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Those who study history may be condemned to teach it, but those in real estate often willfully ignore it—or at least, remember only the latest gravitational shift. That took place around 2008, and even as the market recovers, it's not been forgotten, Keller Williams Commercial managing director Michael Armanious tells us.
Michael Armanious at the Seattle Yacht Club
Here's Michael, whom we found at a recent CCIM marketing session. The last time the market recovered from a disturbance, it was the same way, he says. "You look at 2003-07, it was off the hook—nobody remembered anything," he says. (Apparently "dot-com bubble" had been temporarily expunged from the dictionary.) Since then, both buyers and lenders have shied away from making heavy commitments, and Michael's sense is that leasing is still the preferred option.
That being said, Michael seemed cautiously optimistic that both lenders and buyers were coming unfrozen a bit. Banks, so tight for the past few years, are beginning to get softer (can't hold a grudge forever), and people are likewise beginning to buy, or at least lease. "That's good for everybody," Michael says. "It's good for the housing market, it's good for banks. It's creating more jobs, getting us out of the funk we're in." (See more in the video above.)
The movie poster for Casino, starrng Robert De Niro.
Fun fact: Michael was born and raised in New Jersey and came to Washington via California after being accepted to USC's film program. (Michael?s favorite movies: true to his origins, he loves Goodfellas, Casino, and The Godfather: Part II.) He also loves working for Keller Williams, which he calls the Mercedes of companies. "You get into a Kia, and it's just not the same!"