One of the flagship names in Bainbridge realty is being retired, but the office will sail on under a new flag.
Deschamps Realty has been purchased by Coldwell Banker McKenzie Associates, the owners of both firms announced this week. The deal creates a 40-person brokerage to be consolidated at the longtime Deschamps location at High School Road and SR-305.
“We sat down, shook hands and that’s all it took,” said Georg Syvertsen, longtime Deschamps agent who has run office as owner/broker for the past seven years.
Added Rod McKenzie, co-owner with his wife Barb of the island’s Coldwell Banker office, “We could have done the whole thing without writing it down on paper.”
A pioneer among island businesswomen, Pauline Deschamps started the business in 1955 in Winslow, moving to High School Road in the 1970s. While other offices came onto the scene over the years, the Deschamps name was synonymous with island real estate until its founder’s passing in 2000.
“It was established to be an upscale, luxury real estate office on Bainbridge Island,” said Syvertsen, who purchased the business from Pauline Deschamps’ family at her passing. “Over the years, we’ve branched out to assist people with everything from a boat slip for $25,000 to a luxury home for $8 million.
“Treat everyone like a they’re a million-dollar customer, that’s what (Pauline) used to say.”
High-end business is familiar ground for McKenzie Associates, with over 25 percent of the million-dollar homes listed and sold on Bainbridge brokered by Coldwell Banker, the McKenzies said.
Now in its 101st year, Coldwell Banker boasts more than 4,000 offices nationwide, 8,000 internationally.
All 15 of the Deschamps agents will stay on with the new firm, a fact of which the McKenzies said they’re proud.
“That’s a big accomplishment. At a time when companies are merging or being sold, they’re vulnerable to losing their people,” Rod McKenzie said. “Barb and I are thrilled.”
Added Syvertsen: “We’ve probably got 1,000 years of real estate expereience between the two offices, my goodness – all of it on Bainbridge Island.”
The transaction was completed Oct. 10, and the offices are expected to consolidate in early November.