With a leadership team that spans two generations, Boardwalk Properties is a real estate company that has been well positioned for long-term success. The firm’s diverse approach to the business allows Boardwalk Properties -and its agents -to meet the changing needs of its clientele and to maximize success in a range of markets and transaction types. At the foundation of the business’ structure there is a genuine desire to make a tangible difference in the lives of others, and the company accomplishes this goal one transaction at a time.
Broker/Owner Mike Potier launched his real estate career in 1973, when he began to sell raw land in Antelope Valley. The course of his professional journey has been a path marked by diversity; he went on to represent residential and residential-income transactions, was promoted to office manager while recruiting and building a Long Beach office from scratch, became a licensed broker/owner of his own franchise, and began blazing a trail as an REO expert in 1979. In 1993 Mike acquired the company that would become Boardwalk Properties.
Throughout his career, his adaptability has allowed Mike to flourish in a number of challenging market conditions. His focus has always been on upholding the best interests of his clients; he has amended his business accordingly in order to offer the highest possible levels of service. Now, with his son Justin at his side, Mike is excited about the opportunities to expand Boardwalk Properties, to provide agents and clients alike with a unique real estate experience based specifically on assisting them in accomplishing their goals.
Justin Potier became involved in title sales in 1994. His strength in marketing and business growth facilitated a successful career; his niche market, he explains, was aiding real estate agents in increasing market share and building their businesses through high end marketing and advertising campaigns designed to maximize agent and property exposure. In late 2002 he recognized the signs of change within the industry; transitioning into a position as a real estate agent, Justin believed, would provide him the opportunity to continue to grow and flourish professionally. He joined Mike’s team at Boardwalk Properties where he became privy to an exceptional training and guidance regime, particularly within the REO market.
“It was a perfect marriage,”recalls Justin of his move to Boardwalk Properties. “Mike’s incomparable experience and market knowledge, paired with my expertise in marketing and farming, allowed us to explore new opportunities and experience tremendous growth.”In 2008 Justin earned his broker’s license and went on to become GRI certified. He has continued to build upon his leadership role within the company while maintaining an active business in the field.
While Boardwalk Properties has become known throughout the region as a strong player in the highly competitive REO market, the firm has also developed thriving commercial and luxury home divisions with plans to expand to a property management division in 2011. The company is also recognized as one that is deeply entrenched within its community, and that operates with a resolute dedication to making a positive difference in the lives of its agents and their clientele.
“We are deeply committed to conducting monthly outreach programs for area agents and consumers,”explains Justin. “At Boardwalk Properties, we have become involved with a number of government programs including HUD and other local initiatives for home buyers. Many people don’t understand how to navigate these programs, which provide excellent opportunities for home ownership. We host regular events for real estate professionals, lenders and consumers, explaining the fantastic array of government programs and low-cost finance options that are available.”
Staying on top of the myriad of programs available involves a significant time commitment, but Mike explains that Boardwalk Properties considers this an investment in building long-term relationships with clients and agents alike. “We are developing a foundation of business that will, with exceptional service, ongoing communication and the dissemination of important information, continue to grow,”he remarks. The ability to assist others in achieving their goals of home ownership is highly personal for Mike, whose humble beginnings set the tone for a tedious journey to success. “At an early age I knew I wanted something more,”he recalls. “I studied and read voraciously, becoming self-taught on how to achieve my goals.”
When he purchased his first home as a young man, Mike was stunned at the lack of professionalism and knowledge exhibited by his agent. This, he notes, was the catalyst for his own professional pursuit. And his ability to empathize with individuals who seek to better themselves has driven him to build a brokerage where exceptional customer care is the standard. In October 2003, he experienced a life-changing event that reshaped his entire way of thinking. Mike points to a poem written by the late Dr. A. B. Simpson that best describes what took place. The poem is entitled “Himself.”
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Not it is His Word;
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once ‘twas painful trying, Now ‘tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once ‘twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once ‘twas constant drifting, Now my anchor’s cast.
Once ‘twas busy planning, Now ‘tis trustful prayer;
Once ‘twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once ‘twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once ‘twas constant asking, Now ‘tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One.
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Boardwalk Properties distinguishes itself among other agencies by providing incomparable agent support. “We operate with a different model,”Mike acknowledges. “Our company is designed to support real estate professionals so that they can stay busy in the field, selling and having face-to-face time with their clients.”A hands-on training approach touches agents at all levels of their business, and ongoing internal communication and seminars ensures that agents are up-to-date on pertinent new programs, trends and laws within the industry.
Though the firm is poised for growth and actively looking to bring agents in to the company, Justin asserts that the plan is to undergo a sustainable expansion with a focus on maintaining a boutique atmosphere. “It’s about offering the exposure of a large company, with the personal touch of a boutique office,”he explains. “We provide our clients with an intimate knowledge of the markets we serve, with the support of high-end marketing, architectural photography and a strong Internet presence.”
As a pioneer in the REO industry who helped create a national network of specialists in the mid-1980s, Mike notes that his firm has a notable advantage during this market cycle. “The reality is that buyers are actively looking for distressed properties right now,”he acknowledges. “We are taking active measures to ensure that we are up-to-date on the processes.”Though he has spent over three decades representing REO transactions, Mike asserts that the industry has undergone “phenomenal changes.”He explains, “Interaction with clients and asset managers has evolved tremendously.” Automation has taken over the business and while Boardwalk Properties has incorporated the systems and technology necessary to succeed in the REO business of tomorrow, Mike notes that the firm keeps an emphasis on the personal touch. “We achieve an excellent balance in our business, using the technology necessary to give our agents and clients a competitive advantage, but maintaining an understanding that this industry is about building relationships,”he explains.
Keeping in touch with clients, colleagues and industry connections is an involved process. The professionals at Boardwalk Properties are active within their professional organizations including REOMAC, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) and the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). Both Mike and Justin are Certified Default Specialists with the California Association of REALTORS®, acting as liaisons between individuals with distressed properties and their banks.
The agents at Boardwalk Properties work closely with mortgage professionals at MetLife
Home Loans, one of the nation’s top-10 mortgage originators. “We enjoy collaborating
with extremely efficient, phenomenal individuals who are knowledgeable and responsive,
and who mirror our mission statement of being entrenched within the communities we
serve,”states Justin. “MetLife Home Loans has been a valuable partner in our outreach
efforts, and offers excellent products for our clientele.”
Boardwalk Properties’ multigenerational leadership team has allowed the brokerage to maximize its potential – and results-for clients as well as agents. Both Justin and Mike remain committed and enthusiastic about their work and their prospects for the future. “No two days are the same, and we thrive on the challenges,”says Justin. “Mike and I are both excited about the ongoing opportunity to assist our agents in their professional growth and development, and to work with consumers at all levels of real estate, helping them to achieve their goals.”