From left to right – Stephen Schuil, Rick Schuil, Doug Phillips, Scott Schuil. Photo contributed
Written by Edward Smith
A Visalia-based real estate brokerage has a new president — the first non-family member to helm the company after nearly 40 years of family leadership.
Brothers Marc, Rick and Mike Schuil are still involved at Schuil and Associates, but they have announced Doug Phillips as president of the real estate business with an ag focus.
The goal of the three brothers has been to steer the company into the future. They started the business with their father in 1983.
Phillips said growing up on a family farm taught him about running a family business. He said the decision to hand over the reins of the business was not easily made by the Schuil family.
“I’m humbled by the trust the family has given me, and not just the Schuil family, but the trust the other shareholders have given me,” Phillips said.
In 2020, the Schuil brothers restructured the business to include as owners Phillips, Arnel Koster, Phil Heynen and Jonathan Verhoeven, as well as Mike’s two sons, Stephen and Scott. Stephen is the managing broker for the company.
While Marc says many aspects of the real estate business remained the same over the years, others have changed. Part of the company’s five- and ten-year plans include those shifts. They hired an in-house marketing consultant to make sure their clients are finding the properties they’re looking for and getting their properties exposed to the right people.
Additionally, the needs of growers have changed. When Marc was young, he said a farmer could thrive on 40 acres of land. That has changed. For owner-operators, much of their needs include adding packing and logistics to their operations. Increasingly, institutional investors such as credit unions and pension funds have entered the agricultural real estate marketplace.
Running an ag business requires staying on the forefront.
“I’m certainly very aware of that and definitely look forward to taking what I’ve been given and marching forward with it,” Phillips said.