As told by GATEWAY Magazine.

There are plenty of reasons to be thankful for owning a home in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula—the natural beauty, proximity to high-paying jobs, top-rated schools, access to nature, and a lifestyle that rivals the best in the country. Inventory is fixed and demand is high, and that makes buying and selling a home here more competitive. In such an environment, having a trusted advisor and realtor that can help you navigate the market is critical. Enter Alex Bouja, an analytical natural and a top producing real estate agent at Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty.

A Los Altos native known for his strategic approach to real estate, Bouja has been involved in many significant sales in the region, from Los Gatos, to Woodside, and everywhere in between. His own road to real estate began at a young age. His father owned multiple rental properties and from his earliest days he recalls being fascinated with buying, renovating, and selling real estate. “I spent a lot of time growing up working on our rental properties and remodeling projects. I obtained my real estate license in 2006 because I wanted to access raw data to make my own risk analysis on properties I was looking to purchase,” recalls Bouja. His professional career took him on a path away from real estate for several years as he conducted business and traveled internationally. After leaving “high tech” in 2013, Bouja began selling real estate full time, and the switch has proven a natural career path. This year alone, he has already closed over $60 million in sales volume and is on track to finish 2021 near $80+ million.

Photo of 1110 Golden Way, Los Altos | Sold for $4,500,000

Bouja has developed a reputation for concierge service at every price point, from initial consultation, to home preparation, to marketing, to sales and negotiation. He has years of experience in managing an entire team of professionals that make it possible, a network he prides himself in establishing and working with: “I have a small army of approved and trusted vendors across almost every trade possible who I work with to help prepare and get a home to market as fast as possible, with little-to-no impact on the seller.” His management of this team is what makes it all possible. The results have established him as a trusted advisor to his customers, helping them maximize the return on their investments by achieving the highest sale price.

The trajectory of Bouja has been exponential in the past three years, an achievement he credits to his current brokerage. “Joining Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty was the best thing I ever did for my career. I’d worked at two previous brokerages, both who claimed they were #1. Each office had over 200 agents, but I found that maybe 15 agents sold more than $25 million a year. While I had met some great people, very few agents collaborated, referred business, and absolutely zero leads or referrals ever came from management or other agents. The Golden Gate Sotheby’s International Realty brand, our management, marketing, operations and support network is unrivaled, and our customers feel that firsthand on every transaction. It allows me to be my best and provide the best service possible. I am proud of this, and my customers benefit directly from this.”

Photo of 177 Ramoso Road, Portola Valley | Sold for $4,700,000

His professional formula is clearly working. Since joining the brokerage in April 2019, Bouja grew his business from $23 million in 2019, to $39 million in 2020, and is well on his way to $80+ million in 2021. That’s roughly a 200 percent increase year-over-year for three years in a row. In this business, the numbers speak volumes, and discerning clientele are watching.

“Buyers and sellers are extremely busy with work and life these days. Now more than ever, my customers want information they don’t have access to online,” says Bouja. Whether that’s off-market sales, pending pricing, overall movement in the market, number of offers and contingencies, or which lender to choose and how their programs are different, his customers are also increasingly analytical. “They expect me to work the same hours they do in Tech and respond within minutes, seven days a week. They rely heavily on my knowledge, and my relationships with other realtors, lenders, and contractors. They want to be educated so they are comfortable spending the money they are spending in our local market. They want to know exactly what renovations to make to maximize their return on investment. And I’m their advisor on all the above,” says Bouja humbly. “I’m more than happy to do so, because buyers and sellers appreciate, too.”

Photo of 19361 San Marcos Road, Woodside | Sold for $6,800,000

Advising buyers in the current market is essential. Most importantly, Bouja tells buyers to make a list of the top-ten must-have items they want in a home. When you find something with seven out of those ten, you buy it. “Nothing will ever be perfect, so stop looking for it,” Bouja reminds us. Buyers also need to stop asking lenders “what’s your rate” as the only qualifier, noting we are in a unique market with of variety of buyers, jobs, pay, stock, visa status, and price points. It’s also critical that buyers understand the buying process: “You need to know what the sellers look at and consider when reviewing multiple offers. Knowing your competition and knowing what it takes to win is key.” Bouja also notes that his customers are changing, too, from a 50/50 spilt between buyers and sellers, to nearly 90 percent sellers. His number one piece of advice for sellers: “Find a realtor who listens well and that you can easily communicate with. You will be spending more time together than you ever imagined!”

Alex Bouja
Lic.# 01744054

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