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The Country Air Properties Story
Country Air Properties began serving the real estate needs of Lake County in 1980. Susan Fusco founded the company to cater to upscale clients, particularly those who owned their plane and utilized the local airport. Thus, the first office was located at Lampson Field just outside of Lakeport. Later, after opening another office in downtown Lakeport, she merged the company with Burnes-Hiatt Realty, which was owned by Spence Hiatt. They incorporated Hiatt's office in Soda bay with Fusco's downtown Lakeport office in 1983, and closed the airport office. Phil Smoley was hired by them in 1984 as a new sales associate. Fusco moved to Santa Rosa in 1986, so Hiatt bought Fusco out of the business. Hiatt followed Fusco to Santa Rosa in 1989, and sold the business to Smoley in 1990, who continues to own and operate the company to this day.
Although changes have occurred with the ownership and staff over the years, there has always been one constant with the company. A commitment to offer outstanding customer service by offering superior training and accountability for it's agents. This formula has proved to be highly successful, as evidenced by the enormous market share that Country Air Properties has established, driven mainly by repeat business and word of mouth. It's hard work to give great service, but it's win-win for all involved and very much worth the effort.
Today, Country Air Properties stands alone in Lake County as the premier real estate brokerage, offering the best in customer service, agent training, and in professional accountability. Since we attract the most serious professional agents in the area, it becomes the best choice for real estate services in Lake County. Country Air Properties has sold more Lake County real estate than any other brokerage in history
The Phil Smoley Story
Phil Smoley was born in 1961 in Covina, California. He grew up in neighboring Glendora, graduating from Charter Oak High School in 1979. He attended two years at Cal Poly, Pomona.
His first attempt at operating a business came while he was still in high school: he took over a landscape maintenance company that he helped start with his cousin. Building it to over 60 accounts, he sold the business in 1982 to move to Lake County to join his parents who moved there in 1979. Getting his real estate license in 1983, he was prepared to return to his home town to begin a real estate career with his older brother when he was offered a job with the Auditor-Controllers office at the County of Lake. He elected to take the county job to see where it would lead. After a year and a half, he realized that the promotion was slow in coming and he decided to move back to Southern California to partner with his brother as originally planned. However, he was introduced to Spence Hiatt and Sue Fusco, co-owners of Country Air Properties, who convinced him he would be better off starting his career in Lake County. He went to work for them full time in the summer of 1985, and quickly became one of the company's top selling agents.
After Hiatt and Fusco moved to Sonoma County, Smoley became the manager of the two office firms in 1989. Hiatt sold out to him in 1990, and he has been directing the company ever since, helping it become the top selling real estate company in the county.
Smoley gained the Graduate of Realtor's Institute (GRI) designation in 1991, completed the courses necessary to obtain the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designation in 1996, and became a broker in 2000. He was the President of the local Association of Realtors in 1992.
Smoley's influence on the growth of Country Air is seen in it's insistence of continuing education, implementation of cutting edge technology, and high ethical standards required by every associate. By continually updating and implementing new policies and procedures, the firm has been able to keep up with and respond to changes in the market and legal fronts.
In 2004, the company was incorporated as Country Air Properties, Inc. The company moved its headquarters to a two-story building on Main Street in Lakeport where it maintains a Lakeport branch as well
Country Air Properties History Time Line
1980 - Susan Fusco starts Country Air Properties at Lampson Field Airport, Lakeport
1981 - New branch opens in Downtown Lakeport.
1983 - Spence Hiatt, owner / broker of Burnes - Hiatt Realty in Soda Bay merges with
1985 - Phil Smoley and Irene Rivas come to work as new agents. Hiatt serves as
1986 - Fusco moves to Sonoma County, Hiatt buys her out.
1989 - Hiatt moves to Sonoma County, Smoley begins to manage company.
1990 - Hiatt sells company to Smoley.
1991 - Lakeport office is moved to 995 S. Main St. making it the largest
1991 - Country Air becomes the top selling brokerage in Lakeport and Kelseyville.
1992 - Country Air buys Riviera Land & Home, closes Soda Bay office. Branches
1993 - Country Air becomes the top selling brokerage in western Lake County.
1994 - Upper Lake and Middletown branches closed.
1995 - Property Management Department unveiled. Country Air buys Bill Johns Realty
1996 - "Seller Guarantee" is announced, insuring superior customer service. Country Air Properties
2000 - Country Air Properties buys North Shore Realty in Lucerne, becoming it's fourth office.
2001 - Country Air Properties is recognized as the top selling Lake County brokerage over
2002 - Irene Rivas recognized in April's "California Real Estate" with a full page spread.
2003 - Gena Smoley serves as president of the Lake County Association of Realtors.
2004 - Tom Pelandini named Director of Operations to assist the company to maximize
2005 - The Clearlake Real Estate Center opened, adding the sixth branch office and reaching
2006 - The Middletown branch is relocated to a historic Victorian building at the south
2007 - Tom Pelandini elected President of the Lake County Association of Realtors.
2008 - Tom Pelandini voted Agent of the Year by the Lake County Association of Realtors.
2009 - Country Air Properties again hosts a Summer Intern Program in cooperation with
2010 - The company's booth at the Lake County Fair experienced more foot traffic than past years
2011 - Country Air Properties brokered both sides of one of the largest sales of the year,
2012 - Ray Perry is elected President of the Lake County Association of Realtors. The company's