By Joanna Kresge on September 28 2016
Lennox Scott still remembers his childhood strolling around downtown Seattle with his grandfather who had a professional relationship with virtually every passerby. He can recall spending his summers painting signs for his father’s company starting when he was just 10 years old. And he remembers the day 16 years later when he became the CEO of John L. Scott Real Estate.
The company was founded by Scott’s grandfather, John L. Scott, in 1931, soon after the eldest Scott arrived in the United States from Scotland. The first office was located in downtown Seattle but soon expanded throughout the state, to include the first Bellevue office in the early 1950s, and later in the 1980s the company re-positioned their headquarters to Bellevue.
Today John L. Scott Real Estate, led by the youngest Scott, is celebrating 85 years of serving clients in the Pacific Northwest. Scott oversees 110 offices in four states – including northern California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington – employing more than 3,000 broker associates and completing close to 37,000 home transactions in 2015 alone.
“To reach 85 years, it really is all about your team members,” Scott said of his family’s success in business. “Our broker associates, our support team, and our leadership team; their spirit is what has carried the company to the 85th anniversary, (especially with) all the ups and downs of the economy and the marketplace.”
While Scott has modernized the company through the use of smartphone applications and digital key locks, he said the company maintains the values instilled by his grandfather at the inception of the company.
“It all just comes down to one client at a time, each individual buyer, or each individual seller,” he said. “Our industry has always been all about personalized service, being the advocate for our client, and transnational excellence.”
After three generations of his family at the helm, Scott is excited that his daughter Savannah – a business and economics major at Seattle University – is showing interest in the company through participation in a company internship. Meanwhile, Scott’s eldest daughter Stephanie, a local artist, supplies each of the company’s offices with her original artwork.
Further family involvement isn’t Scott’s only hope for the future; he has set a 5-year goal to refocus on more locations in Seattle proper while working slowly, yet steadily on loftier long-term goals that include further permeation into northern California over the next 10 to 15 years.
“We believe in controlled growth,” Scott said. “It is all about finding the right individuals to carry us forward, so that will dictate our growth.”
One thing is clear, Scott intends to continue his family legacy for many years to come.
“We are appreciating the past and we are looking forward to our 100th anniversary in the year 2031,” he said.