Peter Skanavis, president of Homeowners Concept

Peter Skanavis

Homeowners Concept
611 N. Mayfair Road, Wauwatosa
Industry: Real estate sales
Number of employees: 28
Education: Engineering and MBA from UW-Milwaukee
Family: Wife, Mary (a Realtor with the company) and two sons, Alex and Nicholas.
What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“In 2009 we celebrated our 25th year in business and we made a strategic switch from a flat fee to a 1.5-percent commission if the owner shows the property or 4.4-percent if we show it. Too many small real estate companies are offering flat fee programs collected up front with limited real estate services causing confusion in the marketplace. We are a full-service agency with top-notch agents.”

What’s new at your company?

“We offer more than the typical 6-percent agency, so we recently changed the company slogan to, ‘The savings is really a bonus.’ We also started a real estate blog and joined social media to expand our reach to the market.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“We have almost a non-existent turnover – unheard of in real estate sales. This is part of our extremely efficient program and our commitment to maintain a high volume of transactions for each agent. Nevertheless, we do plan to add two to three seasoned agents to the staff as we grow.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“To continue spreading the word that a seller with our 4.4-percent program receives more marketing and is represented by a much more experienced agent than one gets from typically paying 6 percent.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry?

“Smartphones, which allow you to view the complete information and interior photos of any listed property especially when one is in front of a house for sale. Our mobile website: was put in operation in 2009.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Offer more expertise and marketing than the competition for less commission. Six core values: customer obsession, ownership, bias for action, frugality, high hiring bar and innovation.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“Jeff Bezos of I admire his passion for innovation, customer service and frugality. He has found ways to offer consumers an incredible selection of products at reasonable prices and still make a profit.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“From my father, to treat others as you want to
be treated.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I try to stay active and enjoy playing tennis and volleyball regularly. Also do cycling and skiing. I enjoy reading and staying current with business, new technologies and real estate.”

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