Steve Perry took the long route to real estate, moving from Connecticut to Northern California at the age of 28 and working in construction and other housing-related fields before acting on his passion to help buyers and sellers realize their American dream.
Twenty-eight years later, married and teamed with his wife, Christine, since 1997, he is living his own dream. Paired at SteveandChristinePerry.com, and working under the auspices of Sereno Group Real Estate based in Los Gatos, California, the dynamic duo—aided by a transaction coordinator—serves clients from inland Silicon Valley and the California coast to the heights of majestic Lake Tahoe.
Having met and married while working for another company, the Perrys were among the first to follow broker Chris Trapani when he founded the independent Sereno Group in 2006.
“We believed in his approach and his commitment to giving back,” said Christine Perry. Now, hundreds of clients later, they have posted over $1 billion in sales.
In the past twelve months, in a luxury market with an average sales price of more than $2.5 million, the pair combined their very different talents to post sales of over $110 million—a record that places them in the top 1% among Northern California real estate practitioners.
The achievement is all the more noteworthy in that 90% of their business today comes from referrals, said Steve Perry—attributed to their years of superior customer care.
In this Q&A with the team leaders, Christine Perry asserts that their success can be attributed to their ability to recognize and capitalize on their individual strengths; she as master of the big picture, he as maestro of the details.
Barbara Pronin: What was your background, Christine, before you joined Steve in real estate?
Christine Perry: I was a mortgage broker, so the transition was fairly easy, and I loved the change in focus—specifically the challenges and rewards of working with buyers and sellers.
Steve Perry: She was a natural, actually, right from the go. She’s creative, she’s skillful and she’s the ultimate people person. She listens, and that’s where it starts.
BP: Well, you clearly work so well as a team. Christine, where does Steve excel?
CP: He’s a problem solver, very detail oriented and a great negotiator. He has a talent for making every transaction a win-win for all parties. That’s something people remember, and it’s one of the reasons our business today mostly comes from referrals.
BP: How do you typically divide the workload?
SP: Our goal is to be a trusted advisor to every client we serve, and while one of us is the point person for every transaction, our buyers and sellers know they can count on both of us to be there with them every step of the way. That’s one of the perks of working as a team. Day to day, I’m usually conferring with clients, examining the options, busy with contract negotiations—maybe helping to navigate the inspection process, since my background is in construction. Christine takes the lead on all the marketing, home staging, preparing homes for sale, and she’s the social media expert.
CP: Instagram, in particular, has been a great platform for us, not just as a way to showcase properties, but for presenting ourselves as genuine people with a life outside of real estate. I post personal stuff, family stuff—we’re so proud of our three young-adult children. Those kinds of glimpses into who we are help to build trust and confidence in what we do.
BP: The past year has been crazy busy for REALTORS® as so many people re-thought their lifestyle priorities in the midst of a global pandemic. How did that impact your business, and what are you seeing now?
SP: It has been very busy, especially with clients looking for second homes, and we’re still dealing with a shortage of inventory. We are seeing some seasonal slowdown now, but we fully expect that once school starts, the pace will ramp up again.
BP: So, you have no plans to slow down?
CP: Oh, no. We adore our kids, but as empty nesters in the prime of life, we are very much focused on growth. It’s always been more about the client than the dollar, and we look forward to building and nurturing many more client relationships.
BP: Any other goals going forward?
SP: We’ll be looking to add a full-time assistant to our staff, which will free up more time for all of us to do what we do best. But for the most part, as Christine said, we are focused on client relationships. We’ve been through marriages, divorces and all kinds of crises with so many clients over the years. We take pleasure in knowing they trust and rely on us to help them make wise real estate decisions.
Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.