Ron Wynn, Steve Sawaii & Fiora Aston of Wynn Sawaii Aston (WSA), Coldwell Banker Previews, Santa Monica
As told to Wendy Bowman | Photography Courtesy of Paul Jonason
If you were to tally up time spent in the residential real estate industry by seasoned agents Ron Wynn, Steve Sawaii and Fiora Aston of WSA-Coldwell Banker, Santa Monica, you would have a combined total of 100 years. Add to that their constant collaboration and expert research skills—not to mention the support of Coldwell Banker’s vast network of resources—and you have a team that is ready and able to provide their clients with the most accurate information available when it comes to making the proper decisions about buying and selling a luxury home on the Westside.
“We are confident that our brand—WSA and Coldwell Banker Previews—provides our clients with the most superior representation without exception,” says Aston.
And that’s proven: These respected and savvy partners are consistently ranked in the top 1 percent nationwide as part of Coldwell Banker’s Elite designation known as Society of Excellence, and among the company’s top-100 producing agents in Southern California. The Wall Street Journal also has named them among the top 100 agents in California. Here, the esteemed trio speaks with DIGS about working together, the Westside luxury market and more.
What circumstances prompted you to work together at WSA-Coldwell Banker?
Fiora: In 2011, I was approached by Steve and Ron asking if I would like to form a partnership with them. At first it came as a big shock. All three of us had been in the business for a long time, all top producers of the company. Ron and Steve are icons in the business, and I always had a lot of respect for them. Following our invigorating meeting, I had one sleepless night and then woke up in the morning and knew this was a perfect opportunity. During the past few years, we have all gained so much from each other. We complement each other immensely. Each of us has our own unique strengths. I am very creative and artistic, particularly when it comes to marketing. We are fortunate to have our own boutique private office across the street from Coldwell Banker’s Montana Avenue office.
Steve: I had the opportunity to partner with a major real estate company on the Westside. However, when I was approached at the same time by one of the top producers in the country—Ron Wynn—I knew we would have something very special. The three of us have been able to collaborate on many issues and have created an amazing brand within the Coldwell Banker brand.
Ron: For years, the three of us have collaborated to the benefit of our clients, always believing that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We mutually agreed to give this marriage a try, and the honeymoon has been going on for years. It is the best thing we have ever done, for ourselves and for our clients.
As a team, what is your collective mission at WSA?
Fiora: Throughout the years, we each have built a reputation for excellence in service and integrity. By joining forces, we were confident that our combined efforts would ultimately create more fruitful results for our clients. That is summed up in our mission statement: “Solutions by Collaboration.” Our mission is to serve our clients as their trusted advisers, committed to the highest standards of integrity, confidentiality, performance and accountability.
Ron: Our goal is to provide the best service, marketing and networking, implementing the finest strategies for our buyers and sellers to achieve their goals, all while actively participating in our local community on a daily basis. We are all about community.
What areas of Los Angeles are your individual areas of specialization?
Ron: Each of us has worked all over the Westside. Many of my sales are in Brentwood and Santa Monica, but I’m in Cheviot Hills, Westwood, Mar Vista and Beverlywood as well. I guess you’d say I’m everywhere!
Steve: From Beverly Hills to Santa Monica and from Malibu to Westchester.
Fiora: I go wherever my clients look for my guidance.
What are the main changes in the Westside luxury market, and where do you see it headed?
Steve: The biggest changes we have seen are with the cities’ restrictions on growth and over-building. However, with the beautiful climate conditions and cultural diversity, this coastal town has been, and will continue to be, one of the most desirable locations to live and work.
How do your individual attributes make for a distinctly unique, and top-producing, team that stands apart from other real estate agents?
Fiora: We have a complete understanding of the Westside, constantly monitoring inventory and conducting research to best serve our clients in a changing and challenging market. As a Previews area director, I bring to the partnership the latest micro and macro market information.
Steve: I have always been, and remain, totally hands on at all times. I attend every inspection and personally host open houses almost every Sunday.
Ron: Each of us is different in our approach and in our personal lives. We complement each other in an almost magical way. I am a great negotiator. My passion is to work with attorneys and business managers, with whom I have immediate chemistry.
What does being the ultimate luxury real estate broker mean to your team?
Ron: We don’t think there is such a thing as the ultimate luxury real estate broker. Understanding our clients and their goals is a function of good listening, knowledge, excellent skills and technology. All three of us are blessed with a superb network of loyal and diverse high-net-worth clients.
What does it mean to your clients?
Ron: Before even meeting us, our clients look to our combined 100 years of success and testimonials from friends and colleagues as the ground from where to start. Our WSA and Coldwell Banker Previews platform consistently supports our solid foundation characterized by integrity for decades, with thousands of satisfied past sellers and buyers as proof.
Steve: My clients know that I will go above and beyond for them. I am happy to help them with any problem that may arise during the process of selling and buying a home. They know I will always help them find a solution.
Please describe your philanthropic involvements in the community.
Fiora: I have been involved with Team In Training for many years. It is an amazing organization that helps train you for triathlons, while saving the lives of people with leukemia and lymphoma. WSA has also been active in the fight against crime in Santa Monica. I also donate funds to Westside Children’s Center, another unique organization that serves the needs of children and their families in L.A.
Steve: One of my philanthropic involvements is with Lighthouse Medical Missions’ Walk to Africa. We raise funds to send teams of doctors with medical supplies to the families in need in Africa, as well as to other underdeveloped countries.
Ron: We all believe in giving back. We support many local, national and international charities, including participating in more than 30 local school fundraisers every year. We often donate a portion of our commission to the charity of our client’s choice.
“Our mission is to serve our clients as their trusted advisers, committed to the highest standards of integrity, confidentiality, performance and accountability.” —WSA Team
As a trio, what do you see in the future of WSA, and how will you play a part?
Ron: WSA is a brand within a brand. No other team can offer the services that WSA can provide. Each of us brings our own special qualities to the brand, giving a complete spectrum of benefits to our clients.
Fiora: We plan to keep collaborating, helping many clients and having an outstanding outcome as always.
Steve: I see us growing as a team and in our ability to help people achieve their dreams.