Name: Michael Baynes
Title: Executive partner, co-owner
Experience: 33 years in real estate in three major markets: London, California, France
Location: Southwest France
Brokerage name: Maxwell-Baynes
Rankings: No. 1 sales of luxury real estate and vineyards in the Bordeaux, France, region
Team size: 45
Sales volume: €6.4 million for financial year 2023 (as of Mar. 31)
Awards: CIRE Affiliate of the Year 2018
What’s something you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
The considerable influence that a broker can have over a transaction. I think I underestimated how significant the role of the broker is in holding a transaction together and getting a buyer and seller across the finish line professionally
Tell us about a high point in your brokerage career. How did you get there?
Selling a world-famous vineyard estate in Saint Emilion for €55 million. It was an extremely complex M&A transaction that took patience, leadership and perseverance.
Tell us about an epic fail you’ve experienced.
I did a subtle but identifiable (I thought it would be unrecognizable) advertisement for an impressive vineyard estate that inadvertently exposed it to the market and deeply upset the owners in my first year coming to Bordeaux in 2008. Coming from the U.S., I underestimated the importance of wine/vineyard business confidentiality. It was a tough but important lesson that has made me excessively sensitive since.
Name 3 people you admire.
1. My business partner Karin Maxwell: Her energy, willingness to learn and her ability to be a great business partner
2. Simon Sinek: For making wisdom so accessible and his relentless pursuit of optimism
3. Siya Kalisi: Persisting against all the odds: rising from the South African slums to being captain of the rugby world cup winning side.
What makes a good leader?
1. Putting the needs of others first
2. Transparency with information and communications
3. Being a good listener
4. Taking responsibility
5. Being willing to take risks while keeping your team secure