Champion Realty, launched in 1987 to serve residential and commercial buyers and sellers in Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay region, is celebrating its 30-year anniversary with a series of events showcasing the company’s history and successes.
In January, Champion held a 30th “Birthday Party” in the same ballroom where the company was launched, attended by 200 Champion personnel—including 15 who have worked for the company since its first day. Industry executives flew in from around the country, a special video presented company history and vintage TV advertising and founder Chris Coile addressed the group by Skype from his home in Florida. Other celebrations are planned for May and September.
Chris Coile started his first real-estate company in 1970 while still in his twenties and quickly became an icon in the business. He worked hard, did well and sold the company after a decade—moving to a cattle ranch in Montana. “But real estate was in my blood and I still had new things to accomplish in the business,” said Chris, explaining why, five years later, he returned to Severna Park and built Champion Realty. Within the first year, he did $200 million in business. Soon Chris’s brother, Jon, returning from service in the Navy, joined Champion as an agent. Jon rose through the ranks, taking on the roles of president and CEO when Chris retired in 2006.
In 1999, Champion became part of HomeServices of America, which joined Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway company in 2001. The decades brought booming sales, the housing bust of 2008, the “Great Recession” and historically low interest rates, with Champion steering into the future and thriving.
Champion has always been an innovator—using smart phone apps, texting, GPS, video blogs, the Internet, YouTube and other technologies to market properties in new ways. Champion added lending, settlement and insurance services to make transactions easier for customers and is widely known for high-quality training and support for agents. “Champion agents are superb for delivering top service,” said Pat Savani, who helped launch the company in 1987 and is manager of the Annapolis office. “This is a relationship business, and trust is a key ingredient that makes the relationship between our agents and customers so successful.”
The region Champion serves includes more than 2,000 miles of beautiful waterfront. But the company’s true success lies in its culture, said Jon Coile. “Champion is a fun, happy place to work. We’re a family of people helping other families accomplish the American Dream of home ownership.”
In 2015 and again in 2016, The Washington Post named Champion among the region’s top workplaces, and readers of the Capital Gazette selected Champion as “Best Real Estate Company” in and around Anne Arundel County for 2015 and 2016. In addition, the “Swanepoel Power 200” list has included Jon as one of the most influential people in residential real estate for three years spanning 2014 to 2016.