“The formation of our brokerage came about from the desire to offer a better value proposition to talented agents and teams than those offered at traditional brokerages,” Borwieck said.
Borwieck’s brokerage’s headquarters are on 8th St. in Vancouver; 15 months ago, he added a second location in Battle Ground. The Battle Ground office is part of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service, which covers Longview, Kelso, and beyond, while the main office covers the Vancouver metro area. A third location, he said, “hasn’t been ruled out.”
In keeping with Borwieck’s original vision of sharing knowledge, PPG offers classes to brokers – for those who work with PPG and those working for other brokerages. Topics include contracts, negotiation and listing presentation. He said he also spends a lot of “sit-down, one-on-one” time with newer brokers.
“It’s important to teach them (or remind them) that they are in a relationship-driven business. Customers don’t care what you know until they know that you care,” stated Borwieck.
Borwieck said that three characteristics set PPG apart from other brokerages, and are responsible for the company’s expansion from Borwieck, one assistant and a single broker to five employees and 60 brokers. These characteristics are 1) highly competitive brokerage fee plans, 2) a high level of service for the brokers, and 3) the ability to “have a little fun.”
According to Borwieck, typically a broker pays an annual brokerage fee that can range from $17,000 to $20,000. At PPG, a broker can join the team for $6,000. And as for fun, last December PPG threw a “client appreciation party,” including brokers, clients, family and friends. 250 to 300 people attended, and watched “Polar Express” at the Kiggins Theater. He intends to hold a similar event in August, showing “The Lego Movie.”
“It’s a chance to reconnect with people that trusted us to help them,” said Borwieck.
Building connections is key to a brokerage’s success, stated Borwieck. He encourages PPG’s brokers to work together to leverage each other’s talents, and prefers brokers that have experience and interest in areas other than just real estate, such as Internet technology, law and contracts, accounting and finance, public relations and marketing, human resources, training and second languages.
“We are building a brokerage centered on the concepts of synergy and expanded business opportunities for all,” said Borwieck. “We believe that the more varied the talent you associate yourself with, the greater the potential for everyone.”
Certainly this philosophy seems to be working. In its first year, PPG (then Capstone) closed 111 transactions. This year, the company has already closed 369 transactions – mostly single-family residential, but also including some multi-family, land and new construction.
“I attribute our growth to the brokers – they’re productive and motivated, and the market is pretty good right now,” Borwieck said. “Our vision is to build a healthy sustainable model, and continue to teach, train, and mentor our brokers.”