The Platinum way: A personal approach with a family feel

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The difference is family. Platinum Real Estate takes a different approach to the business of real estate, and it starts from within. Find out how this top team can help you get moving. (Photography: Felicia Vargo)

By Patricia Nugent

According to the Harvard Business Review, in recent years a body of research has revealed that nonhomogeneous teams are smarter and more productive.

Take the enthusiastic group at Platinum Luxury Experts and The Neighborhood Experts at Platinum Real Estate. Coming from different ages and stages in life, with different backgrounds and levels of experience, this team operates with a high level of collaboration.

“Our clients benefit from some intense strategizing that’s richer thanks to the coming together of diverse outlooks and approaches,” says Denise Zervos, who, along with her husband, Mark, owns the company and mentors the specific teams.

Unlike most national franchises, the folks behind Denise (pictured) and Mark Zervos’ and Steve Sears’ Platinum Real Estate forged a different sort of model. They give agents the power to manage their own business, and the choice to spend their ad dollars however they best see fit.

Meet the Team

  • Benjamin Bindokas – As a local firefighter and paramedic for the past 17 years, Ben oversees the Heroes Program, which gives cash rebates to police officers, firefighters, EMTs, teachers and many other civil servants and military. He’s a strong negotiator and detail oriented. His favorite pastime is spending time with family.
  • Jared Bush – Over the past seven years, Jared has grown into the role of Chief Technology Guru. Jared implements systems to help support and grow the marketing department with the latest and greatest. He loves problem solving and in his spare time enjoys reading.
  • Jim Ferritto – With a background in advertising sales and marketing, Jim brings a unique promotional perspective. When not at work, he enjoys going to Cleveland sports events and travelling with his wife and daughter.

  • Nicole Joeright – This self-described people person has owned a salon and spa in Willoughby for 25 years and made lots of lasting relationships. She excels at coming up with the best fit of person to home and enjoys the family atmosphere here. Nicole’s favorite leisure time activities include boating and golfing.
  • Nycole Kostelac – Team support is one of the reasons she loves her job. A specialty area for Nycole is the rent-to-own program to help folks find the right place. When she’s not at work, you’ll find her spectating at her kids’ volleyball games. She’s an asset and motivated partner.
  • Erin Paglio – With 20 years of sales experience, she’s been a lifeline to her clients and team members as an agent with both the Neighborhood Experts and Luxury divisions. She loves anything to do with homes, from staging to décor, and excels at helping relate the finer points of a home’s story. Erin adores reading, shopping and sun-worshipping.
  • Lily Maharg – Starting out in a support position over a year ago, Lily fell in love with the business and became a Realtor soon after. She says she realizes buying a home is one of the biggest decisions people will ever make and credits Mark and Denise with mentoring her. Her pastimes include reading and travel.
  • Andrew Niebuhr - Platinum’s director of sales and marketing says he was drawn to the company by its passion for excellence in each aspect of the customer experience. “Platinum agents are equipped with the most impactful marketing tools and approaches, delivering the smoothest transactions—more money—in less time for our clients,” he adds.
  • Maria Smialek – For the past six months, she’s been working as the newest marketing department member to produce visuals, upload videos and oversee social media. What she likes best about Platinum is the “family-like” atmosphere of caring. Outside of work life, Maria enjoys exploring new places and local restaurants.
  • Ryan Tuley – Guiding people through the often-emotional process of buying or selling a home is something he enjoys. Over the past year-and-a-half, he’s enjoyed learning from the Zervoses and their faith-based principals. Based in Strongsville, his clients love the tenacity he brings to real estate and the enjoyment he sparks in our Northeast Ohio hometown neighborhoods.

Natural-Born Mentors
Unlike most national franchises, the partners behind Platinum forged a different sort of model. They give agents the power to manage their own deals, and the choice to spend their ad dollars however they best see fit.

Denise and Mark are natural-born leaders. She says they do things from an agent-centric perspective, allowing agents to truly become the creators of their own careers in real estate.

Where Luxury and Flexibility Meet
Since opening Platinum Business Spaces on the third floor of the new Platinum Center last year, they have rented nearly all of them and report the concept has been a smashing success with the local market.

“We’ve welcomed an eclectic and diverse group of professionals,” says Denise. “People enjoy using the high-tech conference rooms and functional common areas, as well as our ongoing events. They appreciate the flexibility we offer, as well as the opportunity to network and collaborate with other like-minded business owners.”

Tenants also say they love the convenience of 24/7 access, the amply stocked gourmet café, office furniture and a copy center that are included in the rent.

Currently there are a few suites left available to rent from a single to a 6 desk private office. Denise mentions they are offering a free month’s rent to anyone who signs a year lease. If interested, call Steve Sears at 440-415-3017 or Denise at 216-440-9089.

Platinum Center headquarters is located at 7200 Center Street in Mentor. Platinum Real Estate has offices in Northeast Ohio, Columbus and Florida. To get more information, call 216-990-2100 or 440-974-SALE and visit

Categories: Professional Services