percent of all sales in Marin," reports David Faudman, top salesperson at First Marin Realty and one of the All-Stars. "The group typically sells more than $200 million of real estate every year."

To keep those sales high, Marin All-Stars salespeople help one another sell houses by providing leads, acting as references for one another, and training one another in new marketing techniques.

"We all realize that it's better for our clients and therefore better for each of us to cooperate," explains George DeSalvo, named one of the top five salespeople in Marin for the last five years.

Group training and marketing are funded by the group's own mortgage company, Star Mortgage. With the income from the mortgage company, the All-Stars are able to purchase valuable training and marketing tools. The group has successfully initiated its own advertising newsletters and Web site. The system has worked so well the Marin All-Stars are planning to take the concept on the road.

"We've refined our system and materials so that we can help other groups regionally and nationally," says Nevin Miller, one of the founders and the group's loan officer. "This is an idea whose time has come. We've had good results working together. Many of the houses represented in the group sell before they're listed. That's how well connected and supportive the team is."

Carole Fleck is a former senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine.

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