Real Estate

3 very different boutique brands have 1 thing in common

California. Texas. Florida. These three states are as unique as their natural landscapes. So what do three boutique brand owners representing these extremely different real estate markets have in common?

They all founded a boutique business that they wholly own.

We spoke with the founders of these three diverse brands to get to know their businesses. Our goal was to learn what’s important to them and to explore what steps they’re taking to build their real estate legacy.

Leveraging their own brand equity through true ownership

Each of these founders has built a mindful and concerted brand that reflects who they are and who they serve. It’s critical to each of them that the personal brand they built does not get lost or overshadowed.

Tiffany Pantozzi is the founder of Align Real Estate in Orlando, Florida. With a strong background in the sports and entertainment industry, Pantozzi has her niche locked in. She was thrilled to learn that Side handles all backend business operations while giving her full control of her brand, instead of requiring her to conform to someone else’s brand standards.

Tiffany Pantozzi (left), Founder of Align Real Estate, with her team members.

Pantozzi said, Side allows me to build my brand, giving my business and I credit for all the hard work we do. That, to me, is invaluable. I want to be able to offer Align agents the opportunity to feel that all their efforts are building credibility and value in their name.”

Amber Montanio created Black Label Real Estate Advisors to serve areas from Austin to San Antonio, Texas. As an independent broker who wanted to stay independent, Montanio sought a partner that would help her scale her brand without requiring her to change it.

Members of the Black Label Real Estate Advisors team; REALTOR® Marissa Van Bibber (left), Founder Amber Montanio (center), and Director of Marketing Candace Watts (right).

“When you think of a Black Label line of just about any product, it’s typically the top level of whatever that product is. And that’s what I wanted; a company that really focused on everybody being a Black Label status agent,” shared Montanio.

She continued, “Side never made me feel like they wanted to rebrand me. I was very purposeful when I built the brand. The team at Side has been nothing but supportive of that. We’re still us. We’re still doing what we do, rocking and rolling with our clients. We’ve just got back-end support now and a partnership that helps us do what we do on an even greater scale.”

Chris and Maria Jeantet are co-founders of Shasta Living California. As natives of Redding, they have unsurpassed local expertise that wasn’t about to be eclipsed by an outside brokerage.

The Shasta Living Real Estate team (Chris and Maria Jeantet – Co-Founders in the center) in Shasta, California.

When asked what drives her business, Maria Jeantet described it this way. “As Realtors, we have a unique opportunity to be part of this building of stronger communities, stronger neighborhoods, one house at a time. We weren’t looking to run our own brokerage, but we were looking to expand and increase brand awareness in our local market. Side was able to fill in the gaps as the Broker of Record while providing guidance on brand awareness, training, technology, and how to increase our market share.”

Being empowered to lead and focus on what they love about real estate

The best agents don’t want to spend time in the weeds. They chose real estate because they love to help buyers and sellers navigate one of the biggest moments of their lives. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of operational logistics that need to be managed.

As an independent broker, Montanio knows the pains of cumbersome compliance paperwork all too well. “I’m smart enough to know that paperwork is not my passion,” she laughed. “Can I do compliance checks on my agents’ contracts? Absolutely. Do I want to spend hours a week doing that? No. I’m at my highest and best use for my clients and for my agents when I’m available for strategic planning or marketing strategies or contract negotiation. Paperwork is not where I’m the most valuable.”

Pantozzi never wanted to go the independent route for that exact reason. I wasn’t interested in becoming my own broker and getting bogged down by management tasks that would take me away from my clients and production. However, I was interested in having control over my brand and business.

I’m impressed by the concept of Side because I know that I can build something long-term that I have equity while being backed by a team of experts that keep my train on the tracks behind the scenes. Side is invested in my success.” she said. 

“Side fills in the gaps. I have a personal business manager, in-house design team, legal team, PR team, recruiting and onboarding team, a veteran broker, advanced technology and so much more! They understand the demands and quick turnaround needed in this business and they are behind me every step of the way to support my business.”

Utilizing best-in-class technology to service more buyers and sellers

One of the key benefits of partnering with Side is having a team in place to vet, select, and implement the best tools available for busy agents. Having the right tools at your disposal at the right times saves agents days of time each year.

As Pantozzi said, “I can’t be thinking about the newest, hottest technology 24/7, I have deals to close. Side feeds me ideas and sources new opportunities and technology for my business. Doing that independently would cost me way more time and money.”

Maria Jeantet agreed. “With Side, we have a much more efficient and streamlined process. We can tap into valuable resources and compliance training — which is critical when it comes to running a business in a COVID-world. Now we have new tools available for our clients whether they’re selling or buying a home.”

Montanio shared the sentiment, “It’s a partnership where we sit down and strategically plan how we’re going to advance our goals.”

Collaborating and growing with the best of the best

As an industry, real estate has historically been focused on competition over collaboration. However, that dynamic is shifting as the very best agents come together to build an incredibly powerful network.

Pantozzi noted that “one of the coolest features of the Side partnership that I really love is that there is a standard to the quality and caliber of professionals that are allowed to represent themselves as partners here. I take my profession and my business very seriously, so to know that I will be surrounded by other high-performing, experienced agents from across the country is important to me. The culture that is being created here with the top partners at Side is special and unique. It’s something you don’t always get to be a part of in this industry.”

Montanio also found the community a powerful addition. “Side’s focus on performing agents that want to be top producers in their market was so important to me. Side will continue to draw the top agents, teams, and small brokerages into the fold because the best agents know they’ve got a place where like-minded professionals collaborate.”

All the founding partners who make up Side’s incredible agent community found a path to long-term success. Each founder has the tools, technology, resources, and support they need to build their real estate legacy while outsourcing operational burdens.

Side is taking boutique real estate nationwide. We empower the very best agents to give people superior real estate service and expertise results in more engaging and successful real estate experiences for everyone. Apply to be the next Side partner in your area!

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