Ahead of the game: Newly formed Pixel Properties combines media, real estate
February 26 - March 4, 2018
By Becca Bona
In 2006, Ray Ellen, now co-owner of Pixel Properties Realty, watched what was then a relatively new phenomenon with his wife via the Internet.
“We were watching a guy tasting wine on YouTube. I looked at her and said, ‘Somebody has to do this for real estate eventually,’ but I couldn’t at the time figure out the context for the content.”
Sarah Bailey, Ellen’s business partner and broker of Pixel Properties Realty, considers herself to be an ‘old school’ agent, one that knows all the paperwork involved with a transaction and how to provide a quality transaction to clients. A trailblazer in her own right, Bailey helped open iRealty in 2013, and knows a good business idea when she sees one.
“In my opinion, real estate agencies will evolve to media companies that specialize in real estate in the future,” Ellen continues.
“I thought that line of thinking sounded brilliant,” Bailey chimes in.
And Pixel Properties Realty does just that – offers a talented creative team’s expertise to a company of real estate agents via a brokerage setting. They opened their doors on Feb 1., in their location near Zaza’s in the Heights.
Since then, they have hit the ground running, onboarding agents and getting ready to provide a first-of-its-kind service to Little Rock. The two connected in late 2017, and were able to form a partnership that was largely a result of good timing. Bailey brought her ample experience of brokering and selling in Central Arkansas, while Ellen had been perfecting a prototype for over seven years marketing content and distributing it across various channels as it relates to real estate.
Ellen got into real estate in 2006 when he was hired in Northwest Arkansas to help agents market and sell their properties. “I was seeing a relationship between me working with these agents to sell their house, and houses selling faster and for more money,” he says. “We marketed about 49 million in property in that one year.”
That was the catalyst for him to get his own license in 2007, and he managed to have one great year before the market crashed. He was recruited by a business broker, and thus learned a lot about selling businesses with their land attached, for a time, before returning to Central Arkansas in 2013.
He reactivated his license, and as he said, got focused.
“For the first two full years I focused on systems and processes, as well as customer experience every step of the way.” He took notes, detailed every inch of a transaction to study buyer behavior, as he continues, “For instance, I’d note what made a particular transaction really fantastic and what made one a fantastic failure.”
About a year and a half ago, marketing became the focal point, and he realized that he could make a difference for an average agent, by providing a tried and true service that lets the agent hone their craft.
“They can become an expert of negotiation, an expert in walking a client through the delicate parts of the transaction – ultimately making that part as smooth as possible,” he says.
Bailey immediately saw the benefit of his work and what he could provide an already all-star agent.
“An average Realtor does not have time to keep up with different marketing changes,” she says. “I myself don’t really want to do that, I want to sell houses and list them, which is what most Realtors want to do. I think it’s exciting to have someone who has mastered that side of it and offer it to the agents.”
In terms of starting a realty, Bailey has been able to provide tricks for opening the doors faster. Ellen says, “Sarah knows as much about paperwork and processes that I know about the marketing side. We’re a good team.”
Plus, Bailey’s ‘old school’ approach to real estate is something Ellen prizes, as he continues, “I still like that she’s old school, because she brings good things to the table that are still important. It’s not that the new process is wiping away the old, it’s that it’s enhancing it.”
The two agree, their goal is to take care of a strong team of agents, so that they have more time to better serve their clients. Bailey says it best: “I want to be known as the company that gives tools to the agents and that markets your property like no one else can.”
Ray Ellen and Sarah Bailey hold the For Sale sign that will be iconic of their newly formed business – Pixel Properties Realty. (Photo by Becca Bona)