For Edie and Sam DeLay, a mother-son team, experience and insight into the local market matter. As Central Oregon natives, their area expertise is unmatched—and as Team DeLay, they’ve consistently earned Hasson Company Realtors®’ Top Performer Awards, Edie nine times, and Sam, three.
The duo, along with Sharon Nyberg, the third member of the team, approach their business collaboratively, but have individual skills and strengths, as well. According to Sam, this distinction is key, because it helps homebuyers and sellers win.
“Our philosophy is that everybody works on everything together,” Sam says. “It’s a true team approach—every person has their hand involved in a very specialized way, and every client is getting really well taken care of.”
Here, Sam shares Team DeLay’s story, and how they’re competing in the local marketplace.
Sam, you and your mother teamed up in 2012. What’s the backstory there?
Sam DeLay: My mom got started in real estate about 15 years ago. She was working for a small local home builder in Bend, and they quickly realized she had a ton of horsepower and wanted her to get licensed. Before that, her background was in construction—my dad’s a builder. She was selling with the home builder until about 2012, when she really needed a lot of help to start ramping up her business, especially on the resale side. That’s when she asked me to join her team. I moved back to Bend from Seattle, and she taught me the ropes. We quickly grew the resale business, and now we’re solely resale.
You’re in a highly in-demand market. What’s that like?
SD: Bend, as a whole, is booming. We’re making national headlines all the time—fastest-growing town in the U.S., highest work-from-home ratio, best ski town in the nation, No. 1 dog town—and it’s driving a lot of attention. We are typically attracting people primarily from Seattle, San Francisco, Portland and LA; however, in the last few years, we have seen people moving here from all over the U.S., especially the East Coast. Everybody wants to come here and live this lifestyle, which is very laid-back and easygoing and in a beautiful environment. The market has been super-hot since 2011-2012, and we’ve seen a lot of double-digit increases in home values year-over-year, with multiple offers and homes getting bid up.
How are you leveraging your local knowledge to promote the team?
SD: Our strategy is to be very hyperlocal. We could (and we have, in the past) advertise outside of Central Oregon to the markets feeding here, but we’ve found the biggest success and most enjoyment working with clients that are referred to us from past clients. We have deep roots here—we rely on that, and all those relationships and connections we have, to drive referrals. It’s a lot of reaching out to our sphere by way of email campaigns and social media platforms, we have events, and find value in the personal touch through written notes and meeting for coffee.
You’re relatively small. How does your brokerage support your team?
SD: Hasson Company Realtors® is a boutique brokerage with several offices throughout the Northwest. Their philosophy is quality, not quantity, so they deliberately seek out brokers who are vested in the industry and working full-time. So, although we are smaller, Hasson Company Realtors® consistently outproduces all other brokerages in terms of average sales volume per broker. That in itself gives credibility and awareness as local experts in our area. On a day-to-day basis, they support us through technology; they offer a CRM, which we utilize, and we have a whole back-end marketing system that makes things turnkey—but, more than that, they offer really great services in our local office. We have a transaction coordinator so we are not pushing paper all day. We also have a broker services person when additional help is needed with special project or campaign. There is a tremendous amount of support through reputation, peer-to-peer support and marketing.
As a team, how do the three of you approach transactions?
SD: Our philosophy is that everybody works on everything together. It’s a true team approach—every person has their hand involved in a very specialized way, and every client is getting really well taken care of. It helps us to manage more transactions at a time without anything falling through the cracks. There’s also way more experience, with all three heads working on a transaction, and there’s quicker responses on the spot. Because of the way the team’s composed right now, we have spread things out evenly to where we’re all specialized in our roles.
When you first got into real estate, you were mentored by your mother. What didn’t you know when you got started?
SD: How stressful the job really is, because you’re dealing with such a large asset and it’s a huge decision in people’s lives. Early on, that really stressed me out—now, it’s a privilege and an honor to help people through that. There’s going to be problems in every transaction, so don’t lose sleep at night, take it as it comes and help your client through it. That’s the experience we bring, too—being problem-solvers. A lot of this business is coming up with solutions before clients even know about the problem.
Suzanne De Vita is RISMedia’s online news editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.