When Julie Baldino, owner of Front Door Realty, first started her real estate brokerage company back in 2011, she learned that growing big quickly isn’t necessarily a good thing.
“We grew too big too fast at first, which was a good lesson for me,” Baldino said. “When we had 16 agents and just a few employees, our agents didn’t have the level of assistance from me or my employees needed, so their productivity slid. My goal for the last 18 months has been to increase the number of transactions per agent by hiring more office staff and reduce the number of agents. The result of our downsizing is that our admin team is not spread too thin to help the agents, who were able to double the number of customers served this year – nationwide average is eight sales/year per agent, our average is 22 sales/year per agent.”
Front Door Realty is a certified woman-owned (WOSB and WBE) real estate brokerage serving the Portland Metro Area and Southwest Washington. The company specializes in assisting first-time and move-up buyers, as well as marketing and sales of residential real estate. Baldino said she started the business in 2011 after she had worked for a larger firm for seven years and was getting more business than she could handle. The business currently employs five people and has seven agents.
“My initial plan was to start a team, but it got to a point where the team was growing so much that it made more sense to start my own company where growth potential is unlimited,” she said. “I also wanted to be able to get my business certified as woman owned so I could do more work with the federal government.”
Growing up in the Portland area, Baldino moved to Vancouver in her 20s and said she got her real estate license right away.
“I love the Pacific Northwest,” she said. “There are so many benefits to living here; it is easy to relay that passion to this job.”
Baldino said Front Door Realty isn’t like “every other brokerage where anyone with a license can come work here.” She said they have an application and two-step interview process, followed by an eight-week training program for agents that have less than two years experience. Baldino said they also have two experienced managing brokers on-site to offer assistance to their agents and staff.
“Having worked for larger firms, this is not at all common,” she said. “It is common for 100-plus agents to share one broker – which means most agents aren’t getting specialized training and the consumer suffers because of it.”
Baldino said another thing that sets Front Door apart is the fact that decisions are made right here and not “in a corporate office in another state.” She said this gives them the flexibility to help their customers in a way that other companies can’t.
Front Door Realty continues to see success in the Clark County community for a multitude of reasons, according to Baldino.
“Even though our community is growing, it is still tight knit and most consumers prefer to ‘shop local,’” she said. “I believe they like the idea of working with a company that is woman owned as well. We are huge pet lovers, which resonates with a lot of people in the community, and we support multiple animal-related nonprofits. We volunteer as a group once per month to give back. Our agents are hand selected based on their willingness to serve – the community, our customers, the company, etc. It shows in everything we do and we are all very proud of that.”
Front Door Realty is located at 1815 D St., in Vancouver. They can be reached at 360-450-4486.