Real Estate

Connectivity is key to dominating your local market

Four years ago, Jeff Knipe stood at the helm of his hugely successful brokerage in Portland, Oregon, and knew something had to change. The headwinds of an impending technology war didn’t bode well for an independent brokerage, even one as successful as his. He knew it would be hard to adjust to continuous disruption and realized he needed to find a partner that would help his company remain relevant.

Today, Knipe runs his business under the ERA Real Estate umbrella as Knipe Realty ERA Powered, keeping his local branding at the forefront while gaining access to a national and international network.

The ERA Powered® flexible branding option gives companies a choice to leverage their local brand identity and benefit from the ERA brand’s full suite of learning, marketing, and servicing resources.

“The part that was most appealing to my agents and me was that all of the sweat equity we had put into building this company didn’t have to disappear when we aligned with a national partner,” explained Knipe. “We could build on our existing success, local brand cache, and strong reputation with the help of the ERA engine. We could be us, but better.”

The firm has expanded into Eugene and Bend and has an eye on Southern Seattle in the coming year.

“We never wanted to be cookie-cutter,” said Knipe. “The ERA Powered offering is probably the sweetest path to continued success we could have found.”

Another company with deep roots in the community, Schuler Bauer Real Estate ERA Powered was founded in 1967 and is currently led by third-generation family members.

In 2013, the firm enjoyed a 20 to 25% market share in southern Indiana, but realized it needed a sizable boost to fuel further growth. The multi-office brokerage based in New Albany, Indiana, became ERA Powered to drive that growth and continue its strong heritage as a locally successful company.

Results came quickly after the brokerage acquired a large firm in Louisville, Kentucky, doubling the company’s size and significantly increasing its service area.

“ERA offers a lot of tools,” said broker/owner Kurt Schuler. “But we can pick the ones that work best for us in our market. As a flexible franchising model, ERA is also open to adapting existing tools for local markets, based on our feedback. As a family business, we really aligned with the collaborative culture of ERA, which is a powerful differentiator.”

New to real estate but well known for running successful businesses, Holly and John Tomlin started Tomlin St Cyr Real Estate Services ERA Powered five years ago with their daughter Alison, a former agent with Coldwell Banker. Prior to opening the brokerage, Holly ran her own successful staffing firm while John was the CEO of AAA Auto Club South.

“We didn’t want our strong local reputation and unique brand cache to be supplanted by a generic national logo,” said Holly Tomlin.

“But to be able to take advantage of ERA’s technology and tools under the ERA Powered branding was a very attractive proposition and, quite frankly, a no-brainer,” said John Tomlin. “We could continue to operate under our very personalized brand while gaining access to an impressive national and international referral network to support our luxury business. That’s so important in this market, where 200 people a day are moving to Tampa. We want our agents to be in a position to capitalize on that.”

At ERA Real Estate, we don’t adapt to change, we create it. We believe that our core business values of collaboration, innovation, diversity, and growth are needed now more than ever. The ERA Real Estate network includes more than 36,000 affiliated brokers and independent sales associates and approximately 2,200 offices around the world. Learn more at

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