It was about 35 years ago when Jeff Pust was a young man, newly married and starting a career in real estate, working on mortgages and appraisals. He transitioned into sales, and 15 years ago, along with his wife, took over Van Dorm Realty from his in-laws.
Today, the Olympia, Washington-based firm has over 120 agents and has remained an independent brokerage.
“We’re a large independent, which is rather unique,” says broker/owner Pust. “The way we provide tools for our brokers is also unique for an independent, as we invest a great deal in technology. We are recruited heavily by franchises, but we have all the tools they have.”
That’s where Constellation1 comes into play. Van Dorm Realty utilizes the software tech company for its CRM, websites, marketing services and back-office management.
“We became a Constellation client when they acquired a tech firm we worked with a number of years ago. Since then, they have morphed into Constellation1. We have stayed with them the whole time and found success working with them,” Pust says. “They have grown from providing our website to CRM and all types of other contact management systems they have, and now we’re working in their accounting module.”
In 2021, the firm became a Constellation1 Commissions customer, which helped integrate all of Van Dorm Realty’s back office tools and have them work together. The firm even used it with a different provider’s transaction management platform, and it worked perfectly. It’s just another way Constellation1 partners with its customers to provide what’s best for the brokerage.
“The reason we went with Constellation1 Commissions is to simplify our bookkeeping,” Pust says. “We have this transaction management system, and we needed a way to link that information to our accounting system, making us more efficient and providing more tools to our brokers in a way they can track their income, and perhaps set goals for themselves.”
Still in its infancy launch stage, Pust notes that so far, it’s doing exactly what he hoped, and he foresees it saving the firm a tremendous amount of time.
The firm has about 25 brokers who use Paradym by Contellation1, a digital marketing tool, to help them with their social media platforms. The tool assists those who aren’t as adept at the process of managing a social presence, which has been a big plus for those taking advantage of it.
Another reason Van Dorm Realty has stayed with Constellation1 for so long is because of its commitment to providing the best service possible.
“We’ve always been able to call them and talk about what we’re seeing with our competition and ask if they can make it happen for us. And they’ve always been able to find a way to accommodate our requests,” Pust says. “We have a lot of tech firms up here in the Northwest, especially in real estate, and Constellation1 has been able to keep up with the cutting-edge changes, keeping us cutting-edge as well.”
With more than three decades in the business, Pust has seen real estate transition from brokers coming into the office to working from anywhere, a change made more impactful by the pandemic. For that reason, innovative technology has been a big part of the firm’s strategy.
“Our mission along the way has been, ‘How do we provide systems where brokers can get that same level of service and attention and not have to come into the office but stay just as efficient?’ Constellation1 has been a great partner in helping that transition be a success. They help me be competitive in the tech part of the business,” says Pust.
For more information, please visit www.constellation1.com.
Keith Loria is a contributing editor to RISMedia.