Going, Going . . .
Mike Sullivan, aka “the L.A. Car Guy,” who has several auto agencies in Santa Monica, closed Santa Monica Hyundai during the first week in January and also closed Santa Monica Mitsubishi about five months ago. When asked what’s going on, he explained that the nature of the Santa Monica market coupled with the high cost of doing business in this area made what he called “tertiary” level automobile products an untenable enterprise in Santa Monica – cars like Isuzu, Kia, Hyundai and Mitsubishi. “Secondary” level autos may be going in the Santa Monica market as well – Chevrolet, Ford, Buick, Oldsmobile and the like – Sullivan added. “You really need primary product in Santa Monica” between the high cost of doing business and the nature of local demand. Meaning Lexus, Mercedes, Cadillac, Lincoln, Infiniti, BMW, Jaguar and the like. Sort of sounds like the housing market, doesn’t it?
And speaking of housing…
Gone. And Reborn?
As previously reported in the Mirror, Boardwalk Realty closed its Santa Monica office in June 2006 after seven years in town; 65 agents worked out of that office at the time it closed. Steve Aguilar, Boardwalk founder and president, said the company simply merged the Santa Monica office into the then-recently opened (August 2005) Brentwood office.
Now comes the news that Boardwalk has closed its other doors, and in its place Aguilar has opened Innovative Realtors, which he says “will provide high-end service that today’s home buyers and sellers demand.” Boardwalk, the corporation, remains in existence for the limited purpose of winding up certain business affairs; its offices in Brentwood and Playa Vista are closed. The sole remaining Boardwalk office, on Washington Boulevard in Marina del Rey, is now home to the approximately 110 agents of Innovative, substantially all of who came over from Boardwalk. A year ago, Boardwalk had about 160 agents, says Aguilar. “We terminated about 20, and about 30 evaporated with the market.”
It is that market – sales volume being down about 30 percent according to Aguilar – that led to the death/rebirth at Boardwalk/Innovative. The new company offers agents a choice of commission plans, the opportunity to earn commissions on loan placements, a chance to share in 49 percent of net company profits and a vehicle for real estate investment. Add to this “our new cutting-edge technology which allows us greater access to information,” and Aguilar says he has built “a new brokerage model that affords today’s real estate professional the opportunity to build their success by creating multiple income streams.”
Send your business news to firstname.lastname@example.org