Ray Pugel, broker and owner of Coldwell Banker Bishop Realty in Payson, welcomed guests to celebrate the realization of his five-year dream: the grand opening of his new residential real estate office in Payson Thursday Feb. 2.
"I think (the office) shows that the town is progressing nicely with the amount of growth that we've had," said Pugel.
The old commercial building was moved to a northeast location of the property. The new building is located in its place.
"It is nice to see what is happening on this corner -- the upgrades from the old Whiting gas station and the Pioneer Bar and, of course, the Sawmill Theatre," he said.
Pugel and his wife Julie first came to the Rim Country in 1986 when they were looking to purchase the old KOA campground.
"Accidents happen," Pugel said with a big smile. He is from Cleveland, but his wife Julie lived in Page, Ariz. when the dam was being built and grew up in another small town, Boulder City, Nev.
The new office opened seven years after Pugel bought the franchise.
There are 48 residential real estate agents and two brokers on the commercial side. As the designated broker, Pugel is responsible for them and everything going on in the company.
"The new building allows us to make a nice presentation for people coming to Payson," Pugel said. "It brings real estate up to the next level in Payson. All my agents now have private offices (in which) to serve clients with confidentiality and professionalism."
Pugel said he thinks the future of residential real estate in Payson has a lot to do with supply and demand.
"Right now, we have a limited supply, therefore, I would expect over the long term for prices to increase," he said. "Long-term is important because short-term markets have ups and downs."
Coincidentally, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Coldwell Banker brand.
Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corporation was founded by San Francisco native Colbert Coldwell from the ashes of the 1906 quake. After Benjamin Banker joined as a partner, they helped rebuild San Francisco by attracting businesses and families to the city.
A century later, the Coldwell Banker system has more than 3,900 real estate offices and 126,000 sales associates in 29 countries around the globe.