Tony Mark and Russell Grether of Compass have firmly established themselves among the very best agents currently working in Southern California. A combination of years of hard-won experience, top-notch client service skills and a dedication to integrity and hard work are only a few of the reasons their many grateful clients return again and again for their services.
With more than thirty-five years of combined experience and 750 million dollars in sales between them, Tony and Russell only recently teamed up after joining Compass. Russell was a top producer at Coldwell Banker for about nine years before he moved to become a founding member of Compass Malibu. Tony had only recently sold his company to Sotheby’s when they met. “We were both at a point where we realized we could accomplish much more together and had a similar outlook on providing the best service to our clients,” says Russell.
In early 2017, Tony and Russell formed The Mark and Grether Group. With their background and expertise in the real estate field, they are now able to leverage each other to provide for their clients. “Real Estate is a very cutthroat business and there is a lot of pressure to cut corners, run over people, and lots of competition from other agents who are fighting over a relatively small amount of listings,” says Tony. “I have always looked at myself as a very knowledgeable real estate agent who is more focused on trying to do the best job I can for my clients, and build business through relationships – ideally one happy client at a time.”
Specializing in the luxury residential markets, their services also include condos, leases, multi-family commercial buildings and vacant land and agricultural sales. “We’re centered in Malibu,” says Russell, “but have work from the Palisades to Ventura.”
Building long-term relationships with clients is more important to their team than a quick sale. “My perspective,” says Russell, “is that it’s not just about the one deal. We like to look at the big picture. We’d rather do right by our clients and conduct our business with integrity.” Tony says, “I am not aggressive or pushy, but I do work extremely hard and am very professional. I think the clients I deal with respond well and want to work with that. You’re going to spend a lot of time dealing with your real estate agent whether you’re buying, selling or leasing a home. You might as well enjoy who you are working with and take pleasure in the process. You have to love what you are selling and I love Malibu to my core. I have made some really great friends that started as clients and I really value those relationships.”
Another reason for client gratitude, says Russell, “is our attention to detail. I think they see how hard we work for them, and they see that we’re always looking out for their best interests, not just behind the scenes but long after the escrow closes. I am always very clear that I consider myself a resource for them and their property. I want to make sure they know they can depend on me to go the extra mile. Tony and I have always been highly skilled negotiators. A lot of people think of real estate as just getting the listing, or putting the deal together and then it’s easy street after that. But for me and Tony, that’s when the more challenging components of the transaction begin. That’s where we really shine for our clients. We always want our clients to feel like they are our only client.”
Looking to the future, the pair would like to continue expanding their business, while maintaining the same level of exceptional client service. “We want to keep our core values intact,” says Russell. “Integrity and looking out for our clients is of the utmost importance. We want to continue to gain more market share but we also want to make sure our clients are getting the best care possible.”