3 min read · September 5, 2023

Sam Sawyer on Housing Wire: Expansion During a Difficult Market | Ten Minute Talks

Sam Sawyer Talks About Expansion During a Difficult Market with Housing Wire


In a recent episode of “10 Minute Talks”, HW Media COO Diego Sanchez sat down with Sam Sawyer, the CEO of Pinnacle Realty Advisors, to discuss the evolution of Sawyer’s career and the unique approach Pinnacle is bringing to the real estate brokerage space.

Sawyer recounted his journey in the real estate sector, which started at the young age of 19. He initially worked at a Sotheby’s firm in Dallas and later co-founded a brokerage firm, the Collective, which was subsequently acquired by Compass. Following several years in San Francisco, he returned to Austin to launch Pinnacle Realty Advisors. This step was driven by his innate entrepreneurial spirit and a desire to innovate in the real estate space after over a decade of experience as an agent.

At the heart of Pinnacle’s business model is the Brokerage-as-a-Service (BaaS) concept, which is a cloud-based real estate brokerage with a subscription-based pricing model. This approach allows agents to pay a fixed subscription fee, with the freedom to choose additional services from an à la carte menu to build and grow their businesses as they see fit. This model, Sawyer explained, represents a significant shift from the legacy business models employed by other brokerage firms, offering more freedom and a uniform service that caters to agents across various locales and market segments.

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As for Pinnacle’s market focus, Sawyer mentioned two main paths for agents: joining directly under the Pinnacle brand or opting for the white-label product, which typically appeals to higher-end agents seeking to enhance their brand with a more favorable fee structure. This dual approach allows Pinnacle to compete with both nationwide firms like Keller Williams and Coldwell Banker, and platforms like Side that cater to upscale agents.

On the expansion front, Pinnacle has seen rapid growth, launching in several states including Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Florida, and California, and hosting close to 800 agents on their platform. While the firm has plans for further expansion, potentially moving into markets like New York, the immediate focus is on consolidating their presence in the current states to build a solid foundation. A crucial aspect of this strategy is finding the right people to staff the operations, prioritizing excellent support over rapid geographical expansion.

Pinnacle’s technology strategy also sets them apart, as they leverage off-the-shelf products rather than developing software in-house. This approach, Sawyer believes, allows for easier scaling and offers agents familiar tools that integrate well into their existing workflows. Moreover, the firm has developed Pinnacle HQ, an à la carte marketplace that allows agents to select various services, ranging from logo design to website development, fostering a bespoke experience that aligns with their individual business needs.

Reflecting on the broader real estate market, Sawyer acknowledged the challenging landscape over the past year. Despite these challenges, Pinnacle has managed to expand, doubling in size since January. This growth, he surmised, is a result of a favorable pricing model and the increased acceptance of cloud-based brokerages in the market. Looking ahead, Sawyer anticipates the need to offer more services and support to retain agents, while continuing to benefit from the shifting perceptions about work and brand affiliations in the real estate industry.

As the interview wrapped up, Sawyer expressed his enthusiasm for what lies ahead for Pinnacle, emphasizing the company’s commitment to offering excellent service and competitive pricing in a market that is increasingly receptive to innovative, cloud-based brokerage solutions.


About Pinnacle Realty Advisors

Pinnacle Realty Advisors is the world’s best Brokerage-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform that empowers real estate agents in both residential and commercial sectors, enabling them to build their brands autonomously through a subscription-based model offering a comprehensive suite of services, support, and access to cutting-edge tools via proprietary technology PinnacleHQ.

Our Mission

Make Real Estate Better.
For Everyone.

We’re here to crush the commission split business model & bring transparent pricing to brokerage services to all agents in America.

Pinnacle Realty Advisors is a firm built by agents for agents.

Thus, we put agent service & support first and go out of our way to help you succeed. We give real estate agents total brand control and empower them to earn more.


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