top of page

An Anniversary Tribute

By all expectations this should be a sad day, a memory of a painful failure, a tragedy out of our control, a reminder of cruel times. It is instead a memorable and very special day for which we will always be grateful.

THE IDES OF MARCH IN 2007 were exciting and euphoric. Months of wondering, hoping, even dreaming were giving birth to a new chapter of our lives and a baby business. There had been dark days behind us, wondering what was next and how we stay alive. I spent about 6 weeks at Christmas in San Diego helping my Mom work on her house. This was really a cover for the anxiety that filled my mind. Being alone was what I was really seeking.

The Birth of a Vision

In the background, a vision had been slowly developing from a seed. Joni, my wife, and our daughter Amy (both in real estate), were the impetus behind the form and design of this novel vision. We soon found a few agents who were looking for a better land and they joined the vision. Ten years ago today we returned from Salem with all the documentation that Bella Casa Real Estate Group was for real.

Celebrations became the norm of our fresh start and we hosted many community activities and participated in endless business networking events. We became the second tenants in a new building known because of the Immediate Care Center and its copper roof. Joni fashioned our suite from a gravel floor in a building still under construction, to a gorgeous 3800 sq ft of welcoming beauty, private agent offices, and more like art gallery of local artists than a traditional real estate office. The agents that braved the cold and came with us were pioneers of a new and different business model for real estate.

Most of us did not need a brokerage, certainly not the traditional kind where agents are worker-bees for the hive. We designed a brokerage which would exist solely for the agent’s benefit and for the good of our clients. We called this upside-down model a Professional Cooperative. We each shared our money only for what helped us all do better in the marketplace. Each agent would keep more of the commission money to craft one’s own real estate business to suit their designs and goals. My personal agenda was to work with brokers who did not need Bella Casa but saw the superior value of working together. Our core values began with independent