1. Give me a brief history of your company.
Now in our 24th year, Engel & Völkers Lafayette-Lake Charles began as PAR Realty. The name reflected founder Peggy Grace’s maiden initials and simultaneously alluded to Le Triomphe Golf and Country Club, where she launched her independent brokerage.
Deeply influenced by the philosophy of “Service first and revenue will follow,” Grace was intent on creating a real estate firm that focused on steadily building referral clients. Her slow-growth, client-focused model steadied the firm through several economic downturns and fueled consistent growth in better times. Along with building referrals, Grace steadily attracted real estate advisors who shared her work ethic.
The firm expanded to include a property management division and a second location in Lake Charles. Today, the firm’s 25 advisors and three administrative support staffers serve residential clients from Lafayette to Lake Charles and commercial clients statewide.
2. What would you tell the rest of Acadiana makes you special?
We aren’t agents, we’re advisors. Advisors greet every new relationship as a lifelong commitment. It’s not uncommon for our advisors to work with second and third generation clients and it’s incredibly common for us to work with entire families and “families of friends.” That perspective creates a sincere atmosphere within which a transaction occurs. That approach also builds a lifelong trust where our advisors are always responsive to a range of situations and prepared to pursue their career passion with confidence.
3. What are you most proud of?
Without question, we are most proud of our unwavering commitment to providing sincere, responsive and effective service to our clients for more than 24 years. It’s not flashy. It’s nothing new. It’s a quiet set of qualities that’s worked for hundreds of years in this country. We’re proud to prove it still works.
4. Where do you see your business in 10 years? What are your plans for the future?
Our newest venture opens the door to a global vision. As an Engel & Völkers licensed partner we continue our commitment to client-centered service while creating a global reach for every advisor. We immediately connected with our core-market partners in Austin, Houston, Baton Rouge and New Orleans and are witnessing expanded abilities to serve clients in our fast-growing I-10 corridor. We envision providing continuously increasing value to clients in this corridor due to our ability to conduct partner transactions in places where our local companies are headquartered such as Houston — but also places such as New York, L.A., Denver, France, Scotland, and South Africa.
Lastly, we envision a continuously growing return to personalized, exceptional service. This can be seen in our community’s renewed interest in businesses that not only provide a means to an end, they provide an experience. If you’ve ever enjoyed an exceptional cup of coffee from an enthusiastic barista, if you’ve ever delighted in an exceptional meal from servers and chefs who are passionate about food, if you’ve ever felt that subtle satisfaction of gaining access to an event because of the talents of a seasoned concierge — then you’re our favorite client and we look forward to welcoming you to a whole new real estate experience.
5. 1A is #Focused on Forward – meaning we are taking an active role of improving the community we live in. Our investors are Focused on Forward, too! – What does Focused on Forward mean to you? How is your company Focused on Forward?
As a 1A investor we too have our Focused on Forward mission and appreciate the impact we all have when we choose to share our success in the form of community improvements. In recent years we’ve supported the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and this year we received a “Yardly” award for helping hundreds of middle schoolers recycle plastic grocery bags. Today, we’re passionate about Special Olympics and the impact it not only has on athletes but on us. All too often we think Special Olympics only provides an opportunity for athletes to grow but that’s just the beginning. There isn’t a coach, fan or sponsor we’ve met who hasn’t found a whole new outlook on life when we witness these amazing accomplishments. We hope you’ll join us.