Escondido Realtor Tom Stamos likes working in the cloud -- so much so that he recently was appointed California state managing broker for eXp Realty, a leading cloud-based brokerage based in Bellingham, Wash.
He oversees about 30 agents statewide who also prefer cloud-based realty. They work from home and from Regus office suites in 30 states through a corporate arrangement.
Stamos is based at the La Terraza Corporate Plaza in Escondido, the city he's lived in for many years.
"I'm a broker so I've marketed myself as Escondido Realty since 2008," said Stamos, who has sold homes all over San Diego County but finally decided to specialize in the area near his home. "I joined eXp late last summer because I decided the cloud model fits my style. They're cutting edge and high tech, and have a better handle on newer marketing techniques.
"And eXp is a great fit for those like me who are more autonomous and independent and don't need a lot of support," he said.
While the residential market wasn't particularly strong for Stamos last year, business has picked up in 2014 and he now shares in transactions with the agents under his wing through eXp.
"I am really pragmatic and realistic," he said. "I think we're going to have a year similar to last year. "In my area, the coastal properties are moving better. The people who are more affluent are better able to afford buying a home near the coast.
"For the less affluent, in some areas like Escondido, Vista and San Marcos, incomes haven't gone up and the jobs aren't that great. We're working at it, and we're slowly getting there," he said. "For buyers, it's critically important to get preapproved up front, so you don't waste their time or, more importantly, your client's time and letting them down at the end because they can't get something they thought they were going to get."
Stamos remains cautiously optimistic about 2014. He's an active board member of the North San Diego Association of Realtors and is a strong promoter of the town he calls home.
"Even though we went through price appreciation last year, sellers are just now coming out from being under water. Escondido is no different," he said. "It pretty much mirrors San Diego. What I would like to let all of San Diego know is, dollar for dollar, Escondido has got great values."