Peninsula realtors consolidate

Publication Date: Wednesday Apr 8, 1998

BUSINESS: Peninsula realtors consolidate

Two more small companies join ranks with larger firms

As the Silicon Valley housing boom continues, smaller Peninsula real estate companies continue to consolidate with larger companies. In the latest merger, local realtors Davey Associates and Trotter-Vogel Realty have joined the ranks of Prudential Real Estate Affiliates.

Last September, Coldwell Banker purchased Cornish & Carey Residential Real Estate, which had been a Palo Alto institution for 62 years.

Davey Associates, which specializes in more expensive properties in south San Mateo County and Silicon Valley, had a sales volume of $40 million last year.

"Our staff of 18 sales associates are pleased and excited about joining Prudential Real Estate Network," said Bill Davey, president of Davey Associates based in Redwood City. "Prudential's massive advertising, advanced technology and referral network will be an asset to our agents and customers."

The consolidation leaves relatively few small, independent real estate companies operating in the area--including Alain Pinel of Saratoga and Cashin Company of Menlo Park.

Skip Cashin, owner of Cashin Company, a two-year-old company with five offices and 170 agents, said that he is not unduly concerned by the arrival of larger realtors in the Peninsula market.

"The competitive niche player is going to be able to blow their socks off all day long," said Cashin, whose company targets the residential market in San Mateo County. "Coldwell Banker has a wonderful brand name, but it's cold and corporate. The public wants to deal with someone local."

Cashin said that larger companies such as Coldwell Banker, which is based in New Jersey, are not as sensitive to the local market, and they do not give back to the community in the same way that smaller companies do.

He said that the public had traditionally been schooled to seek quotes from three different Realtors. Now that companies are consolidating, there just isn't the choice, he said. And that's where the smaller independent companies come in, he said.

"I see this as an opportunity, rather than as doom and gloom (for independent realtors)," he said.

--Vicky Anning 

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