Coldwell Banker West merges with Ascent Real Estate to create one of San Diego’s largest brokerages: 15 offices, 1,000 sales agents, $2.5 billion annual sales volume

Peter Mendiola and Penny Nathan

Coldwell Banker West (CBW), one of San Diego County’s largest real estate brokerages with East County offices located in El Cajon and La Mesa, has announced a merger with San Diego-based Ascent Real Estate. The merger was jointly announced by Peter Mendiola, CBW president, and Penny Nathan, president/CEO of Ascent, who will become a partner of CBW. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The merger is believed to be one of the largest in recent San Diego real estate industry history, according to Mendiola.

The combined brokerage, to be called Coldwell Banker West, with 15 offices and nearly 1,000 sales agents, becomes one of the largest real estate companies in all of San Diego County.

The newly expanded CBW is expected to represent annual property sale volume exceeding $2.5 billion. CBW officials said sales volume in 2018 reached about $1.5 billion for CBW and about $850 million for Ascent.

“This merger creates an even larger powerhouse for Coldwell Banker, the most dominant brand for real estate in San Diego County,” said Mendiola. “We are very excited that, with this merger, CBW will continue to provide the personal and local support that agents and their clients demand, while providing the resources afforded to a powerful, nationwide brand with a massive local presence. We are committed to ensuring that all homebuyers and sellers receive the best service imaginable and our agents are afforded every opportunity to maximize their business potential.”

Ascent Real Estate, a privately held firm established by Nathan in 2005, previously operated nine offices and has nearly 150 agents. Since its opening, the company has experienced significant organic and inorganic growth. Ascent operated offices in La Jolla, Coronado, University City, Bankers Hill, Kensington, Mission Hills, North Park, Point Loma Village and Liberty Station. With the merger, CBW plans to continue to operate and enhance support at these locations.

CBW, founded in 2007, operates six offices with more than 800 agents. CBW offices are located in Downtown San Diego, Chula Vista, Eastlake in Chula Vista, La Mesa and Fletcher Hills and Granite Hills in El Cajon.

“Peter has been pursuing a merger with Ascent for a number of years,” said Nathan. “I believe the stars have aligned for Ascent to go above-and-beyond for their clients by adding the powerful Coldwell Banker brand and iconic North Star logo. The time is right for our company and our agents to take the next step in their careers because our industry is undergoing dynamic changes. In the future, larger and stronger brokerages will be in a better position to serve top-selling, productive agents and their clients.

“It starts at the top and Peter Mendiola has created a dynamic, full-service family of companies that will assist our agents and their clients with real estate, mortgage, escrow and title needs. This forward-thinking mindset and available training, support and collaboration are unbelievable. Plus, the team spirit, energy and camaraderie with Coldwell Banker West are contagious. My executive team believes that Coldwell Banker West is the best choice for a reputable, proven and ethical leader that cares about both agents and clients and high standards of professional practice in our industry.”

Nathan, with two decades of experience in real estate, is a frequent motivational speaker for a real estate industry events and an originating member of “Woman Up,” an annual conference presented by the California Association of Realtors (CAR). The conference is designed to connect women brokers with mentors and help attendees identify tools and develop skills to build their career. She’s also a board member with Real Estate Business Services, Inc., a subsidiary of CAR that provides real estate products and services to practitioners. As a cancer survivor, she also is an advocate and supporter for cancer research organizations. She also co-authored a book, “Before Hitting Send,” with a colleague to help real estate agents develop writing skills to make them more effective communicators.

According to Mendiola, “Our two companies have very similar corporate cultures. Penny absolutely loves her people. She considers her agents family members. We speak the same language. Despite operating large companies, we both feel we still run family-owned companies that care about our entire teams, which we do! We both care deeply about our people. I can’t differentiate between family time and work anymore. We’re really excited to welcome Ascent Real Estate and their team to the Coldwell Banker West family.”

CBW has been one of the nation’s fastest growing Coldwell Banker franchises with steady growth in recent years. In 2017, CBW acquired Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate McMillin Realty, a brokerage that had operated in San Diego since the early 1970s. In 2017, CBW opened a second El Cajon office in Fletcher Hills at 2382 Fletcher Parkway. In 2018, CBW opened a new Downtown San Diego office, in the heart of the Marina District, at 620 1st Ave., as well as at 9555 Grossmont Summit Drive in La Mesa. Its new 13,000-square-foot, two-story office in La Mesa was previously occupied by Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties. For more information about Coldwell Banker West, visit