7606 N. Union Blvd.
Other branches: Synergy Property Management with new in-house maintenance.
Years in business: 1
In his first year as a broker owner, Charles D’Alessio has seen his Synergy Realty Group grow from the six agents he opened with to more than 20.
He started with 2,200 square feet of office space at 7606 N. Union Blvd. on Dec. 19 last year.
“By February, around Valentine’s Day, I had to rent the other side of the building,” D’Alessio said. “We have about 2,600 square feet now.”
After years in the real estate business, D’Alessio decided to branch out on his own in 2011. He had been leading a team of agents for Keller Williams Realty. He started Synergy Property Management in 2009. It was doing well and he decided he probably could do all of his business under his own brand.
The Colorado Springs native researched different agencies and how they structured their fees. He knew he wanted to build a brokerage that motivated agents without charging them too much.
“I interfaced with a lot of good agents who got out of the business because they couldn’t afford to continue,” D’Alessio said. “When the market started to contract, agents were doing fewer deals and making less.”
That meant the fees got harder and harder to stomach.
D’Alessio charges the agents who work under him $201 a month, which covers most of their expenses, like Pikes Peak Association of Realtors dues. And he charges a flat $395 per deal instead of a commission split. He also works with teams so that one member can be out of town and still get his commission.
It’s a good atmosphere and a competitive fee structure, said Linda Southard, who has been a Realtor in Colorado Springs for 15 years and has worked at 10 different agencies. She joined Synergy in June after Donny Coram posted an ad in the paper looking for a buyer’s agent.
Coram leads a team at Synergy and came over from Keller Williams with D’Alessio when he started the brokerage last year. Coram says the fees are definitely lower than with big brand-name agencies, but they’re about on par with some of the other “mom and pop” agencies in town.
“What I was really looking for in a broker was someone who would support me, but stay out of my way and let me work the way I want to work,” Coram said.
He credits D’Alessio’s connections and reputation for the firm’s swift buildup.
Office space costs extra at Synergy, and D’Alessio wants his agents to office with him. He’s not looking for casual agents who view real estate as a side business, he said.
“I didn’t want to be the cheapest around,” he said.
And he’s not interested in taking on rookies. Nearly all of the agents at Synergy have a history of closing at least a deal a month, D’Alessio said.
“I don’t just want their $201 a month,” he said.
Surprisingly few real estate agents in Colorado Springs are big producers, D’Alessio said. He’s crunched the numbers and said that of PPAR’s 2,800 members, only 545 close at least a deal a month.
Those are the agents he’s trying to recruit — and his efforts have been successful so far. He only has a single empty space in his office.
As the growth continues, he’s thinking about opening another branch of Synergy in the south part of the city or in Fountain. That’s not an immediate plan, but something that could happen within the next year or two.
While that potential growth looms in the future, Synergy has other news. In November, D’Alessio launched an in-house maintenance division, which can respond to the 40 or 50 calls a month Synergy Property Management gets for home repairs and maintenance.
The property management business, D’Alessio’s first move toward branching out on his own, has grown dramatically.
“We primarily manage single-family homes and we have over 200 properties,” D’Alessio said.
The maintenance division allows Synergy to respond to tenant complaints and work orders more quickly and affordably. That’s a huge asset for the property management company, D’Alessio said.
“We can create good relationships between the owners and tenants,” he said.
Tenants appreciate the quick turnaround and owners like the lower cost, D’Alessio said.
Adding a maintenance division has been at the top of D’Alessio’s list for more than a year. But it took that long to find a maintenance man talented enough to take all kinds of calls for services ranging from plumbing to electric issues and broken door handles.
“Most contractors, once they start making $2,000 to $3,000 a month, they quit working,” D’Alessio said. “I wanted someone who was going to be really dedicated to our clients.”
D’Alessio said Synergy is doing well and he’s happy with its progress so far. While there’s likely growth in the future, he wants to maintain individual relationships with his agents and doesn’t believe an office should have more than 30 agents working in it.