Pardee Properties Aims for $1B Year

Pardee Properties Aims for $1B Year
Tami Pardee, founder, chief executive, Pardee Properties.

Venice-based Pardee Properties has steadily grown to become one of the largest woman-owned businesses in L.A., and its founder and chief executive, Tami Pardee, has become one of the highest-selling agents in the county. Since its 2004 founding, the company has done more than $5 billion in sales.

In 2020, Pardee completed $522 million in sales in L.A. County specifically, up from $520 million the year prior. That nabbed her the No. 9 spot in the Business Journal’s annual list of top real estate agents in L.A. County that year.

In 2021, Pardee said her team sold $866 million of real estate. And she expects that number to increase to $1 billion this year.

“It’s going to be strong; it’s going to be even stronger,” Pardee said of 2022.

Katie Pardee, Tami Pardee’s cousin and business partner, has been with the company for roughly 13 years. When she started, the company was run out of Tami Pardee’s home office with three other employees. It has since grown to roughly 60 employees.

“Tami is one of the fiercest businesspeople in the world I know,” Katie Pardee said. “She’s so smart, she’s so fearless in ideas and how to evolve and grow and to be able to trust, ‘OK, whatever you want let’s do it; we’re all in.’ Having been with her for all these years, it’s been fascinating to watch.”

From side gig to brokerage

Tami Pardee has had ties to real estate from a young age.

“My mom was a designer, my dad was a builder, so I grew up on construction sites and homes have always been important to me,” she said. “That’s how people connect and is the foundation of people’s lives together.”

Still, she said that for a time she “went into production like everybody else in Los Angeles” and had gigs at Paramount Pictures Corp. and as Sharon Stone’s assistant.

On the side, she flipped houses.

“I was making more money on that than at my job,” Tami Pardee said.

She went to school to get an MBA and pursue real estate full time. For a while, she was with Re/Max Holdings Inc., where she won California Rookie of the Year.

In her first year as a realtor, she sold roughly $33 million worth of real estate.

Tami Pardee said she launched her own company instead of remaining part of an existing brokerage because she wanted to market herself and have more control over her career.

“I wanted to brand myself. When I got my MBA, one thing I really liked was the marketing aspect,” she said.

She added that she thought the current model of brokerages was “archaic” and didn’t like the idea of having to give a percentage of her earnings back to a company based in another state that she had few ties to.

So, Tami Pardee founded her company in 2004. After briefly going by Halton Pardee + Properties, the company reverted to its original name, Pardee Properties. Her brother is realtor Tony Halton, who serves as president of the company’s desert division.

Beyond the brokerage, Tami Pardee also founded the Life Change Warriors Foundation, which provides coaching and workshops to help people achieve their goals. Since 2004, the foundation also has donated over $1 million to local charities. Setting an example of the focus and drive encouraged through the foundation’s work, Tami Pardee has not allowed a 2001 multiple sclerosis diagnosis keep her from growing her company.

Differentiating the company

Embracing change made a big difference in setting Pardee Properties apart from other brokerages, according to Tami Pardee, who said she had noticed some legacy real estate brokerages “got stuck” in old business models.

One thing the company did early on that she said made a big difference was working with companies like Seattle-based Zillow Group Inc.

Tami Pardee said she would pay Zillow to boost her company’s listings and now does other types of placements to help her listings get attention.

She also has strived to make sure there wasn’t competition within the brokerage, which agents in the industry agree can be an issue at some brokerages.

Tami Pardee said more than 50% of her agents’ leads come from her. Instead of keeping them to herself, she matches clients with her agents. Her business model includes taking a higher percentage of the commission for the business she refers to agents versus business they find on their own.

Agents at her company are classified as employees and make an average of around $390,000 a year.

Pardee does not hire agents who are just starting out. Instead, she aims to hire people who “really know their way around a deal.”

The company also differentiates itself from other residential real estate brokerages by doing commercial real estate work as well. Tami Pardee estimates that 15% to 20% of the business is commercial real estate sales, and several agents at the company do both residential and commercial real estate deals.

Efficiency increases profitability

Tami Pardee is well known for her work on the Westside.

“This is where I live, this is where I work, this is what I believe in,” she said, adding that clients want to work with realtors who live in the community and raise their kids in the area where they are selling. It’s easier to sell the lifestyle of an area, she said, if it is also your home.

The Pardee Properties team as a whole works in other areas as well as the Westside. Her agents typically focus on the areas they live in as well.

Tami Pardee said John Moos, a former trauma surgeon and her business partner, has helped the company grow dramatically in the last few years. Moos, she said, found ways to make the company more efficient and was able to roughly triple its profitability.

“Everyone should bring in a trauma surgeon and have them look at their business. They get you from point A to point B and they go through efficiencies and they have difficult conversations in the nicest way and then move it forward,” Tami Pardee said. “I’ve never been as excited about my company as I am now,” she said.

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