Small Business Profile: Landmark Properties

The Fresno BeeJune 6, 2014 

Morgan Lester, left, and Ryan Perkins are owners of Landmark Properties in Fresno.

CRAIG KOHLRUSS — The Fresno Bee Buy Photo

Ryan Perkins and Morgan Lester say they are working to revolutionize real estate sales by introducing new technology and younger agents with their business Landmark Properties.

There are 11 agents, most of whom are under the age of 30, and Perkins and Lester are about to welcome 20 more. Most of their agents, themselves included, have degrees from Fresno State.

Landmark uses Internet-based programs like DocuSign, Dropbox and GoToMeeting, letting agents exchange documents and have meetings without having to be in the same place and without the paperwork.

Landmark has already outgrown its office on First Street. Perkins and Lester said a new office is set to open Aug. 1 that can accommodate up to 50 agents. That office will be at 265 W. Bullard Ave. Unit 102, between Maroa and Blackstone avenues.

What are your backgrounds?

Perkins: I have a degree in entrepreneurship (from Fresno State), and then I went back to school. I actually worked for a couple different companies right out of college the first time … and kind of figured out that I wanted to be my own boss. So I went back and got my master's degree in business (also at Fresno State).

Morgan was actually one of my biggest clients and biggest investors flipping properties and buying rentals. He approached me about starting our own place. … So he convinced me and made me uncomfortable. But that's what you need to do when you're an entrepreneur, is be uncomfortable, or you're never going to be successful.

Lester: I have a degree in communications from Fresno State. In the middle of my time at Fresno State, I started managing properties for a couple clients in town after I got my broker's license. Then we started the brokerage fresh after I got my license.

What are some of your challenges?

Perkins: I think wearing so many hats. It's just the two of us, and we have an assistant manager who floats around. A lot of our agents wear more than one hat, too, because they're helping us recruit at the same time. But us, as the two owners and managers of the company, you know, Morgan has to go out and take out signs. Normally if you think you're the owner of a company you'd think you're going to have a guy that does that. Well we're not at that point where we have a full-time position for somebody to be putting up and taking down signs. You know, we have to manage the agents. We have to train them. We have to recruit new agents. We have to manage finances.

What are some of the biggest rewards?

Perkins: We don't want anybody to fail. I think other companies sign up agents and are comfortable with their $100 desk fee. But we want to see each agent get to a point where they're making six figures themselves.

What's your philosophy on customer service?

Perkins: Our tagline is "Helping you realize the American Dream." That can have a couple different facets.

First and foremost, it's helping that first-time homebuyer. That's half or one-third of our business for all of our agents. That's something that has always driven me in this business — helping friends and family members, or even leads or referrals — helping them find that first house that's perfect for them.

Lester: When people buy a house, for the average person, it's going to be one of the biggest investments that they ever make in their life. We definitely understand the seriousness of that situation and make sure that we're professional … to get them the deal that they want and the deal that they're happy with.

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Landmark Properties

Owners: Ryan Perkins and Morgan Lester

Founded: March 1, 2013

Location: 6085 N. First St., Suite<TH>102

Phone: (559) 412-2301

Employees: 11 agents

Annual sales: $10 million

Online: http://landmarkfresno.com/

 

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or bvaccari@fresnobee.com.

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