Pleasanton, CA— December 28, 2015 — NextHome is proud to announce our newest addition to the franchise, NextHome Coastal. This is the franchise’s 15th brokerage in the state of California and the first in Orange County.
Owned and operated by business partners, Marlene Waterhouse and Tina Hartman, the Lake Forest-based brokerage will provide residential real estate sales to the cities of Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, San Clemente, Rancho Santa Margarita, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Aliso Viejo, San Juan Capistrano, Ladera Ranch, and the remainder of South Orange County.
The partners met each other over a decade ago as volunteers at a youth theater program at Biola University. Hartman and Waterhouse worked together assisting the school’s faculty on musical and dramatic productions.
“We got to know each other over the course of working backstage for the University’s plays and musicals,” recalls Waterhouse. “We were affectionately known as ‘Stage Right’ and ‘Stage Left’.”
This friendship led to the two of them talking about a mutual passion – real estate.
They began working together in purchasing properties for rehab and resale. Their extensive research about properties led them down the path of finding out how to purchase property through trustee sales, properties with a Notice of Default, and short sales. It was their self-motivated learning about short sales that caught the interest of local agents.
“Agents from around the area saw the success we were having negotiating short sales with banks,” said Hartman. “We were asked if we could help them with bank negotiation. As we helped more and more agents, we realized we were the local experts on how to handle short sales and decided to take advantage of that specialty.”
In 2007, the partners opened Short Sale Solutions – a company dedicated to help close short sales and negotiate with banks on behalf of the sellers of these homes. The business became so busy, the two of them could no longer take the time to invest in property themselves.
In 2010, guidelines changed for short sale negotiations. With a licensed agent required to be the one negotiating on behalf of the client, Waterhouse attained her real estate license. While still helping outside brokers close their short sale transactions, Waterhouse was asked by many homeowners if she would represent them as their REALTOR®. In her first year selling real estate, Waterhouse sold 24 transactions, making her one of the top first-year agents in the area.
Over the next three years, both the short sale business and the real estate sales business continued to increase for the team. The partners took on additional staff to keep up with the workflow and in March 2013, eventually made the decision to start their own real estate brokerage, Beneficial Realty.
In 2015, both Beneficial Realty and Short Sale Solutions saw their busiest years ever. With the increase in business, the partners knew they needed systems that could help them be as productive as possible. Adding talented agents to their brokerage would be key, so adding to their value proposition was very important to them.
“We asked ourselves, ‘What can we offer to our agents?’” said Waterhouse. “Tina and I were looking through REALTOR® Magazine for ideas on increasing value when we came across the Top Real Estate Franchises list. We saw NextHome, checked out their website and we were blown away. Based on what we saw on the list, almost all other franchises were shrinking, while NextHome was growing. We had to find out more.”
“Everything sounded really good,” recalls Hartman. “We were on board with joining the franchise. But after coming to the corporate office and meeting the people behind the brand, it sealed the deal. We couldn’t be happier with our decision to be a part of NextHome.”
“We are going to be the brokerage that will provide agents all the tools and systems from a high-tech real estate company, yet still keep that boutique brokerage feel,” added Hartman.
When not selling real estate, both partners are focused on being with family.
Tina has been married for over 25 years to her husband, Cap. The Hartmans enjoy going to musicals, seeing plays, and Tina describes them as “foodies”. The couple has five children.
Marlene has been married for over 33 years to her husband, Jim. She enjoys helping out for stage productions via their church and youth groups. The couple has three children.
Please join us in welcoming Marlene, Tina, and the rest of the team of NextHome Coastal to the NextHome family!
Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at Charis@NextHome.com.
Each office is an independently owned and operated business.