In an ever-changing landscape, Patrick Schorle says he’s tried to create something that will weather the ups and downs of real estate.
Schorle is the managing broker of Sidney’s Pacifica Real Estate Inc., which marked its second anniversary recently. Schorle and business partner Patrick Killeen started Pacifica in April 2013 after both had spent years working in the industry in a variety of different companies. Schorle said both he and Killeen realized they wanted to do things differently.
So, they found a new building on Bevan Avenue in Sidney, designed it the way they wanted and hung out their own shingle.
“Both of us are from the Peninsula, proud Peninsula residents, so we naturally chose Sidney,” Shorle said.
Pacifica’s business isn’t limited to the area, he added, but it was Sidney and its downtown boutique feel that appealed to them.
Schorle describes Pacifica as a boutique real estate company. They went this route, he explained, to create different relationships with clients.
“I think that not only is our market unique, but you have to have that local knowledge to be able to serve your customers better.”
He said the Saanich Peninsula has its own unique challenges, from various levels of government regulation to market differences from community to community.
Schorle said the industry itself is facing change in a very big way — most notably between the franchise firms and the smaller, boutique shops like his own. Apart from rebuffing the regular overtures by larger companies that want to absorb Pacifica, Schorle said it’s a battle to retain some individuality in a sea of big fish.
That’s why he and his real estate consultants, as they call their agents, try to live up to their initial vision, established two years ago.
“Real estate is not just planting a sign and a lock box and waiting for buyers to come to you.
“We work with our clients, get to know them and determine what works for them. Sometimes, that means we sometimes have to tell them, ‘no.’”
That kind for forthrightness only comes out of long-term and strong relationships, he continued.
“It’s easy to just make a quick sale. That sort of thing sells itself. But in looking out for the best interests of our clients, we have to be willing to say ‘no’ — it just lives up to our philosophy.”
Saying that word doesn’t come easy, he admitted. It’s a challenge his consultants learn to overcome by creating a more personal experience — and trust — on both sides of the table.
This philosophy, Schorle said, has paid off over the first two years of business. Most of their customers come to them by referral.
That’s always a large part of the real estate business, but Schorle said for Pacifica agents to live up to the vision of the company and still get referrals — that says a lot about their clients’ trust in them.
As a result, Schorle said business has been good over their two years in Sidney.
“We got lucky,” he laughed. “This building was available, that was really lucky, and we were able to design it as a welcoming, comfortable place.”
Even the company’s name doesn’t impose itself over the relationships formed between their consultants and clients. Schorle said had they named it after one or both of the partners, it would have detracted from an agent’s own personal style or brand. Yes, Pacifica is the umbrella company, Schorle explained, but each agent has the chance to establish who they are beneath it.
The future looks great for Pacifica Real Estate. Schorle said the current trend could be leaning towards a buyers’ market, as oil and gas prices maintain a low profile. Looking ahead three years, Schorle said he wants Pacifica to grow steadily and at just the right pace.