Carmen & Peter Gray | Carmen Gray + Partners 

Carmen Gray Team and The Elite Club at Vintage Sotheby’s International Realty

Carmen Gray stands at the forefront of luxury residential real estate in Northern California, leading the esteemed Carmen Gray Team with charisma and vision. Alongside her husband, Peter Gray, Carmen also holds the role of Managing Partner at The Elite Club, the Commercial Real Estate division of Vintage Sotheby’s International Realty nestled in the heart of Napa Valley and Solano County.

Together, Carmen and Peter have cultivated a culture of trust and collaboration within The Elite Club, providing a platform for high-performing agents to unite and address the diverse needs of their clients across the entire spectrum of real estate. Their dedication to fostering a supportive environment has attracted like-minded professionals, resulting in the expansion of their brand throughout Northern California and beyond.

While Carmen and Peter excel in all facets of real estate, they have a particular affinity for representing properties within the wine industry. The intricacies of this niche market, blending luxury residential, commercial, and agricultural elements, perfectly align with their expertise and passion.

Carmen’s journey into real estate began seven years ago, following a successful career in pharmaceutical and medical device sales and sales management. Peter brings over two decades of executive consulting experience, specializing in Chief Operating Officer services. In addition, he co-founded a medical device company thirteen years ago, showcasing his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen.

With their combined expertise, Carmen and Peter Gray continue to redefine the real estate landscape, delivering exceptional results and unparalleled service to their clients while leaving an indelible mark on the industry they love.

Tell our readers about yourself ; especially any parts that we don’t have the pleasure of already knowing from your online presence.

CG: Commercial Real Estate (CRE) has long been seen as the domain of men only. Frankly, this is extremely outdated. Women are just as smart and driven, and (for the most part) far better at building and maintaining relationships, and this is what is truly needed to serve clients over the long term.

Outside of the large public brands/firms, the CRE field is often like the wild west – few standards and limited discipline. I set out to change this for the better.

We are building a brand and business based upon excellence of service, collaboration, and long-term relationships – both with our clients and our growing community of real estate partners (agents/brokers).

When diving into the CRE industry, I was told that in order to be successful I HAD to select one narrow area of specialization, and to forever stick to that. Ha! That is a recipe to end up being the victim of an ever-changing economy. If your one narrow sector is negatively impacted by something, then you could be frozen out of the ability to generate an income for years through no fault of your own. No thanks.

So my husband and I just went out and worked harder, and ensured that we mastered all the different specialty segments of CRE. We represent sellers as well as buyers. We represent landlords as well as tenants. We now work for and partner with developers – from small projects to massive ones.

We have handled properties the length of California, from northern Mendocino County to Los Angeles. We have handled small commercial properties from a few hundred thousand dollars in value to large vineyard estates at $15M and hospitality properties at $30+M.

One of our passions is the Wine Industry. Multiple segments of expertise come together in the wine industry, which is well established here in Northern California. Wineries and Vineyard Estates represent a fascinating overlap of luxury real estate with commercial real estate and farming and with business (branding; marketing; sales) of a luxury consumer product. A fascinating mix of four different segments, focused upon driving business performance and lifestyle.

We have started in Northern California – Napa and Solano Counties, and we are steadily expanding our presence into Sonoma County, the Sacramento foothills, Carmel/Monterey, and Paso Robles.

Walk us through your journey into entrepreneurship ; did you always know you would become a business owner? 

CG: As the daughter (and first born) of immigrants, I have always been driven. I started actively earning money at the age of 8 years old. I put myself through college. I enjoyed being a top performer in my sales career and mastered marketing in addition to sales – this allowed me to start taking control of and enjoying my lifestyle. Once I found the right long-term partner in life, for me, I started taking more professional risks and moved into sales management, where I also excelled repeatedly. At this point, the next step was to launch into business for myself, and Commercial Real Estate was the clear opportunity that called to me. Why? The challenge, the variety, the deal sizes and the complexity, and the ability to generate long-term wealth for clients. I love creating lifelong clients where we enjoy working with each other on every deal!

PG: I have always had the entrepreneurial urge inside me. I started working before 10 years old on farms in the South West of the UK. I then spent my early career in corporate life just seeking to acquire skills and the experiences necessary to make well-informed business choices later in life. I then moved to North America to immerse myself in the best business environment in the world, and eventually ended up in San Francisco as an executive consultant providing Chief Operating Officer services to growing businesses.

This grounding in business leadership has proven vital in understanding the business needs of clients with regards to their commercial and residential real estate investments and leases. It has also led me to be able to conduct business mergers & acquisitions for clients too.

What advice would you give to your youngest self?

Take a deep breath; life is going to be an adventure. Reflect on the positive each day, for it will be a gift that brings fresh promises and opportunities. Take the road that is offered in business, even if you get off at the next exit, because that short distance will teach you a lot. Focus on your strengths and understand that those strengths are your superpower. Believe in yourself always.

What brought you into luxury real estate? What brought you to Sotheby’s specifically?

After we had built the foundation of our business in Commercial Real Estate, several of our clients asked us to expand into the luxury residential sector too, so we could handle their residential needs as well – they did not want to have to go out and find a new agent for this. They knew us, liked us, and trusted us.

Sotheby’s is the pinnacle luxury brand in the real estate sector, all stemming from the longstanding history of the original auction house. It has an international reach and credibility that is unparalleled. Highly successful people know luxury, and so, whether they are buying or selling, they know and trust Sotheby’s and the discretion and confidentiality of its real estate professionals.

How do you find inner balance in the midst of chaos?

I expect turbulence in life, and I try to find the positive instead of focusing on the negative for too long. I don’t need to shut out all the noise to find inner peace; I focus on my personal faith. I visualize my happy place, which usually takes me to the beach in Carmel … one of my many happy places. 

I love taking short trips away with my husband, focusing on wellness, family, and spending time with my close circle of girlfriends (we go back 20+ years together). I love beautiful things and even started my own practice of Zen and the Art of Fancy Chicken raising – I only have a few, but they are a hoot, and having fresh eggs every morning is the best thing!

What is your daily routine schedule to set yourself up for a successful day? 

I wake up naturally cheerful (as long as no one talks to me for the first 15 minutes. LOL). I sip coffee, go through my calendar, post on social media, return phone calls and emails, double-check my task list, and then get ready to embrace the rest of the day, which is always filled with opportunity! Let’s Go!!

On Manifesting BIG visions ; what does that look like now? 

It is exciting, and the next level is definitely in the process of happening! To manifest a BIG vision, you are required to first provide at least an equivalent value to other people!

Starting and building a Real Estate portfolio and tapping into the power of both positive cash flow and capital appreciation is vital for anyone to generate long-term wealth and enjoy a luxury lifestyle. So too is having a “Go-To Team” of top-performing real estate professionals who can not only keep up with your accelerating needs (across all flavors of commercial and luxury residential real estate) but who can also learn to anticipate them!

We are committed to scaling our branded real estate group “The Elite Club” at Vintage Sotheby’s with top industry partners (agents) who thrive as high performers in a high-trust and collaborative environment.

Due to our focus on long-term relationships and on providing the “Full Spectrum” of real estate services, we ensure that our partners can always say “Yes” to helping their clients with their varied transactional needs – we simply bring in the Subject Matter Expert that is most relevant for each specific situation.

What is your superpower? 

CG: Causing new connections and instantly building trust. My husband calls this “The Carmen Effect”. We can be anywhere, and suddenly cross paths with new people whom it then turns out that I have something or someone in common with. Things then just spontaneously happen from there! Peter delights in this and now just tries to predict when and where it will happen.

PG: Being Of Service to Others. This is required to be a true Leader. Contrary to popular culture, being a Leader turns out to be much harder than being a “Boss” or the “Talent”. This is also very different from being a Manager. It can only be done successfully if you come from a position of being “Of Service” to others. You have to set an example and walk your talk. You also have to own the outcomes and take the responsibility for both the inputs and the outputs in the game of generating (manifesting) stretch results.

What do you have coming up in the next three months that we can co-promote during the launch of the issue?

We have so many incredible listings, and I would love to feature every single one of them. I get so passionate about selling/buying real estate! It is not always easy because many of our listings are high-ticket items, such as:

  • A beautiful equestrian horse ranch in Napa, website:
  • A Vineyard Estate such as (with B&B and STR permits)
  • A hospitality property in the middle of Suisun Valley wine region at

But eventually, we find the right buyer, and it is magical! We have amazing clients who are loyal, and they know that eventually, we will get the job done. Our clients know that we work hard for them, and everything is 200%, no matter how big or small the project is. We feel honored that we are trusted and given the opportunity.

For more information, visit their website

Follow on Facebook:  @carmengrayteam

Follow on Instagram @carmengraycre

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