New real estate company on the Malibu scene

Prudential Malibu Realty is launched

By Arnold G. York / Publisher

The Malibu real estate industry, which over the past decade has seen the closing or consolidation of many of the smaller independent real estate firms into a few large companies, suddenly has taken a turn in the opposite direction. Malibu Realty Company, one of the original Malibu companies, founded in 1947, closed in August. The name rights and the real estate assets have been purchased by a group of brokers and agents who are reopening it as an independently owned franchise of Prudential California Realty. It will be doing business under the name of Prudential Malibu Realty.

Michael Novotny will manage the new firm, which will include Marcus Beck, with 15 years of experience with CB Residential; Kate Craig, with 15 years of experience in Malibu, most recently as Fred Sands estates director; Barry Kinyon, with 10 years experience in Malibu and formerly with CB/Fred Sands and Malibu Realty; Lea and Leon Johnson, former estate directors with Fred Sands; Alan and Tony Mark, a father and son partnership, previously affiliated with Fred Sands; and Topanga specialists Jon and Lisa Saver, previously affiliated with Fred Sands; and escrow specialist, Cynthia Schmon.

Most of the agents of the new company said they are excited at the prospect of a new company and the entrepreneurial opportunity.

“We own the franchise,” said Leah Johnson, gleefully.

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They also seemed to agree they didn’t want anything corporate. “Change is good,” said Marcus Beck. “Our goal is an office with agents who have the same goal-run as a business and not get caught up with the corporate level.”

It was also clear that Novotny was a popular choice to run the firm.

“We need a good manager and we trust Michael’s judgment,” said Kinyon.

Alan Mark echoed that sentiment. “Having Michael as a manager is perfect … He’s been through small corporations and big corporations.”

The new company expects to expand in the future and to compete for additional real estate talent. “We are confident that we will continue to attract the best and the brightest agents available,” said Novotny.

The real estate assets consist of the building located at the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway and Civic Center Way, which, after its renovation, will become the company headquarters. Currently, the firm is located on Stuart Ranch Road in the old Miramar Building, which also houses the Malibu Chamber of Commerce. The assets also include a small building on Point Dume and a lease on space in Topanga.

“The name Malibu Realty gives our new business instant name recognition,” said Novotny, and added that “each of the firm’s new agents work and live in Malibu and have a vested interest in our city.”

A second spin-off firm from the old Malibu Realty Company is a real estate firm called Malibu Surf Realty, which has several agents from the old company.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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