YOUNGSTOWN – EvenBay Real Estate obtained a Coldwell Banker franchise in October, becoming Coldwell Banker EvenBay Real Estate and bringing the brand back to the Mahoning Valley after 15 years.
For EvenBay co-owners Michael and Janice Stevens, there is a sentimental connection. They both started their careers at the previous local Coldwell Banker franchise, which is also where the couple met.
“Coldwell Banker was a dominant real estate franchise here in the Valley years ago. So the opportunity to bring the franchise back to the area is exciting,” Janice Stevens says.
The couple established Warren-based EvenBay in 2014 with Forrest Kobayashi. A Boardman office opened in 2016. The agency employs 25.
Last year Megan Kovacich was hired as marketing director. One of Kovacich’s key roles will be specializing in Coldwell Banker’s suite of real estate products and tools, then training EvenBay team members to use them.
“Adding this position is instrumental to the growth of the organization,” Michael Stevens says.
This year EvenBay anticipates strong growth following a “terrifying” 2020 when the real estate market came to a halt in mid-March, the owners say.
“When the shutdowns first happened, we feared the pandemic would jeopardize future plans and threaten what we worked so hard to build,” Michael Stevens says. “When the economy started to open up in May, the real estate floodgates let loose. We had predicted this would happen and were fully prepared to handle the demand.”
By making “significant investments” in recruiting, mergers and acquisitions, marketing and branding, and with the help of the corporate office, EvenBay has set “an attainable growth goal” of 200% year-over-year, the owners say.