May 25, 2018

Pedal to Properties

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Pedal to Properties

Giggle-inducing, two-wheeled sales

When Bill and Kelley Cluzel met Boulder, Colo., broker Matt Kolb to tour a handful of properties they were interested in buying, they were expecting to hop into his car or theirs. Instead, they hopped on the bikes he keeps in the back of his car and turned an ordinary home tour into something that, as Kelley put it, “made me feel like a kid again.”

With his business partner Chris Sweeney, GRI, Kolb in May 2007 launched his brokerage, Pedal to Properties, with the idea that home tours would be a lot more fun on bikes than in a car. Given the boost in his personal sales volume — up about 20 percent to $4 million by the third quarter of 2007, despite the market slowdown — his emphasis on fun seems to have hit a nerve.

“When Bill and Kelley and I started riding on our tour, Kelley started giggling,” says Kolb, a triathlete.

Kolb estimates about 30 percent of his customers opt for bikes when they go looking for houses, but more important, the tours have caught national media attention and he’s been in talks with almost a dozen brokers and sales associates around the country who want to license the Pedal to Properties brand identity in their markets.

Kolb sees this licensing approach as the best way for his company to grow, and he expects to have his first handful of agreements signed before summer of this year. He expects the number of licensees to double every quarter based on the volume of inquiries he receives when his story is told in a new market.

“We’re not ready to start adding a bunch of associates to our office,” he says. “It’s been overwhelming with just the two of us. But the licensing is an approach that makes sense right now.”

Kolb’s brokerage includes just him and Sweeney, who serves as managing broker, and two administrative support staff, a closing coordinator and a marketing director. At most, they’ll add two or three sales associates to their office in 2008, he says.

The brokerage requires anyone riding a bike to sign a liability waiver and wear a helmet. Increasingly popular are group tours in which Kolb or Sweeney will take several buyers looking for similar properties — urban condos, for example — all at once. “Sellers love it,” he says.

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