An art collector and former VP of business development for three successful Internet startups, Payton Stiewe revels in packaging homes so that they communicate to a particular buyer. For sellers, that often means a pre-sale home makeover—and must-see open houses.
Whether it’s throwing a barbecue for brokers or folding a listing into an architect association’s tour of the city, Payton is known for presenting homes in unique and sometimes unexpected ways. He partners with the best—from interior decorators to painters and florists—and will even knock down a few walls to get a house ready for sale. “I’m a big believer that if you package something well, you’ll get a higher price for it,” he says.
As a result, Payton+Binnings’ open houses have a reputation among brokers as not-to-be-missed events. For Payton, packaging a house—prepping it, staging it, and creatively getting the word out about it—is as much about understanding people as it is about understanding the market. “One of the critical steps in packaging a house is communicating to a particular buyer’s profile,” explains Payton. “Buyers have to feel enticed to come to the house, spend time at the house, and envision themselves living in the house.”
Payton, who was raised in Germany before relocating to the U.S., started his career as a Realtor representing Sotheby’s International Real Estate in 2002 after helping launch three successful high-tech startups. As a business development strategist and general manager for When.com, Evite.com, and Expertcity (GoToMyPC.com), Payton sharpened his innate sales, marketing, and negotiation skills.
Today, Payton and his wife, Bettina, are active members of the Headlands Center for the Arts, and Payton is on the American Institute of Architects committee for selecting homes for its annual AIA tour of San Francisco and Marin. Passionate about improving education in the U.S., Payton is also a Marin Montessori Trustee. “I know what it’s like to be young and single, then married, and then married with kids, so I can personally relate to my clients’ real estate needs from experience—no matter what their demographic.”