Your Castle will operate the agency separately as a freestanding brokerage dedicated to residential home buyers and sellers in Denver and its near suburbs.
The acquisition allows Your Castle to grow and gain a brokerage known for its energetic culture, high marks from clients and numerous accolades from the business community. Live Urban was established in 2006 by John Skrabec and Mark White, both longtime Denver real estate agents. Since then, the brokerage has sold real estate worth $1.7 billion. Company sales volume in 2016 was nearly $257M among 85 agents. Your Castle was founded in 2004 by Lon Welsh, who continues to serve as Chairman. Since that time the brokerage has sold real estate worth $6 billion. 2016 sales volume was $1.4B among 500+ agents.
In purchasing Live Urban, Welsh acknowledged the value in Live Urban’s niche brand in the market. “We love Live Urban. We intend to let it operate in its own creative way. It has a special culture and vibe that is hard to find.”
Skrabec will stay on as Brand Manager for both companies to maintain and nurture the Live Urban brand, and strengthen the Your Castle brand. Current Employing Broker Nicole Rufener also will remain at Live Urban. White and Skrabec both will stay on as licensed brokers.
From its inception, Live Urban has been a trendsetter in real estate technology and internet presence. It has sought to do business with integrity and high standards while fostering collaboration among its agents. The company gives back in annual donations to small nonprofits chosen by a vote of its agents. It’s known for staging events like the annual Harvest Festival in the Sunnyside front yard of founder Mark White, where pumpkins are delivered by the flatbed truckload for clients just in time for Halloween. In 2013 the company staged a citywide “Race to Your Next Place” scavenger hunt with a top prize of $10,000 toward a down payment. Skrabec said the company turned away other interested buyers in favor of Your Castle and its pledge to ‘let Live be Live.’ “Mark (White) and I care deeply about our brokers and the company we built together. It was essential that we found a buyer who would understand and appreciate our place in the Denver market.”
Your Castle Real Estate has grown to become the largest independent and sixth overall largest real estate company on the Front Range, with a current network of more than 500 agents in six offices. In addition, Your Castle is the 157th largest and 5th fastest growing real estate company in the country.
Among Live Urban’s awards: #1 Small Business Workplace ( The Denver Post 2015), #1 LGBTowned company (Denver Business Journal 2016), Most Innovative Brokerage Finalist (Inman News 2011), Top 25 Residential Real Estate Brokerages (Denver Business Journal 20092016).