How can a large and already successful company extend its reach without compromising its values-based character? Sereno, the Los Gatos independent brokerage firm, is about to thread the eye of that needle. The company, which earned the top spot among large companies in the 2022 Top Workplaces competition, just announced a new affiliation that has brought with it a new name — Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno.
Founded in 2006 by Ryan Iwanaga and Chris Trapani, Sereno was considered the top independent real estate broker in California and is currently ranked among the top five U.S. agencies for per-agent productivity and average sales price by RealTrends. Obviously the company does big business operating in a region with four of the top 10 ZIP codes in the country for median home price. Yet Sereno was started with thoughtful, humanistic ideas and has established a solid record of community engagement and support. Those sensibilities will have to co-exist with Christie’s luxury marketplace emphasis.
“When we founded the company, our main focus was creating a place where everyone within our company felt appreciated, supported and loved,” said Iwanaga. “We believed we could create a successful for-profit company based upon simple but important values that prioritized people and their value to our overall long-term success.”
The company has not strayed from those values, even as it has grown and prospered.
Central to prioritizing people has been Sereno’s charitable giving and its several community support funding portals. “When we founded Sereno Group in 2006, we believed our responsibility as business owners extended to our obligation to be good citizens, to make sure that our business contributed to the welfare and betterment of the communities we served,” Iwanaga said.
The 1% for Good Charitable Foundation is an example of that commitment. Since the foundation was formed in 2012, Sereno has donated $5 million through it to local charities and community organizations.
“The unique and most powerful aspect of our foundation is that individual offices are empowered to decide which local organizations received funds,” Iwanaga said. Each of their offices has its own 1% for Good committee that researches and nominates candidates. The office takes a vote and the winner receives …….