Palm Desert Real Estate Agency Joins Weichert® National Franchise System

— Evan Roeser
Robert Saunders

PALM DESERT, Calif. / February 28, 2022 – Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is pleased to announce that Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred in Palm Desert has joined the Weichert® national franchise system.

The company, previously known as Real Living Prime Properties, becomes the 20th Weichert franchised office in the state of California and the third in Riverside County.

Maria Richards

Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred is owned and operated by Robert Saunders and Maria Richards, who have nearly 50 combined years of experience working in the real estate industry.

“We are very excited to join the Weichert family,” said Saunders, the company’s broker and co-owner. “Weichert’s client-first philosophy and emphasis on the organization’s core values match up extremely well with our what our team truly values.”

As part of the Weichert franchise network, the team at Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred has access to in-depth training programs, the latest technology and the most powerful sales and marketing tools in the industry to help provide their clients the best possible real estate service.

“We saw extreme value in joining the Weichert system in order to have industry-leading resources at our disposal,” said Richards, the company’s co-owner. “The marketing and technology systems will give our company better access to recruitment, and the direct training and support for our agents will help them thrive.”

Saunders began his real estate career at Tarbell, Realtors and worked his way up to regional vice president, a position he held for 11 years. He recruited Richards into the real estate world and she became one of Tarbell’s most successful agents while working with the company from 2004-11.

Saunders and Richards, who married in 2010, made the decision to open their own brokerage in 2011, and built Real Living Prime Properties into one of the area’s premier real estate companies. Richards went on to claim Palm Springs Life Magazine Top Agent honors on multiple occasions.

The brokerage, which has 13 licensed agents serving the Coachella Valley region, is very active in the local community. They have been heavily involved in various food pantry initiatives, organizing food drives to benefit Martha’s Kitchen and working with the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission.

Saunders and Richards reside in La Quinta and have a family of three children. When they aren’t serving clients, they enjoy Sailing, traveling, spending time with their children and grandchildren.

Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. President and COO Bill Scavone was pleased to welcome the newest affiliate. “I am thrilled to welcome our new friends at Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred and their clients to the Weichert family. Their office has a reputation for great customer service, and they are very highly regarded in Southern California. They also share our client-first philosophy and are rooted in the region they serve.”

Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred is an independently owned and operated Weichert affiliate. The office serves the Coachella Valley region of California.

For more information about Weichert, Realtors® – Preferred, located at 43-100 Cook Street, Suite 104 in Palm Desert, contact Robert Saunders at 760-469-4606 or visit

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 About Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.: Weichert Real Estate Affiliates, Inc. is a top real estate franchisor established in 2001 by Jim Weichert, president, chairman and CEO of Weichert Companies, which has been in operation since 1969. The company provides a clearly defined business model for operating, managing and marketing a real estate brokerage, along with industry-leading technology, marketing tools and coaching. Its first affiliate opened in 2002, and the franchise network has since grown to over 370 offices, serving markets in over 40 states. The company has been named one of the top traditional residential real estate franchises by Entrepreneur magazine for 18 straight years and identified by Franchise Business Review as a top franchise for owner satisfaction seven years in a row. For more information about Weichert, visit or for information on franchise opportunities visit

Each Weichert® franchised office is independently owned and operated.

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