Red Oak Realty, two offices and 75+ agents strong, is the largest independent real estate company in our market area. We had our humble beginnings in a converted garage off Solano Avenue, at 844-A Ramona Avenue, Albany, in the winter of 1976. The bi-centennial was upon us. Gerald Ford was president. And on January 2, when we opened our doors, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at a dizzying 858.
The young company's enthusiasm, energy, and customer-oriented philosophy quickly attracted new agents, and the converted garage soon became too small. We moved to our present location at 1891 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, in 1979, keeping the Ramona office for several more years as a training center for new agents.
Many of our current agents were part of Red Oak's early years: Kathy Nitsan, 1979; Marsha Quick, 1976 (wife of co-founder Dale); Laurie Capitelli, 1980; and Arlene Leonoff, 1978, among others.
Much has changed since our opening in 1976. In November of 2002, we opened our Oakland office at Pleasant Valley Avenue and Broadway in order to better serve our south Berkeley and Oakland customers.
For many years, the San Francisco Business Times has included us in its list of the most productive 25 companies in the five county Bay Area, regardless of size or number of offices. We were proud to be voted Best Real Estate Company by readers of the Hill's Newspaper group. We have a strong and proactive administrative staff to enable our agents to do their best work for their clients. And our offices today have state of the art technology which simply could not have been imagined when we began.
But some things have not changed. We have always kept close ties to our community. Throughout the years, our Red Oak Opportunity Foundation (ROOF), now a 501(c)3 nonprofit charitable organization, has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to deserving local community groups which do not receive major funding from other sources. Despite being approached by nearly every major franchise and chain operation, we remain stubbornly independent. We believe real estate is a local business. We retain our original commitment to our clients, whose interests we have always put before our own. We are still locally owned and operated by 3 of the original founders. What this means to you, the buying and selling public, is the difference between talking to an owner and talking to a manager. All of our agents, as well as our customers, have a direct line to the owners, who have a personal interest in your satisfaction and the reputation of the company.
Our agents are carefully selected. We take pride in having a strong staff of dedicated, intelligent, hard-working professionals, who know the East Bay and real estate inside and out. We present our mission and values and vision to you, so that you know what we believe in and what we strive for.
We thank the thousands of people in our community who have supported us for over a quarter of a century. When Red Oak Realty represents you in one of the most important events of your life, we work very hard to earn your trust. Regardless of which of our agents you choose to represent you, we promise you the same personal attention that helped us grow.