MADRID — Philip L. Paige was the deputy county administrator for St. Lawrence when he got his real estate license as a stampede.
“But the side hustle started paying more than my full-time job,” he said, so he quit to pursue real estate full-time.
He now owns NoCo Homestead, the county’s second brokerage in just its first full year of operation.
“I started the company because I wanted to bring technology and innovation to the real estate market,” Mr. Paige said.
When selling homes before starting his business, he said he was the youngest broker in the local market in nearly 40 years and knew he could take advantage of some technology not used by his competitors. .
“These are people who got into digital signatures kicking and screaming, and now my company is doing digital targeting, live video tours and other things that weren’t done before our business,” he said.
Mr Paige launched his business in March 2020. In retrospect, it might not have seemed like the best time to start a business, but he said his company’s use of technology gave him an edge over its competitors during the pandemic, when all work was done on a computer screen.
“When it came time to select a broker during the pandemic, I had a built-in advantage,” he said. “The timing of this – although at least initially he wanted to give me a heart attack – was in retrospect very fortunate.”
He said his company uses digital microtargeting to push listings far beyond the local market.
“Buyers who live in other states can see our listings online,” he said. “Chances are that if this listing had been represented by another company in this field, they would never be able to see it.”
This accelerated the success of his business.
“Last year, I believe we finished as the second-largest broker in our first full year in business,” he said. “And we’re on track this year to blow up our number from last year.”
He said NoCo Homestead now employs seven real estate brokers, to whom he credits most of the company’s success.
“They work directly with customers, whereas I have a lot more management work to do now,” Mr. Paige said. “It’s the boots on the ground and I’m the Wizard of Oz behind the curtain that keeps the ship afloat.”
Mr. Paige talked about the steep national housing market and how the local market has been affected.
“Overall,” he said, “our region is in a permanent recession, so we don’t tend to see big swings.”
Although the market in the north of the country is hotter than it has ever seen, he said it has not risen as high as nationally.
“I don’t see it as a bubble and I don’t have a lot of anxiety about the housing market,” he said.
What worries him is the lack of new housing in the county. That’s why, in the next five to ten years, he wants NoCo Homestead to become more involved in the development of modern housing.
“The Canton-Potsdam market, which is the heart of the county market, has a very old housing stock,” he said. “When we have people from outside the area moving in, that can be a deterrent.”
He said when commodity prices drop and risk decreases, he could see NoCo Homestead create a subdivision that works with contractors to bring more new construction to market.
Until then, Mr. Paige appreciates the work he is doing with his team to preserve the existing architecture.
“My niche is old houses and buildings, so part of my role is to convince people that these buildings are worth saving and that our communities are worth investing in,” he said. declared. “I can be a cheerleader and an ambassador.”