Local knowledge can be learned. That’s relatively easy to handle. Deleon started in Palo Alto and has successfully expanded to neighboring cities. He is very good at marketing and streamlining his business for the sales process (in my view). For example after he formed his own brokerage he hired a bunch of agents just like the traditional brokerage firms. What I heard was many top agents in other firms wanted to join his team and he became very selective. But after a while he decided to change all agents to be salaried, not commission-based. I think that kind of move takes guts to implement since he is deviating from the traditional brokerage model. To my knowledge no other large-scale real estate firms are doing this so he is trailblazing.
He’s pulled off another surprise recently by announcing that if his listing is sold to a buyer that he also represents then the seller does not need to pay buyer agent commission. This is pretty significant. We’ll have to see what percentage of his sales fall in this category but given the large number of transactions his firm does sellers will be attracted to ask him to list.