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Joining 8z was coming home for broker

Highlights:

  • 8z Broker profiled as an ongoing feature of InsideRealEstateNews.com.
  • Bob Maiocco loves the outdoors.
  • He is the “go-to guy” for the Evergreen area.
  • His contact information can be found at the end of this blog.
Bob Maicco

Bob Maiocco

Bob Maiocco has packed a lot into his Colorado real estate career that began when he was in college in the early 1990s.

Maiocco, 43, has sold mountain real estate.

He has sold new homes all along the Denver area.

He has sold resale homes from Highlands Ranch to Broomfield, Evergreen to Aurora, and everything in between.

He was an early embracer of technology and even did a stint at a commercial real estate broker.

But when he discovered 8z real estate in 2009, he finally felt like he had come home.

Indeed, it was as if 8z and its sister company, the real estate search engine COhomefinder.com, had been created with Maiocco in mind.

“That is what I told Lane, when I first met him,” laughed Maiocco, who lives and “farms” the Evergreen/Conifer area as an 8z broker.

Lane Hornung founded 8z with the idea of melding the best in technology with brokers who are experts in a specific area.

That was music to Maiocco’s ears.

Before joining 8z, as a leader of a top Keller Williams team, he used technology to find prospects.

I followed decent leads whether they were in Highlands Ranch or Westminster or Aurora,” Maiocco said.

Two things happened.

First, although he was selling a lot of homes, he didn’t feel like he was getting to know any given neighborhood.

“If I was asked a question, I was good at finding the answer, but I didn’t necessarily have any in-depth knowledge of any one area.”

The second thing is that he really found himself getting excited when he had the opportunity to sell a home in the Evergreen area.

“So I moved up here in 2007,” he said.

He savours the mountain living, but at the same time he can be in downtown Denver in 35 minutes.

“I’m sitting on my deck right now, looking at Pikes Peak,” he said. “You have fresh air, open space. It’s quiet and you have beautiful scenery. It’s a great life.”

Even the recent Bluebell and Lime Gulch fires, and fear that more are just a spark away, haven’t scared away prospective buyers, he said.

“One of my recent buyers was very close to the Lime Gulch fire,” he said. “I think people recognize that fires do occur and are part of the natural process. They know they can be mitigated to some extent by clearing the forests and can be mitigated by people themselves by clearing brush and removing trees that are too close to homes. And they know our fire department does an excellent job of responding.”

He said the “sweet spot” for homes is $300,000 to $400,000 in Conifer and $450,000 to $650,000 in Evergreen.

“In North Evergreen, a home in tip-top shape can easily sell in the million-dollar range,” he said. “One home recently sold for $950,000 in two days.”

As in the Denver area, homes in the Evergreen/Conifer area are going fast.

However, he thinks bidding wars that drive up the price well beyond the list price are a bit more rare in Evergreen than in Denver.

“I’ve seen that happen a couple of times, but I don’t think it is happening as much here as it has been happening in Denver,” he said.

In addition to the lifestyle factors drawing buyers to the Evergreen area, it has something else going for it.

“You’re an hour closer to skiing,” Maiocco said.

Skiing is what brought him to Colorado in 1988.

“I was raised in Milford, NH and I chose Western State College in Gunnison because it was close to skiing,” he said.

For someone who grew up with the icy conditions on ski mountains in the East, Colorado was Nirvana.

“There is a small group of us Eastern skiers who have found our way here and we kind of snicker at Colorado skiers — they don’t know how good they have it,” Maiocco said.

In 1992, between his junior and senior year, he started selling real estate in Crested Butte.

“I had this idea in the back of my head I would like to be a real estate tycoon, so I thought I’d start out as an office manager in a real estate office,” he joked.

He continued selling real estate in Crested Butte after college.

“I think there were 1,500 people living in Crested Butte at the time and 135 of them were real estate brokers,” he said.

“It was tough.”

He didn’t realize it at the time, but he also got his first inkling of the importance of technology.

“We were all trying to figure out how to get in front of our buyers,” Maiocco recalled.

“Crested Butte was such a destination resort,” he said. “We didn’t get the Front Range skiers (and home buyers) as much as having people come in from Dallas and Atlanta.”

So how did the get in front of prospective buyers from outside of Colorado?

“Basically, we did not figure it out until the Internet came along,” he said. “The Internet was really the answer.”

Until then, he and other brokers needed to “sit by our phones in our offices,” hoping it would ring. That was no fun in Crested Butte, where he would rather be hitting the slopes, hiking mountain trails, or kayaking.

Indeed, he did spend a lot of time on those outdoor pursuits before moving to Denver in 1996.

He thought he would have fewer distractions to his career in the Denver area. The Denver area also had a personal lure.

“I figured I would have a better chance of finding a wife in Denver,” which he did.

Today he is the proud parent of two boys, now 12 and 14, who “are just crazy skiers.”

When he moved to Denver, he took a job as an on-site sales consultant for US Home.

I was working all over the metro area,” he said. “I started in Westminster and worked in Broomfield and Highlands Ranch and Arvada. They built a lot of good subdivisions and it was very fulfilling building relationships with people and helping them through one of the most challenging things of their lives — buying a home.”

Although he was successful, often ranking in the top 10 for US Home sales people across the nation, after a few years “I got a wild hair and decided I would buy a RE/MAX franchise in Crested Butte.”

It never occurred to him that he wouldn’t get the franchise, but RE/MAX sold it to someone else and instead of being an owner, he became an agent in someone else’s RE/MAX office instead.

“It was doomed to failure from the start,” he said. “I wanted to be the franchise owner, but I wasn’t. The owner and I never saw eye to eye.”

He returned to the Denver area and became a tenant rep for Grubb & Ellis, a commercial real estate firm, specializing in office leases in Boulder and along the U.S. 36 corridor.

“It was a huge change for me,” he said. “Commercial real estate is much more analytical than residential real estate. You’re crunching the numbers, knocking on doors and making a lot of cold calls. It was not nearly as exciting to me as meeting a couple and helping them buy a home in the mountains or helping someone experience the American Dream of becoming a home owner.”

Also, the leader of the Grubb team left to join a private company.

“The team kind of evaporated after that,” he said.

Fortuitously, he ran into Joel McDonald at the Cheesecake Factory in the Tabor Center, where Grubb & Ellis had its office at that time.

“Joel and I used to play Ultimate Frisbee together in the ‘90s and he said he said he had been looking for me for years,” Maiocco said, although he added he was sure that it was more that it was in the back of McDonald’s mind that he would be a good person to have on the team of real estate companies he had founded.

“Joel had started this company called Automated Home Finder, which was a great lead generation machine and Benchmark Realty,” Maiocco said.

So he became a broker associated at Benchmark Realty and started a boutique real estate firm, Maiocco Team Inc.

“That is when I got my first taste of substantial volume,” in real estate sales.

“I don’t remember the numbers, but I was probably doing $7 million or $8 million in sales.”

In 2006, he became a broker associate at Keller Williams DTC’s office.

“The Automated Home Finder system was working so well, I wanted to build a team and I thought the Keller Williams system of education would be very helpful,” he said.

After moving to the Evergreen area, he discovered COhomefinder.

He had been building a customer base, writing blogs and using search engine optimization techniques.

“I would type in some keywords about the Conifer housing market, for example, and a lot of times five or six of the top 10 searches would lead to me,” he said.

Increasingly, COhomefinder would pop up at No. 1 or No. 2 and he was intrigued.

“I looked up who was behind it and called Lane,” he said.

“He was getting ready to leave RE/MAX Alliance in Boulder and start 8z Real Estate and so I became a broker/owner of 8z in Evergreen.”

It’s been rewarding on a number of levels.

“To me, 8z is just a remarkable opportunity,” Maiocco said. “It combines the best of what I love. It has this great technology and lead generator system, while the hand-picked brokers at 8z really become their neighborhood experts.”

He said even if you become a neighborhood guru at another company, much of your knowledge may never be acknowledged by consumers.

“You might have all of this knowledge and information, but no one is asking you about what you know,” he said.

“At 8z, there is this expectation that you are the go-to guy for neighborhood information. All of the brokers at 8z are so excited and passionate about their neighborhoods. We love talking about our neighborhoods and finding just the right home for our buyers.”

Sometimes technology is good for the broker, but is irrelevant to buyers and sellers.

“I think 8z and COhomefinder represent that rare occasion when it is good for the broker and good for the consumer. It was such a no-brainer for me to join 8z. It has been absolutely fantastic.”

 InsideRealEstateNews.com profiles 8z brokers on a regular basis. 8z is a sponsor of InsideRealEstateNews along with Universal Lending and Land Title Guarantee Co

To learn more about Bob Maiocco and the Evergreen real estate market:

Have a real estate tip or a story idea? Contact John Rebchook at JRCHOOK@gmail.com.