By Jenny Luna
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nevada — Twenty years ago, Patti and Chris Plastiras helped co-found Lakeshore Realty. The couple’s partnership, both at the office and at home, has contributed to their success of one of the area’s reputable real estate companies.
“For Chris and I personally it has been a real plus being a couple,” Patti said. “To be able to go in to a situation, you listen differently as a female than you do as a male, you observe differently as you show homes to people.”
When inspecting a house, it isn’t rare for Chris to be examining the home’s garage and Patti to be in the kitchen, asking different questions.
“There are always two perspectives,” she said. “It has been very much in our advantage because we have different area of expertise and analysis of things. It does bring more to the table.”
Patti admits that she and her husband talk business at home— the “board room in the bedroom” as they jokingly refer to it.
Even when the couple first began dating, Patti remembers the phone ringing during dinner and how she gave Chris complete understanding.
“I just knew it was business and I never thought anything of it, because I was in sales too,” she said.
SHARING THEIR SMALL TOWN
Lakeshore Realty was formed in 1994 by a group of real estate brokers that included the Plastirases “to create a more personal and less corporate way of brokering on the North Lake Tahoe real estate market in Nevada,” according to the company’s website.
Its agents are specialized in Lake Tahoe and Incline Village real estate, bank-owned properties, luxury listings, vacation homes and rentals. The office is located on Lakeshore Drive, just across from Incline Beach.
About 80 percent of the buyers at Lakeshore Realty are Californians, Chris said, many who seek the financial perks of being a Nevada resident and the small-town feel of Incline Village.
“I think a lot of people are coming back not just to the tax advantages, but to the small-town environment with educated people around them,” Patti said.
Many people return to Tahoe, just as Chris did 35 years ago, to live where they grew up vacationing with their family.
“It makes us really feel good to work with people who are here simply because they’ve spent many a summer up here in their youth and have always thought in the back of their mind that they were going to have a place here,” he said. “It’s very fulfilling to see that dream come true.”
During their two decades owning Lakeshore Realty, the Plastirases have watched families come up summer after summer, growing from a getaway cabin to a panoramic lake view home on the water.
“We’ve sold houses not only to the parent, but to the child 20 years later,” Chris said.
Every year, the family at Lakeshore Realty grows as well. With 32 agents and a committed office staff, the sense of family and community continues in its tradition of closeness and support.
And after $225 million in sales in 2013, the Plastirases have high hopes for 2014.
BUSINESS BREEDS FRIENDSHIP
It isn’t unlikely for Patti and Chris to become friends with clients. In fact, Lakeshore Realty makes it a priority to stay in contact with clients after they buy a home.
“We become a really good resource for them after the sale,” Chris said.
People turn to Lakeshore Realty for ideas such as pet sitters and restaurant recommendations. And learning from the clients is an experience the couple is grateful to have.
“We get to meet some of the most amazing, unique people from all walks of life,” Chris said. “They’re so interesting because they have a story to tell and they have a history. We learn so much about other parts of the United States and other professions right here in this office, that’s really exciting.”
LISTENING BEYOND WHAT’S SAID
Listening to clients and establishing good communication is a priority for all the brokers at Lakeshore Realty.
Intimately knowing the 15 gated communities in Incline as well as the entire area of Incline Village and Lake Tahoe means the Realtors and agents can work with buyers to find properties that work best for them.
Being professionals with a combined 50-plus years experience, Patti and Chris have learned how to truly listen to clients and anticipate their needs.
“Our job is to interpret not only what they say but what they mean,” Chris said. “We’re trained to listen beyond what they say.”
Technology is a big part of Lakeshore Realty as well. Patti applies her background and experience in the tech business to good use.
“When we first opened the office it was extremely important for me to get a website up and going and the rankings immediately, and because of that it has stayed up there and continually is being improved upon,” she said.
Lakeshore Realty just finished its new iPhone app, which allows users to find a property’s information when seeing it in Incline Village.
The company is also working with yelp.com to create a map of the area. Virtual tours and videos of each property are available on the website.