Our local branch of Coldwell Banker is one of the busiest in the United States, and the new man in charge of the branch has plans to make things a whole lot busier.
Jeffrey Nunn was named branch manager of Coldwell Banker’s La Jolla branch on Sept. 5. Nunn, who previously served as branch manager of Coldwell Banker’s Carmel Valley branch, moves from one premier branch to another. He plans on vastly expanding his La Jolla staff in his first year while continuing to place a premium on quality customer service.
While the Carmel Valley office Nunn leaves behind is very successful, the lure of the La Jolla branch was too much for Nunn to resist.
“A career opportunity like this doesn’t come along every day,” Nunn said. “The timing seemed to be right to make a move to La Jolla. It’s one of the top branches in the country, and that was the lure - to have an opportunity to lead an office in one of the top markets in the country.”
Part of the appeal of working in La Jolla real estate is that the local market is almost completely impervious to fluctuations that can plague other markets.
“We’re very fortunate in La Jolla in that mortgage rates and the state of the industry right now don’t really affect us,” Nunn said. “A lot of our buyers rely more on their personal holdings and are more inclined to be cash purchasers than to finance the homes,” he said.
A recent sharp decline in home values around San Diego will not be felt to nearly the same degree in La Jolla, Nunn said.
“La Jolla and the rest of San Diego has enjoyed tremendous appreciation, and that is clearly starting to soften,” he said. “But I don’t anticipate any substantial decline in the value of homes in La Jolla, but rather probably just a modest correction.”
The stability of the local market is a draw for home buyers as well as home sellers, Nunn said. With Coldwell Banker looking to grow and real estate agents clamoring to work in La Jolla, Nunn said he will spend most of his time looking outside of the La Jolla office.
“The majority of my time is spent focusing on agents from other brokerages that wish to move their business here,” Nunn said.
Nunn takes over a staff of 48 agents that he expects to grow quickly.
“I fully expect within a year our sales staff will be close to twice the size it is now,” he said. “We are in a very aggressive growth mode.”
In seeking to expand his staff, Nunn will have a large number of choices.
“Obviously La Jolla is an office that anybody who wants to sell real estate would love to work in,” he said. “But we have to be very selective about who we take on to represent our clients. We have to be careful in how we grow, and focus on the addition of agents who are totally dedicated to the real estate industry and providing what I would call extreme levels of customer service.”
The La Jolla market is unique in that it attracts international attention, Nunn said, which can place an even higher premium on making an effort in customer service.
“We may be dealing with a client that is living overseas, and we may be sending videos of homes or condos that they wish to purchase, and in some cases we’ll do the majority of the transaction over the Internet,” he said. “We might be up at 3 a.m. because that’s the afternoon for the buyer - that’s not an uncommon occurrence.”
Buyers who come from afar to view properties in La Jolla in person can also present challenges.
“We get a whole lot of people who come from out of town or from out of the country who walk into the office and want a complete history or tour of La Jolla within 48 hours,” he said. “We’re geared up to provide that. We’ll do everything from dinner reservations to hotel accommodations and transportation to and from the airport.”