Laroses Finalize Switch To Coldwell Banker from Weichert
Marcus and Cathy Larose spent a year investigating their options before deciding to switch the affiliation of their real estate company from Weichert to Coldwell Banker Advantage.
"We already had a relationship with Coldwell Banker Advantage and began to look at the pros and cons of joining their team," Cathy Larose said. "I have to say, the pros way outnumbered the cons. Weichert was good for us, but it's time for the next step. We want to offer our clients the absolute best real estate services and sales, and that's what Coldwell Banker Advantage brings to the table."
Larose said Coldwell Banker Advantage is the third largest Coldwell Banker affiliate in the U.S. in annual sales volume.
Coldwell Banker Advan-tage also has offices in Fayetteville, Raleigh, Cary, Wake Forest, Clayton, Creedmoor, East Wake, Henderson, McGee's Crossroads, Lillington and Lake Gaston. The company offers residential real estate services, relocation assistance, concierge services, mortgage services, title insurance and commercial real estate assistance.
"Just that alone is a benefit to our clients in terms of advertising, brand recognition, networking, market share and exposure," she said. "With Weichert, we were a one-stop shop on our own."
Cathy added that the new affiliation should give the company a leg up in attracting military buyers.
"It gives our sellers immediate exposure to thousands of buyers coming into North Carolina through a network of more than 3,900 Coldwell Banker offices worldwide," she said. "We will have additional exposure to buyers relocating to Moore County."
The Laroses launched their company in November 2005 with one employee. Today, they have five employees and 27 real estate agents at their headquarters on Turner Street in Southern Pines, and a satellite office near the entrance to Beacon Ridge in Seven Lakes.
Marcus Larose said diversification enabled the company to weather the economic downturn.
"We started a property management division in 2009, vacation rentals in 2011, and commercial and association management earlier this year," he said. "We also have a marketing division that produces Sandcastles magazine."
The property management division was established in the wake of the October 2008 stock market crash because the bottom fell out of the local real estate market.
"We had homeowners whose properties were not selling," Marcus said. "They needed income, and we placed tenants in their homes. We've got over 200 homes we're managing on a regular basis, and that continues to grow."
The division was not started, however, until Cathy got on board.
"She fought me on it," Marcus said. "She did not want to do property management."
Added Cathy, "If we fight about it, it ends up being a good idea. We work very well together. Marcus has good vision and thinks outside the box. I tend to focus on what we do. I think that's a good combination."
Marcus said the vacation rental division includes six homes and four condominiums that are typically rented to golf groups on weekends.
"Our vacation rentals are going through the roof right now," he said. "People are traveling again."
Marcus said the company also has an inventory of more than 300 homes available for rent during the 2014 U.S. Opens at the Pinehurst No. 2 golf course.
"I'm not looking for new properties to add to the list," he said. "My focus this year is on getting them rented."
The Laroses opened their satellite office in Seven Lakes last month.
"There's a need because Seven Lakes is really taking off," Cathy said.
Contact Ted M. Natt Jr. at (910) 693-2474 or tnatt@the pilot.com.
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