While the Spokane real estate market was on an upswing right before the Great Recession, short sales were beginning to sweep the Southwest. Local real estate investors Matt and Jessica Side were faced with a decision: move to Arizona and take advantage of market opportunities there or stay in their hometown.
The couple chose the latter, keeping their independent brokerage EvoReal in Spokane.
“Spokane is home,” Matt Side said. “It’s our community and it’s important for us to invest in community.”
The couple purchased tables, a desk, a few file cabinets and started EvoReal in the basement of their home in 2005. More than a decade later, the couple has expanded the brokerage to a brick-and-mortar location at 1414 W. Garland Ave. and is now Realty One Group Eclipse.
“The Garland District resonates with us. We have history here. I spent a ton of time here at my grandparents’ home, and it’s centrally located,” said Matt Side, adding he can be in Colbert or Liberty Lake in about a half hour.
The brokerage name, Eclipse, pays homage to a trip the couple took to Bend, Oregon, in 2017 to view the solar eclipse. During that trip, they discussed future goals for their brokerage as well as what they would do differently if given the opportunity.
“Basically, our determination was we wanted to create something that gave more value to our company, agents and brokers who work for us,” Matt Side said. “Which sent us on the journey of searching for others who were building the same thing outside of Spokane.”
About two days later, the couple received a random email from California-based Realty One Group, which expressed interest in expanding to the Spokane market.
Realty One Group Eclipse brokers are provided with tools, technology and training to build their real estate business.
“The big reason we wanted to take this next step was to offer more to agents and help them achieve their dreams in real estate,” Jessica Side said. “We want to give a high level of service and training. I want to make myself available to (the agents) and want to serve clients at the highest level possible.”
Matt Side said the brokerage conducts Rev Up! Realtor coaching courses with rotating topics and offers an online training portal with courses on hiring staff and conducting open houses.
“And then we have sales meetings, too, in our office focusing around contracts and legal issues,” Matt Side said. “Training is a big part of what Realty One Group is about.”
Realty One Group, which was founded in 2005 in Las Vegas, has more than 198 franchises in 35 states. By next year, the real estate company will be in all 50 states, said Vinnie Tracey, president of Realty One Group Affiliates.
“We try to find like-minded people that understand the vision and values of the company,” he said. “We’re going to Spokane because we found the right people.”
More than 35 brokers have joined Realty One Group Eclipse, which celebrated its grand opening on May 9.
Matt Side said he aims to grow the brokerage.
“I hope to continue the momentum we’ve had and be over 100 agents in 2020,” he said. “From there, we can see expanding to Spokane Valley and Coeur d’Alene.”
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