How to build partnerships that grow your business

Partnerships often provide an excellent platform for growth and success for companies of all sizes, large and small. My company Pacaso’s business model is built almost entirely around partnerships — from community leaders, banking partners, real estate agents, brokerages, or even local businesses ranging from lawn care, house cleaners, and other service providers. services.

More importantly, the relationships between a company and its customers and employees are also partnerships. They are perhaps the most important partnership of all. But getting partnerships right can be difficult. I wanted to share some examples of partnerships in our business at Pacaso and reflect on some of the best practices I’ve learned over the years.

One of the secrets of Pacaso’s rapid growth is our early investment in building partnerships with real estate agents around the world. We have established important relationships with well-known agents and brokers, including Engel & Volkers, RE/MAX, and leading real estate teams such as Altman Brothers in Los Angeles or Roh Habibi and his team in San Francisco. With these partnerships, both sides have a lot to gain. Real estate agents and teams have brands and trusted networks of potential buyers and are local market experts in their craft of selling real estate, bringing us a lot of value. We also bring great value to them because we have a tool and a service that adds value to their customers – empowering families to unlock second home ownership at a lower cost than traditional second homes or franchises of ownership in their existing homes.

Similarly, we’re always looking for ways to partner with local businesses, whether it’s a furniture maker, interior designer, local bookstore to stock our home shelves or a winery. Where I live in Napa Valley, we often refer Pacaso owners to local brands we love, such as various wine friends we have in town, like John Anthony Vineyards. It’s great for wineries because they grow their business and club memberships and it’s also great for us because we can offer our owners special access.

Our newly formed government advisory board of former elected and current officials is another great example of a valuable partnership, as we leverage the leaders’ years of experience to inform our community policies and strategies, which add a wealth of strategic insight. Pacaso’s. It’s also valuable to them because we’re working together to be part of the solution to the housing crisis that many of these communities face.

Partnering with non-profit organizations or causes allows you to have an impact beyond your core business. Through second home ownership, we reduce competition for single-family homes in destination communities. To go even further, we create partnerships with local organizations like the Teton Board of Realtors Community Housing Fund and Burbank Housing to support their efforts to create affordable housing.

Here are some insights I’ve learned over the years about what’s important when building and maintaining partnerships:


First, it has to be a win-win. This means that both parties should get a lot of value out of the partnership. This can be more difficult when the two companies are of different sizes. When you have a very large company and a small start-up, it’s often difficult for the small company to deliver enough value to justify the big company’s time. Occasionally, those partnerships can work, but more often than not, I’ve seen the best partnerships with companies that are similar in size or have highly complementary value to each other.

Long term ,

Often, partnerships develop over many years. For example, before my first dotloop company came together and merged with Zillow, I had been building that relationship with the Zillow team for four years prior to that point. In the early years, it was all about building relationships not knowing what kind of partnership opportunities might evolve in the future. I found it really helpful to build the relationship and it translated into a strong partnership over time. Don’t expect these things to happen overnight.


Always look for synergy in mission and alignment in financial interests. Our partnership with real estate agents is a great example of this. We are both focused on healthy prospective home buyers to realize their dreams of home ownership. They get paid and Pacaso also earns a fee as a result of that transaction. We have great alignment regarding our mission and goals, as well as our financial interests in the transaction.

Above all, I think it’s always helpful to remember to approach any relationship, partnership or otherwise, with a given mindset. Recently, my good friend Tom Ferry, who is a top real estate trainer, spoke to our crew at Pacaso. We were talking about referrals and he said you should expect to provide value three times before you expect anything in return. I think this is a great way to think about how you approach any relationship, especially partnership. As you think about growing your business or career, don’t underestimate the power of great partnerships.

The opinions expressed here by columnists are their own, not those of

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