Monica Malcuit of Signature Partners Realty always knew she wanted to be in control of her own destiny and figured that being her own boss while helping others succeed in the industry was the way to go. She recently celebrated the two year anniversary of her growing real estate office.
Malcuit has been in the industry 12 years, 4 of it spent in title and escrow. She readily admits that her former employer had a great business model, training, and support that helped to shape the broker that she is today. And yet she wanted something more.
“The timing felt right and I literally came home one day and told my husband I wanted to start my own real estate company,” said Malcuit. Her husband, who has always been in support of her dreams initially had some reservations about the cost of starting a business. “Once she has an idea in mind, it’s nearly impossible to derail her” and “don’t tell her she can’t because she will”, says her husband.
“I responded with, I’m so doing this! And the rest is history,” said Malcuit with a laugh.
What she appreciated about the decision was that the real estate industry is a tight niche group and a lot of people supported her along the way to help her reach her goal.
“When I left my prior firm, I had a tremendous amount of support of people really encouraging me and telling me that I can do it. It was amazing to have that support and backing. Getting it started was really nice, I felt liberated and empowered all at the same time.” explained Malcuit
She set out to be different from the start.
Spurning the industry standards of traditional office space, she ultimately picked office space inside a car wash. She found it one day while getting her car washed and thought it was quirky enough to work.
“I looked at it and thought that is really cool, but was also aware that people may find it odd too. I figured that people would think it’s crazy or really brilliant. In the end I thought it was crazy enough to work.” says Malcuit. “I jumped in and here we are two years later.”
Malcuit says the car wash works because they have a steady flow of traffic all day long and people are essentially just waiting around while their cars are being washed. The real estate market is always of interest to someone and people check out the listings in the window and conversations start.
“My clients are really important to me and I work super hard for them whether it’s a million dollar deal or $200k, they are getting the same level of service. “
While her clients are certainly important, she also wants to invest time with her agents to make them better which in turn helps their clients get better service.
“One of the best aspects of owning my own brokerage is being able to help our agents grow their own business. Sometimes it’s a little bit of coaching, the right energy, accountability, or just knowing that they work with someone who truly cares about them that makes the difference. I find it really rewarding in seeing my agents flourish—it’s huge to me.”
Another path where she is different is that while other companies are trying to grow into large companies, she is content in sticking with her business plan of keeping things manageable to ensure that personal touch remains with her clients and agents.
“I don’t ever intend to be a 50-agent shop I am fully expecting to keep it small and manageable so I can retain really quality agents and make sure that we are all on the same page of moral fiber in treating people, clients, and relationships with others in the industry.”
When she speaks of moral fiber, she is referring to ensuring her agents and company always do the right thing for clients no matter if it means a deal closes and the company makes little to no profit.
“I’ve had situations where I never really made any money on a transaction but I know in my heart I did the right thing for a client and that is all that matters and that will eventually come back two-folds,” says Malcuit. “I want someone working for me who is always going to do the right thing for the client. That is very important to me. This business is not just about commission and a paycheck; it’s about doing the right thing for the people that have entrusted us to handle what is likely the largest investment of their lives. Something I certainly don’t take lightly.”
“Reputation is really important and I am not willing to jeopardize my own morals to make a transaction come together. There is plenty of business out there,” says Malcuit.
Love of First Time Homebuyers
Malcuit has spurred the advice of many others who typically try and stay away from first-time home buyers because of the amount of work needed to close a deal, she instead embraces them. She states that she can’t let them go because of the feeling she gets when she can get a first time homebuyer into a home.
“To me, there is something so magical about being able to hand someone the keys to their first home. There is nothing else quite like that,” says Malcuit
She explained the story about a client who for seven years she kept in touch with, knowing that eventually he would be eligible to buy. When they first met, he was not ready to buy and had bad credit. Over the years, he fixed his credit, got married, and recently had a baby. Monica helped them get into their first home.
Still, her advice to first time homebuyers is to ensure they find the right agent who can walk them through the process because the market is always changing and today’s market is not what it was even a year ago.
“The first time homebuyer has much to learn and navigating the process can be overwhelming. It’s crucial to provide the guidance, communication, and mutual expectations for all involved.”
When meeting new clients, Malcuit will first meet with them for a heart-to-heart before any houses are viewed so both she and the buyers/sellers can have a clear understanding of expectations. She also wants to ensure it’s the right personality fit so that everyone is comfortable.
“The consultation allows me to assess what their needs are, determine the best course of action to meet their goals, and establish expectations.”
For buyers, she refuses to put people in homes they cannot afford because that was part of the problem during the housing bubble.
“Just because they can get approved for a $500k doesn’t mean that makes sense. I want them to be in something they can afford and be comfortable with. There was a time when it seemed that all you needed was a pulse to qualify for a million dollar loan. Sadly during that period there were many people who truly could not afford what they were sold and ultimately ended up losing their homes,” says Malcuit.
Why East Contra Costa County
Malcuit will tell anyone that East Contra Costa County is a great place to live because she firmly believes it. She sees Brentwood as a community of what San Ramon and Danville were years ago before the traffic and high home prices.
She explained that she and her husband were renting in a house in San Ramon and wanted to buy a place of their own. Having grown up there, she wanted to stay in the area but unfortunately it wasn’t affordable. A $500k home that was 30 years old and needed work didn’t seem worth it.
“I remember thinking that we end up renting forever.” Malcuit recalls. “It was my husband’s idea to check out East County and I was hesitant as I felt I really had everything I needed in San Ramon. Growing up we had a boat in Discovery Bay we would frequently come to the Delta. But my recollections at the time were a winding road, cherry trees and a single market. I thought there was nothing out here.”
When she started looking, her perspective changed and it felt like the perfect fit. It brought her back to her childhood and it felt like home.
“Brentwood is reminiscent of what San Ramon and Danville were like when I was growing up. We have everything here in Brentwood and East County. Where else can you go where you are roughly only an hour away from the mountains, beach, and the City? We are so centrally located that it’s great,” says Malcuit.
She says with Highway 4 traffic improving and the 30-year-plan for transportation in place, it makes the East County housing market an untapped market as housing prices continue to increase.
Malcuit to Host Upcoming Seminar:
Did you know that you can buy a home with as little as 3.5% down? Dreaming of owning once again but have a short-sale or a foreclosure in the your past? You may be surprised to learn that lending guidelines have dramatically changed….. You may be eligible to buy now! Interest rates are low and housing prices are still affordable!
Join us for a FREE seminar to see if you qualify! Limited seating so call or text 925-784-0214 to RSVP today!
Saturday April 26, 2014 from 10:00 am to 11:00 am
70 Eagle Rock Way, Suite A
Brentwood, CA 94513
For more information about Monica Malcuit and Signature Partners Realty, visit http://www.antiochhomesalesguide.com/ or contact Monica at 925-784-0214 or via email at
Great news story
Friends have used her in the past, they love her work ethic.
Monica is one of the best, would recommend her to anyone.
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