Game Changer

Two of the South Bay’s finest brokerages merge to create a local real estate powerhouse with global reach.

“Homes are just boxes. It is the people living in the home that gives the home its story,” says Rick Edler, partner at local luxury firm Vista | Sotheby’s International Realty. “It is also the neighbors and people who make up a neighborhood and community. The people who move into this community love the community.”

Vista | Sotheby’s International Realty, locally owned and operated, serves the South Bay with offices in both Palos Verdes and Redondo Beach. Its parent company, Sotheby’s International Realty, has nearly 700 offices worldwide—in more than 49 countries—and is continually growing. 

“Understanding the many dimensions of buying and selling a home can be a huge challenge, adds partner Darin DeRenzis. “It is a combination of understanding the market, understanding clients’ needs and understanding their goals. A home is an investment, a shelter, a sanctuary, a place to share your story. It is not just one of these factors.”

To better serve the greater South Bay community on this important quest, Vista | Sotheby’s International Realty announced today they will join forces with high-performing South Bay Brokers to form a new visionary real estate brokerage. “We are proud to be part of this great organization and excited to watch the agents leverage the tools the brand has to further their success,” says Rick. 

With 30 years in business, South Bay Brokers already has had the highest per-agent sales volume of any Beach Cities real estate company for the last 26 years. With Vista Sotheby providing the highest per agent sales volume in Palos Verdes, the combined company is sure to continue that trend. Founding broker Jim Van Zanten, co-CEO with Jack Gillespie, is excited about the opportunity this will bring his agents and clients. 

“With the strength of our agents and the power of the Sotheby’s brand,” says Jim, “our clients will have unsurpassed access to market information and cutting-edge tools. We are delighted to join with Vista!” Jim will retain his co-CEO position with the larger firm under the name Vista | Sotheby’s International Realty.

South Bay Brokers comes with more than 100 friendly, competent agents and 10 staff members in four locations: Manhattan Beach (two offices), Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach. In 2010, South Bay Brokers was the 15th largest real estate firm in Los Angeles County, according to the LA Business Journal. Once combined Vista Sotheby’s International Realty will have nearly 200 agents and do over a billion dollars in annual sales volume.

As the U.S. economy continues to strengthen and Southern California housing inventory continues to grow, it is crucial that the world of real estate keep up with the ever-changing world of technology—and this is an area where Sotheby’s International Realty excels through market data and an extensive customer database.

“The real estate word is changing, thanks to technology,” says Darin. “Combining a local agent with the technology and reach of Sotheby’s International Realty is critical to the success of our agents and our clients.”

Philanthropy, already a strong component of both businesses, will continue to flourish under the new partnership. “We all serve on boards of charities and give back to our schools, because that is the foundation of our community,” shares Darin. Among the many charities, schools and organizations both brokerages have supported over the years are the Manhattan Beach Education Foundation, the Hermosa Beach Education Foundation, Palos Verdes Education Foundation, Mira Costa High School, the Sandpipers, the Richstone Family Center, the UCLA Foundation, the Steve Harris Memorial Children's Fund, Giveback Homes, Union Rescue Mission, Jonathon Jacques Children’s Cancer, Doctors Without Borders, Heal The Bay, Walk With Sally, CRMLS and Marymount College.

“Real estate is about reach,” says Darin, reflecting on his company’s exciting new partnership. “We’ll now have the entire South Bay covered—in addition to the marketplaces of Sotheby’s throughout the world. Local touch with a global reach. This is a great opportunity for our agents, as well as our clients.”