Where We Are Now: April 21, 2020

Work From Home — Day 37

Extraordinary Together

5:00AM PST

This morning’s Where We Are Now is from the desk of Patrick Barber.

Team –

When we began our Pacific Union journey back in 2009, we knew that if “we did not get the people right nothing else mattered.” Simply put, we are in the people business. The business of You. 

The odds were against us given the financial market melt down of 2009 and the reality that Pacific Union was on a track to lose over $5,000,000 by year end. While daunting, our goal for Pacific Union was crystal clear, to bring together the absolute best professionals in our industry as measured by ethics and results. “The Navy Seals” of real estate, as Mark liked to say. 

The “how” of achieving such a lofty goal we knew would be hard, and it would be expensive. We also knew our competitors would not invest and drive to your success the way we were determined to. We believed if we empowered you with best in class tools, simple systems, concierge level staffing, in-house legal support, state of the art offices, innovative marketing and digital-first advertising, business intelligence from our own economist, top tier IT support, and world class leadership, we would create a peer-centric environment that would attract the best in our industry. 

We grew from those original 375 professionals to over 1,800, from 17 offices to 58, and our sales volume increased from $2 billion to over $14 billion in just 10 years. We got the “the people right.” At first by adding agents one by one to our growing family. Then by attracting incredible companies with the same DNA of “people first culture” in Partners Trust, Gibson International, and John Aaroe Group. And finally by joining forces with the incomparable Compass, whose mission, drive, talent, and investment into you and our industry is truly astounding. 

Ten years ago we coined the tag line “Extraordinary Together!” Never has this felt so true as during this past month, as we collectively deal with this Novel Coronavirus pandemic as individuals, family members, friends, peers, neighbors, community members, citizens of the United States, and beings of this earth. 

If I have learned one thing through you over our journey together, it is that we can accomplish anything. This too will pass and we will be stronger, closer, more caring, and better for the experience.

Extraordinary Together!


Patrick Barber

Work From Home — Day 37 — Closing Bell

Optimism is in the air!

5:25PM PST

Team –

Maybe it’s SIP fatigue, maybe it’s the Spring season, maybe it’s human nature, but as Kathleen Clifford, top performer, Mill Valley said today on a weekly conference call, “There is optimism in the air and these buyers are real!”

Ed Lynch, SVP Marin, shared “it will be easier to hold back the tide, than to constrain the tenacity of our real estate professionals.”

SIP days feel like weeks, maybe months.

If SIP days are weeks, we are 37 weeks into this crisis. Reflecting on the Great Recession, after every family went through rough deleveraging, income sacrifices, and serious lifestyle changes, eventually frugality fatigue set in and we all started living and celebrating life again.

When our time comes, I can clearly see the celebration of life being unleashed. 

The Marin County call ended with Mary Thomson, also a top performer in Mill Valley, sharing a reading she enjoyed this morning in the New Yorker Magazine. It was about Starlings, a bird. How they flock, their habits, etc.

Mary reflected on our team with this observation of Starlings: “How these birds are able to manage uncertainty in consensus: Flocks of starlings exhibit a remarkable ability to maintain cohesion as a group in highly uncertain environments and with limited, noisy information.

That is 100 percent us.

Our tenacity, behavior, and desires can only be restrained for so long before human nature, the competitor in us, takes over.

Ready for that day!

This is Where We Are Now.



Mark A McLaughlin

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