In celebration of Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate’s 62nd anniversary this month and Charlie Schwartz, II’s milestone anniversary last month, we reflect on the profound impact both have had on our company and the real estate industry.
In the world of real estate, some individuals become living legends, shaping their companies and industries with a blend of wisdom, dedication, and an unwavering commitment to doing what’s right. Among these luminaries is Charlie Schwartz, II, who has not only made a lifetime study of real estate but has also left an indelible mark on PSA. As we honor Charlie’s remarkable half-century journey and mark this significant milestone for our company, we reflect on PSA’s continued success, his personal insights, and the lessons that have defined his distinguished career.
In what ways has the company evolved since you first joined, and what do you believe has contributed to its longevity and success?
When I started, we had two offices: 913 Delaware Avenue and 1313 McKennans Church Road. I got office key number 37 so I’m figuring that was the total roster 50 years ago. The company had already grown from the original 12 agents who occupied 1013 Washington Street.
PSA has always strived to form relationships in the community and to be on the cutting-edge of technology as applied to real estate. What we thought of as cutting-edge technology back then seems rudimentary today. That is because we are constantly evolving and innovating. We are home-grown and locally owned and based, even as we number 500 or so now. Some years ago, we set ourselves on a path to serve as many markets within our sphere of influence as possible, i.e. not to be a boutique company. That is why you’ll see PSA signs everywhere in Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and the eastern shore of Maryland.
As you celebrate this milestone, what legacy or impact do you hope to leave behind in the real estate industry and within your company?
On a state and regional level, I am proud of the work that I did as NCCBOR® president back in the mid-1990s. That was the transition time from local MLS systems and associations to the regional giants that we have today. I still have some tar and feathers left on a few jackets after an unsuccessful attempt to merge the county associations into one state body, i.e. combine them with DAR®. This may yet happen, who knows. It still makes sense.
It is important to understand that the residential real estate selling, leasing, property managing, etc. business in all of its forms is different from the business of running a real estate company. And from the company perspective, I have no doubt that the commitments that Joe, Chris, and I have made over the last ten years or so have built a solid foundation to insure that the transition to the next generation of PSA leadership has been successful and that the formula that our founders put in place over 40 years ago can serve the future generations as it has previous ones. Market independence, financial prudence, and business acumen will always be in style.
For my part, I thank all of my mentors, some who are still around, some who will be present tomorrow, and those who are long gone but not forgotten. I pray that in some small way I have passed along the values we cherish to the PSA family that I love.
In an ever-changing industry, how do you stay inspired and motivated to continue your work in real estate year after year?
It is precisely because the business is ever-changing that makes it so interesting. For example, the implications of the Burnett v. NAR® decision are far from settled. The lawsuit is being appealed as I write this and, regardless of that outcome, perhaps other copycat suits will follow.
I’ll just say that certainly both buyers and sellers will continue to want some form of representation in real estate transactions. Clearly those transactions are becoming more rather than less complicated so a go-it-alone approach will not be fruitful for either buyers or sellers. If one accepts that premise, then it is about how compensation for those representation services will be structured – not whether they are necessary or not that they will be worked out going forward. I have seen significant adaptation to industry/market changes in the past and we will adapt as we always have. Good and faithful service never goes out of style.
Continuing the Legacy
Charlie’s 50-year journey with Patterson-Schwartz is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the enduring power of relationships. From humble beginnings with one office and a handful of agents, we’ve grown into a regional powerhouse with a footprint that stretches across Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania, and Maryland’s eastern shore, while staying true to our roots.
Our legacy of values, handed down by mentors, is a testament to the enduring spirit of PSA — a family built on cherished values and a commitment to excellence in all that we do. As we celebrate Charlie’s remarkable 50-year milestone, we’re reminded that success in real estate, like any other field, hinges on a willingness to adapt and a commitment to excellence.
Patterson-Schwartz Real Estate is Delaware’s largest independent real estate brokerage and offers a full range of services that include residential home sales, purchase and rental, relocation services, and property management. We’ve been guiding home buyers and sellers since 1961, and invite you to connect with us when you’re ready to partner with a local real estate expert.