Since joining Sereno Group Realtors in 2009, I’ve been a part of the flagship Los Gatos office, serving all of Santa Clara County and nearby areas. I’ve worked with many of the top real estate companies in Silicon Valley over the course of my career, and have a good sense of the best and worst of the business.

Sereno Group changed its name to Sereno, then to Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno, but we are the same local real estate firm, just now with a global connectionl.

As in the 1990s, we are again in a time of sea change and upheaval in the real estate industry. It is a fair question to ask how or why a brokerage choice matters for me and for my clients. Today I’ll reflect on both my affiliation with Sereno Group, Realtors in Silicon Valley and Santa Cruz County, and what is, to me, compelling about this brokerage – its agents, leadership, vision, and community involvement, social responsibility, ethics and work ethic.

When I joined this group of top producing real estate professionals, I did so because it was clear to me that Sereno Group is comprised of the best Realtors and  has fantastic values which I share, including a collaborative bent. I love that it’s locally owned and I’m thrilled to be a part of “the Sereno Family”. That’s the elevator pitch version on the “why Sereno Group” question: quality Realtors, quality leadership, giving back, deep community ties, a priority on ethics and working hard for our clients.

The downturn of 2008 – 2012

Sereno Group Realtors were working the marketEven during the downturn of 2008-2012, when many agents and real estate companies were in a world of hurt, Sereno Group Realtors had a can-do attitude. You could feel the energy when visiting the office. They were working the market rather than letting the market work them over. This didn’t surprise me, though, as I knew many of these top producers back from the early days of Cornish & Carey  back in the early to mid 90s, when the saying I heard a few times was “keep it alive until 1995” (when it was expected that the market would improve).

I was drawn to work with Sereno Realtors who had a positive attitude and strong work ethic no matter the market conditions.  This culture is both from the ground up and from the corporate level down, and to me it is one of the defining characteristics of the firm.

1% for Good

Sereno Group 1% for Good logoThe 1% for Good campaign is a hallmark of Sereno with its staff, and leadership all wanting to give back to the community. The top 1% of Clair’s and my commissions, and most (if not all) agent’s commissions go toward worthy, charitable causes in our local communities. Offices vote on which groups to support financially, and donations are made quarterly. You can see a list of charitable recipients for my Los Gatos office at this link. Or read more about Sereno Group’s 1% for Good here.


How does being affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno benefit our clients?

Put simply, I think part of what makes this brokerage special is the vision, and part is the strategy / tools / implementation (including hiring). When Clair got her license and joined me helping buyers and sellers in 2021, she immediately embraced the company’s ethics and the commitment to doing good in our community.

  • We are tied into the local community and have in-depth knowledge of the areas we serve.
  • Sereno focuses on collaboration and sharing of information so we have the latest info on sales and other issues before the general public reads about it in the news.
    • We help each other out. At times a colleague has had a listing in a neighborhood where I’ve had many sales, and I’ll assist with input on pricing etc. At times it’s gone the other way and I’ve had the support of my fellow Realtors when there’s not enough data for pricing, or if a particular property is highly unusual and hard to “comp out”.
  • We have in house legal counsel to help us stay on top of the laws and disclosure issues in our region. This is an additional resource that enables us to provide the best guidance to our clients.
  • We have affiliations with premier property marketing (Sereno Studios, our in house marketing department) and photography companies to ensure that our clients’ homes looks the best.
    • When utilizing Sereno Studios, listing agents who have other Sereno agents holding their listings open can have the same fliers made for the other agent, providing quality marketing no matter who is holding the home open. This is not typical among real estate companies.
  • We believe in staging and presenting homes in their best possible light to maximize the return for our clients.
  • We have internal resources to help our agents maximize digital exposure through social media and the web.
  • Sereno encourages its Realtors to strive for the highest levels of professionalism, ethics, marketing, and service. As a company, Sereno Group fosters an attitude of strong relationships between our clients and ourselves, with an effort at creating value for our clients not just during the transaction, but before and after it.
  • In 2023 our company affiliated with the Christie’s International Real Estate brand, not as a franchise office, but a co-owner. We now have global connections and a powerful marketing team behind the Christie’s brand as well our our local Sereno Studios help right here.

For all of these reasons, and many more that are hard to quantify (such as a more upbeat mood in the offices!), we are thrilled to be affiliated with Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno.

You can read more about Christie’s International Real Estate Sereno here. Learn more about the 1% for Good Charitable Foundation here.

Learn more about Mary Pope-Handy and Clair Handy on this page: Meet the Team