Ask anyone who works in real estate how the housing market is going, and you may hear words like: “insane,” or “record breaking.” When interest rates dropped below three percent in 2020, high buyer demand and low inventory sparked a remarkable surge in home values. In the past year, the median price for Coachella Valley detached homes increased by 22 percent, with some cities reaching closer to 30 percent. With several industries transforming to remote work, the Coachella Valley saw a rapid growth of homebuyers attracted to the desert’s reasonable cost of living and picturesque scenery. One of the desert’s top real estate agencies, Leaskou Partners Inc., spearheaded by CEO Benjamin Leaskou, recently expanded to El Paseo in Palm Desert to meet the high demand of buyers in the central and eastern part of the Coachella Valley.

Real estate entrepreneur Benjamin Leaskou is familiar with the desire to relocate from the hustle and bustle of busy cities to the tranquility of the desert. After living 26 years in the Bay area, Benjamin decided to relocate permanently to his vacation home in Palm Springs to enjoy the year-round sun and better quality of life. In 2013, he founded a boutique real estate firm, Leaskou Partners Inc., with seven agents. The firm quickly expanded and opened a high desert office in Yucca Valley managed by top agent Stacey Nounnan. In 2019, BHG / Leaskou Partners Inc. was invited to partner with Adam Gilbert and The Firm Commercial to service land and commercial developments in the valley. After rapid success and recognition, including closing over $1 billion in real estate sales, Leaskou Partners Inc. teamed up with nationally acclaimed partner: Better Homes and Gardens. As a franchisee of Better Homes and Gardens (BHG) Real Estate, BHG / Leaskou Partners Inc. offers a national and global reach that is unsurpassed, including cutting-edge digital resources, marketing tools, and an expansive book of both commercial and residential buyers. This year, the company also expanded into the vacation rental market with Desert Lifestyle Vacation Homes.

While BHG / Leaskou Partners Inc. dominated the Palm Springs real estate market, CEO Benjamin Leaskou realized the firm needed a strong presence in the central and eastern part of the Valley. His vision to eventually expand to the upscale El Paseo shopping district came to fruition in January 2021 when BHG / Desert Lifestyle Properties was born. Stephanie Zinn, long-time realtor and past Young Professionals Network President, was chosen as the Palm Desert office manager and brings a wealth of experience. The company’s newest office is located at 73260 El Paseo Drive, Suite 3A. Just look for the pink rug in the window. You can also follow the smell of delicious Mexican food emanating from Armando’s Dakota Bar & Grill, and you’ll find their real estate office right next door. Fur babies are also welcomed with a cool bowl of water and dog treats.


While El Paseo is prime real estate for BHG / Desert Lifestyle Properties’ new office, the technology, marketing tools, and top-notch talent are the same regardless of which office you visit. Eventually Benjamin will remove his last name from the company and all the residential real estate offices will fall under the same name: Better Homes and Gardens / Desert Lifestyle Properties.

If you would like a tour of our new El Paseo office or have questions regarding our current real estate market, please give me a call (760) 880-3848.

Craig Michaels

Luxury & Vacation Home Specialist

BHG / Desert Lifestyle properties


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