Forty-five-year-old Vic Plese has worked in his family’s real estate business, Plese Realty LLC, for 26 years now.
“I was licensed at age 18, but didn’t really start until I was 19,” he says.
Plese says part of his initial interest in real estate came from his grandfather, Victor, the company’s founder after whom he is named. His grandfather was a shoe salesman who, having followed his wife’s family west, started the company in 1958.
“I think I started out wanting to please him by going into the family business,” says Plese. “I told myself I’d give it six months and see how I liked it, but I’m still here 26 years later.”
The company began with a focus on residential and land, gradually adding more commercial properties.
“I would say residential, land, land development, and commercial are our four biggest types of real estate today,” says Plese.
The company remains small, with only 12 agents, including him. Plese Realty is located at 201 W Francis, in the PLESE professional building.
Plese served as president of the Spokane Association of Realtors in 2006. His father, Rod Plese, also a Realtor is 72 and is semi-retired, coming into the office three to four days a week. This September, Rod will have been in the business for 50 years.
“I joke with him that he can’t ever retire,” says Plese. “My grandfather may have started the company, but my father really made it what it is today. He’s been my mentor in this business, and is still just a fount of knowledge.”
“We are still kind of small, but we generate a lot of business for our size,” says Plese. “I always encourage people to look at our numbers.”
Plese Realty’s year-to-date total office volume is $21.5 million. Plese says according to the Spokane Association of Realtors’ Multiple Listing Service (MLS), of 140 offices in the Spokane area, the real estate brokerage ranks 24th in total volume, eighth in overall average volume per agent, and first in nonfranchise volume per agent.
“Since the recession in 2008, we’d seen a decline in the real estate market, but it’s been slowly recovering,” says Plese, who adds that this year in particular has been strong. “So far we’ve already matched last year’s total year-to-date sales,” he says.
“The average number of days one of our properties remains on the market is somewhere around 71. I think that as long as interest rates stay low, the market will continue to be strong,” he added.
Plese notes that area realtors keep track of properties using the MLS database. “I think that’s been one of the biggest changes over the last 25 years. We used to keep it all on cards, then we moved to books, now it’s all online.”
“We’ve kept a lot of those old card files. It can be really interesting to able to go back and reference some of that old data. It really speaks to our longevity in a way,” says Plese.
Specializing in residential and income properties, Plese Realty handles homes throughout the Spokane region, as well as many outlying areas.
Plese Realty also represents four new housing developments. The developments include Five Mile Heights, Park Place, Westwood Village and Five Mile View Estates.
Plese explains, the company markets and sells lots in those developments, also partnering in also partnering in the limited liability company created to develop each one. Two to six partners participate in each development—includ-ing Plese himself, Rod Plese, and Michael Graham.
Plese says Five Mile Heights is located in the north 7900 block of Five Mile Road and offers homes starting around $300,000. Five Mile Heights has a total of 350 lots, with 80 left to fill.
Park Place is a North Side development, bordering Riverside State Park and the Spokane River. With homes available starting around $300,000, it includes a total of 122 lots, with 70 of those yet to be filled.
Plese says the company’s development with the fewest lots left to fill is Westwood Village. Located in north Spokane, near Mead district schools, Westwood Village has only two lots left to fill of its total 55. Homes in the development start at around $250,000.
The company’s latest development, Five Mile View Estates is located at the western end of Strong Road on Five Mile Prairie. Still in its early stages, Plese says the development should include about 100 lots, with homes starting in the $300,000 range.
According to Plese, the company also is working on a retail development in Post Falls, which is being called Post Falls Square. The 9-acre development site is within a half mile from Interstate 90.
As to the company’s future, Plese says, “I’m just looking for quality brokers to fill the few openings we have, and I’d like us to have a larger presence in Idaho in the coming years.”
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