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Ambassador Agent: Elizabeth Olcott
Elizabeth is a leading Keller Williams expansion partner, ranking among the top 1% of agents in the Napa Valley. With nearly two decades in real estate, she knows the business and has seen trends come and go. Her success can be attributed to a combination of expertise, dedication to customer service, and openness to innovative and creative ways to help her clients meet their goals.
Elizabeth, a Napa-based agent, is always looking for opportunities to better serve her clients. The Napa Valley area is a desirable second home location for many Bay Area residents, but inventory in this bucolic region is often limited. The onset of the coronavirus pandemic accelerated this trend, as many urban residents with flexible work options began to seek second homes away from densely packed cities.
Current second home owners also faced challenges. Some, realizing they only used their secondary residence a few weeks or months a year, wanted the option to divest part of their asset to free up funds during this economically uncertain time.
With few listings for potential second home buyers and no streamlined option for second home owners who wanted to sell only a portion of their home, Elizabeth had a pool of potential clients whose needs she couldn’t easily meet.
Pacaso: Filling a void in the market
As luck would have it, Pacaso co-founder and CEO Austin Allison, a Napa resident, was one of Elizabeth’s clients. He knew she was a local expert, and when he approached her with a partnership opportunity, she was intrigued. He explained Pacaso’s model and vision, and it felt like a natural fit. Elizabeth already knew buyers and sellers were out there, and Pacaso created a new way to drive additive business to her team.
Elizabeth’s first listing with Pacaso was a selldown listing. The owner had multiple properties in the area and was interested in selling 50% of a home he was underutilizing. Elizabeth was amazed by the response. “We listed it on the MLS just like any other listing with the price per ownership share. It went live and I got a ton of calls — easily 75-100 calls came in.”
She worked with Andreas Madsen, Pacaso’s chief revenue officer, to ensure she had the most accurate information when responding to leads. “There’s a lot of explaining and answering questions because many people associate it with the resort timeshare model, and Pacaso is not a timeshare, it’s true property ownership.”
Elizabeth immediately found working with Pacaso to be a win-win. “Of all those calls that came in, not everyone was interested in a co-ownership purchase. Some people see the price point and think it's a whole house and get excited, so converting some of those leads [to a whole home purchase] is a real additive to my business.”
She describes working with Pacaso as a true partnership: “Pacaso is all about wanting agents to convert new leads — they know not every single call is going to turn into a Pacaso buyer, so it's important to them that agents are trained and understand what we're doing so we're not just representing them well, but representing real estate in general as educated agents.”
Another selldown success story involved a client who was initially interested in selling a portion of their home, but it wasn’t a good fit for Pacaso. The homeowner decided to hire Elizabeth to sell their whole house instead — for $1.9 million. “It’s real,” said Elizabeth. “I’ve experienced the change in business this can bring. It’s pretty amazing.”
And on the buy side, opening up inventory for buyers — at a price that makes second home ownership more accessible — is a real boon. Pacaso pays full buy-side commissions, and agents benefit from getting more buyers into homes.
Finding a new lead source in the competitive real estate space isn’t easy. Working with Pacaso has provided Elizabeth with additional leads and a new area of specialization she can promote when marketing her business to potential second home clients.
The interest in Pacaso listings in Napa has been so substantial that Elizabeth has hired a dedicated team member to manage the flurry of calls that come in when a new property is listed to work those Pacaso leads.
She’s confident that she and her team will continue to see their business grow as a result of their partnership — not just from initial sales and conversions, but from nurturing clients over time. “A lot of people buying second homes are not sure if that's the area that they want to settle in — they want to test it out. So it's not at all uncommon for someone to purchase like this and then decide a few years down the road they want to purchase a whole house. Just like with any client, staying in touch is important, and can be particularly valuable with this group of buyers.”