Robert Prince Executive Agent of the Month
By Shannon Hartsoe - Ian Wiant Photographer
t seems Robert “Bob” Prince is a man ahead of his time. These days, no professional real estate agent would attempt to do business without the ever-present mobile phone, but in the late 1970s and early 80s, very few people used them. Bob Prince was one of them. To Bob, technology has always been an important part of his success as a REALTOR® and today, he utilizes the expertise of his agents to help him continue to spot important trends. Not only was he among the first to have a car phone, but at a time when the internet was considered a passing fad, Bob had the foresight to implement online marketing. By utilizing social media tools such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Bob and his team have a considerable online presence, giving his listings valuable exposure in their target market. That willingness to embrace change coupled with an impressive dedication to customer service has helped Bob become one of the top REALTORS® in the Imperial County area. In fact, that dedication to his clients means embracing buyers others might turn away.
“We believe the customer is king,” says Bob. “Because we feel that everyone deserves the opportunity to own a home, we use our relationships with other professionals in the area to help certain clients get back on track or get the guidance they need to reach their goal of one day owning a home. Some people in this economy have fallen on hard times and have come to us for assistance. Our clients, like our team, are family.” By treating everyone like royalty, Bob and his company have created a loyal base of repeat and referral clients. “I’m fortunate,” says Bob. “After so many years in the real estate industry, the majority of my business now comes from relationships forged with banks many years ago as well as repeat business and word of mouth. The best part of what I do is connecting with past clients to see how they’re doing or hearing about the years of memories they have created in the homes we’ve sold to them. That’s the best reward anyone could ask for.”
Prince & Associates, REALTORS® Born to Sell Bob was working for the F.W. Woolworth Company in Grossmont Center when he got his first taste of sales. The experience, he says, was worth more than a four-year business degree. “I learned a lot working under various managers in different departments. I learned about different management styles and how to make them work for me,” he recalls. Quickly, Bob climbed the ranks and was transferred first to Phoenix and then back to the company’s store at Fifth and C in his native San Diego. At the age of 21, he became one of the youngest managers in Woolworth’s history, before deciding to enter real estate in 1976. His first year
in business, he nearly tripled his Woolworth’s income and knew that real estate was right for him. After only two years in the real estate business, Bob opened his first Century 21 franchise. The office quickly grew to three offices with 16 agents and enjoyed an impressive 26 percent market share in the Imperial Valley. Fate Intervenes. Then he met Anna She was a mortgage professional running her own company and he was a rising star at Century 21 Lyle Morton REALTORS® in El Cajon, when they crossed paths for the first time. Personally and professionally, they were a perfect fit.
“We got married in 1980 and decided to open our own real estate office at around the same time,” he says. “It was a natural progression.”
Bob and Anna believe that each team member has an important role in the success of Prince & Associates and have the deepest regard for each individual.
Since opening Prince & Associates in El Centro, Bob and Anna have worked hard to build a business on the basis of customer service, extensive market knowledge, hard work and relationships. In addition to the two of them, the team now includes Anna’s daughter Sherry Picazo-Cowie and her husband Matthew as well as three other agents.
“Bob has an infinite knowledge of the real estate industry,” says Joe McCormack, a REALTOR®-Associate for Prince & Associates. “He’s always approachable when I need him and that’s important to me.” Becky Foster, who has been with the company for nearly a decade, agrees. “Bob is very patient and always willing to teach from his years of experience.”
“Anna is my closest co-worker as well as my business partner and confidante,” says Bob. “But we work closely with all of the other agents because we’re like family. We celebrate personal and professional achievements together and we rally around each other during all points of our lives. Having Matt and Sherry here with us has allowed Anna and I to focus on other aspects of the business and get away to recharge our batteries once in a while.”
Knowledge Truly is Power In addition to the company’s extensive use of technology to create an edge for their listings, Bob says market knowledge is crucial to the company’s success. “We carefully evaluate each home with a comparative market analysis,” he says. “We work diligently to help the seller get the most money in the shortest amount of time with as little stress as possible.”
We Get Results It’s a system that works Bob’s listings have a lower than average “days on market” and his market share continues to increase each year. A self-confessed “task oriented person,” Bob sets goals yearly and even daily to help him and his team stay on track and build success and believes that his reputation is only as strong as the promises he keeps. “If I tell someone I am going to do something, I will get it done,” he says. And, by leveraging that success, Bob hopes to move Sherry and Matthew into more centralized roles, so that he and Anna can concentrate on building a greater market share in East San Diego County. “I started working for the company when I was a teenager,” says Sherry. “Working alongside Bob and my mother gave me a strong work ethic and so I’m not one to shy away from hard work.” Though Sherry has 20 years of accounting experience, earning both a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting and Business Administration as well as a Master of Business Administration, it wasn’t difficult to persuade her and Matthew to come back to work for the company,
where she now works as a REALTOR®-Associate and office controller. “Bob is a hands-on broker who truly cares about his profession,” says Matthew. “He’s been an ideal role model and teacher – allowing me to have the success I have had in the industry. I am truly blessed to be a part of Prince & Associates and its future in Imperial Valley.” And true to his nature, he works with one eye on the present and one eye on the future. Bob is a member of the Imperial County Association of REALTORS® (ICAOR) where he was a two time former president, and the San Diego Association of REALTORS®. In addition, Bob is not only a member of the California Association of REALTORS®, serving as the Regional Chair in 2003 for Region 30, but also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. “It’s important that I stay on top of any changes in the industry not just for my clients, but for my colleagues as well,” he says. “By maintaining membership in professional organizations, I can keep up to date on the latest marketing techniques and legislation.”
Joseph McCormack Jr., Beatriz Ruelas, Becky Foster, Sherry Picazo-Cowie, Matthew Cowie, Anna Prince and Robert Prince ExecutiveAgent Magazine
Robert & Anna Prince
Prince & Associates, REALTORS速 1503 N. Imperial Ave., #101 El Centro, CA 92243 Tel: 760-337-4025 Robert@princerealtors.com www.PrinceRealtors.com CalBRE # 00956884 ExecutiveAgent Magazine