Robyn Erlenbush, broker/owner of ERA Landmark Real Estate, didn’t always see herself in the real estate game. Raised on a ranch in eastern Montana, Erlenbush grew up with a great respect for land use.
She purchased her first home at the age of 19 while attending college at Arizona State University before returning to Montana. Her first full-time job was at a title company during a blazing-hot real estate market.
Intrigued by the real estate business, Erlenbush received her license in 1980. She joined ERA Landmark Real Estate two years later before acquiring the company in 1990.
What is your firm’s value proposition?
Robyn Erlenbush: We’re a service-oriented team with a highly trained specialized support staff, powerful market insight and cutting-edge marketing. Our strategic office locations give our clients the best opportunity to compare markets.
How has the Montana market fared in 2023?
RE: We haven’t seen any drastic swings in our prices except for Big Sky. While sales are down 12% year-over-year, demand remains high for our region. Our second-home and resort buyers are primarily cash, so they aren’t impacted by rising interest rates. Like any market, each community we serve is hyperlocal.
What are your strategies as the real estate market resets?
RE: We’re focused on our “forever” clients, sphere of influence and referrals. In addition, we stress high levels of communication and more face-to-face time with our agents and their clients. We’re very data-driven, which helps our clients make good decisions.
What is your growth philosophy?
RE: While we’re primarily a residential firm, our growth initiatives include further expansion to surrounding markets and diversification of types of real estate, for example, farm and ranch. Keeping our current team highly productive is a top initiative. We function as a large family and recruit agents who fit our culture and philosophy. We have a very successful startup program for new agents, with customized plans for their success. Our growth philosophy has always been to grow with quality rather than huge numbers.
How do you maintain a proper work-life balance?
RE: When I first became the managing broker of our firm, I made a decision to become a non-competing broker. By not focusing on my personal listings and sales, I was able to channel my energy into increasing the production of our agents, business development, community involvement and family. I love what I do and consider my calling as servant leadership.
What’s the secret for keeping your brokers happy?
RE: Be a good listener. Know each agent outside of their real estate life. Create a nurturing and honest environment where they can prosper and grow. Being in the trenches by their side, they know I won’t ask them to do anything I wouldn’t do myself. Happiness is grounded in trust and knowing that your voice and opinions matter.
What’s the best piece of advice you can offer your staff?
RE: There’s no stupid question or idea. Innovation comes from everyone. Be a participant rather than a spectator. Be willing to take risks and explore new options that may be uncomfortable. When we leave our comfort zone, great innovation and productivity follow. Real estate has many career paths. We encourage and support staff to advance and grow their careers.
ERA Landmark Real Estate
Years in business: 33
Size: 5 offices, 60 agents
Regions Served: Southwest Montana including Bozeman, Big Sky, Livingston, Ennis, Butte, Anaconda and surrounding communities.
2022 Sales Volume: $375,500,000
2022 Transactions: 474 units