I always say that real estate supports my true loves—the
arts and the community. I majored in music at Arizona State
University, intending to be a high school choral director, but
I married my childhood sweetheart, Orville (pictured with
Erlenbush above, left), before I graduated. We lived in a small
community in eastern Montana, where he was a banker. I
started working for a title company and quickly learned I
was not a person who should be behind a desk typing up title
policies. I’m too much of a performer for that. I became licensed
in 1980, and we moved to Bozeman a year later when Orville
was transferred. I joined ERA Landmark in 1982, worked my
way up to managing broker, and bought the business in 1990.
At that time the company had one office and 15 people. While
I was a good salesperson, I discovered I was even better at
nurturing and developing other people. I made the decision to
be a noncompeting broker. Any leads I get go back to the firm.
Not competing with my agents allows me to use my creativity
and business acumen to grow the company and have some life
balance with my family.
Community Give-back Is Essential
My mother has always been a big believer in giving back to the
community. It’s part of my DNA, and it’s part of my company’s
DNA. One of the first things we did as a company, in 1984, was
to establish the ERA Landmark Christmas Fund, which donates
money to local charities. For a while, we sold Christmas trees
in our parking lot; now we dedicate a portion of each closing to
the fund. For the past three years, we’ve also put on an old-
fashioned carnival to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy
Association, the ERA corporate charity (volunteer team above,
right). We did a survey in 2012, and one of the top reasons our
agents like our company is the community involvement. It’s a
fun atmosphere because we have a common cause. We all look
first at solving someone’s need. The money is a byproduct.
Downtown Visitors Center
In 2004 we opened a 2,000-square-foot visitors center and
real estate showcase on our historic Main Street. On one side
is a full-service branded ERA satellite office where agents work
in rotating two-hour shifts. On the other, we provide a full-time
concierge as well as Bozeman information and merchandise.
No agents are permanently housed in the center. They rotate
in two-hour shifts from our main office. Our agents have found
it’s a great way to give someone who’s visiting a little glimpse of
what Bozeman is like. The conversation inevitably turns to real
estate, perhaps vacation rentals or retirement homes. Everyone
who comes here wants to figure out a way to get back. Local
people come to us because they know we support their organizations. We feature an artist of the month and offer nonprofits
reception space for 200 people. Originally it was difficult to
find a tangible return for the center. But the true measure has
been the conversion rate of walk-in leads, which has more than
doubled since we opened.
By Pamela Dittmer McKuen
Robyn Erlenbush CRB, CRS, GREEN, GRI
She earned her real estate license in 1980 and became
broker-owner of ERA Landmark Real Estate, in Bozeman,
Mont., a decade later. She has since expanded her company
to four offices with a strong emphasis on philanthropy.
Number of offices:
3 residential, 1 commercial
Number of sales associates: 51 residential, 7 commercial
2013: $277 million gross sales on 1,011 transaction sides
2012: $216 million gross sales on 919 transaction sides
Pillar of Community Strength
Giving back is a hallmark of Robyn Erlenbush’s prosperous company.