Coldwell Banker Honors Mothers

Honoring Mothers everywhere with a few Coldwell Banker network stories of a few teams of Mothers and their children.

How do we ever truly appreciate the women that bring us to this earth? IMPOSSIBLE! Something so special, and so unique is a relationship that can withstand the family dynamic AND the business dynamic.  At Coldwell Banker, we understand the value of home and the value of family. 

In honor of Mother’s day we wanted to showcase those Realtors that have found a winning team in working with one another. We’d be hard pressed to find a better co-worker and business partner than our mother or our kids!

Here are a few stories from our network that we wanted to share as we tip our hats to all of the moms out there. Happy Mother’s Day!

Peggy (Mom),  McKee and Maggie with Coldwell Banker Carlson 

How long have you in the business? (Together or Apart!)

Peggy, 45 years, McKee 17, Maggie 10. Mom & McKee 10 years, all 3 of us 4 years.

Who got in the business first?

Peggy, then Maggie, then McKee. While it could be argued that McKee and Maggie have been in the business since birth, as all Realtors know this career consumes a household, it was not until August 2001 after Maggie’s first desk job out of college that either of them entertained the idea of going into the business. When Maggie called Peggy the summer of 2001 to inquire about a career change, Peggy fell right off her chair. It was 2 years after that with a blossoming career at the Corcoran Group in NYC that she and Peggy talked McKee into a move back east from Denver to try his hand at real estate.

McKee and Maggie worked about 2 feet apart for his first year and a half in the business, then Maggie decided ski bumming out west was the thing to do, she spent a few years dabbling in real estate in Tahoe but mostly skiing if truth be told. McKee stayed at the Corcoran Group, earning the title of Vice President over his time there. In 2010 he and his wife decided the Vermont lifestyle was better suited for raising a family, so they made the move and he joined Peggy at Carlson, now Coldwell Banker Carlson. Maggie meanwhile moved back east and worked for a web development company that specializes in none other than, real estate websites. She later sold luxury condos in Winooski, VT. From there, her path took her into a career in digital advertising in Boston and NYC, until 2016 when she decided home was calling. So she moved home and finally became a member of the Smith Macdonald Group.

What is the biggest benefit of working together?

Being able to learn from and build on Peggy’s 40+ years of experience is invaluable. Transitioning from selling in a city to a very complex rural setting would have been far and away more challenging without Peggy’s guidance. Additionally, Peggy’s reputation is so solid that we are often approached by acquaintances, friends, and even strangers telling us that she is the best in the business. We have big shoes to fill.

What is the biggest challenge of working with your mom/and vice versa?

We’re all bossy and sometimes that means no one is listening and we’re all talking at once. What we’ve come to realize is when it’s best for each of us to step in and handle certain details and issues that arise.  We all have different styles of communication, so knowing when one style will work better than another has taken some time to figure out.

Learning to listen, observe, and grow from the 40 plus years of experience Peggy brings to the table. Being that Peggy is our mom, she also has years of experience with each of us and is able to help guide us to who may be better suited for certain tasks, when we choose to listen of course.

What is the most unique thing about your business that only could occur being family?

The rest of our family is comprised of high-end home builders, allowing us to bring even more expertise to the table. We as Owner/Brokers are able to draw upon that knowledge and experience to better guide our clients on the costs of building and renovating properties.  This is knowledge we also are able to share with our agents so that they can provide the same level of expertise to their clients.

From an interpersonal standpoint, the three of us work together in a way that is unique to our family dynamic. Having grown up with the same set of rules and expectations, those mirrored for us by our mother, we have similar work habits and drive. One summer in college we shared an apartment, after having lived separately for a few years with roommates. It was the easiest roommate situation either of us had experienced because the expectations we shared for living in one space was the same. Working together is much the same. We all work hard, pitch in, and do our part to keep the machine running forward towards success. There are moments of frustration for sure, but ultimately the goals are the same, the path to getting there is clear and we want to work together to achieve it.

Advice for anyone else considering bringing their mom or child into the business?

Be clear about the roles you will each fulfill and how that will evolve over the course of your career.  Understand when starting out it’s more important to learn, listen, make mistakes, and resolve them.  As you progress through the relationship, it’s always important to communicate your personal goals along with the team so that they work in tandem.  Start to plan for transition several years in advance, this allows for the other agents and employees to see the transfer, get used to it, and accept the transfer.  It also allows for planning and re-planning if situations on the ground (Covid-19) arise.

Anything that you are doing differently/uniquely during this health crisis?

We’ve postponed a full transition in ownership from Peggy to Maggie and McKee.  What this means is that Maggie and McKee are running the business’ day to day operations, financials, and everything that is front-facing.  On the back-end, we have Peggy applying for loans, working her existing relationships with our local lenders and vendors.  Trying to change all of this, as planning in Q1, would have caused delays in loans, reliance on establishing new relationships with lenders and vendors in a time of contraction.  Instead, we’ve developed a new way of management where Maggie and McKee have now stepped fully into the management of the office while allowing Peggy to work the channels she has in place to ensure we come through this crisis whole financially.  Maggie and McKee have taken the reigns to ensure the agents come through this better prepared to see real business growth through CB training, inspiration from leadership, and support.

 

Rose Marie Princi (Mom) and Gina Marie Bettenhauser (Daughter with Coldwell Banker  Distinctive Homes

How long have you in the business?
They have been in business together for about 30 years together.  Providing their clients with a combined 60 years of Real Estate experience. 

Who got in the business first?
Rose Marie has been in the business since the early 90s and Gina Marie joined her shortly thereafter.  Gina Marie resisted joining her mother in the business until she decided to settle down and raise a family.  This was the perfect opportunity for Rose to “Bribe” her with money and a flexible schedule.

What is the biggest benefit of working together?

Although they are so different, that is one of their strengths.   Knowing each other’s quirks allows them to read each other quickly.  Which allows them to pivot and switch “hats” when needed.  They are a mother and daughter team that truly loves respects each other. 

What is the biggest challenge of working with your mom/and vice versa?
They agree that their biggest challenge of working together are their different personalities and/or styles.  Gina states that Rose is the “defender of the weak and oppressed”.  On the other hand, Rose feels that Gina has less patience and is a bit anal retentive.  Gina is quick to respond that she has a “High D” personality type and needs to have all her ducks in a row.  They are constantly trying to figure out “which hat to wear” for the situation at hand. 

What is the most unique thing about your business that only could occur being family?

Gina Marie:  TRUST – Nobody knows me better than my mother.  She can tell when I need a moment to myself or time off without me having to go into a bunch of extra details.  We can disagree and know it comes from a place of love.

Rose Marie:  TRUST AND LOVE – Gina Marie is like an extra set of eyes and ears for me and I do the same for her.  We depend on each other.

Both:  We run our business like a family and the trust we have in each other is extended to our agents.  If an agent needs one of us to cover an inspection or a showing, we do it.  It is not like some companies where it is like “I’ll cover your inspection for a $200-dollar fee”.  No, I’ll cover your inspection because we are a team! 

Advice for anyone else considering bringing their mom or child into the business?

Rose: It depends on personality and drive.  They will have to work hard at Real Estate and Relationship Building.  They should listen to us because we have experience and a wealth of knowledge.  My children were raised to be independent and 3 out of 5 went into Real Estate.

Gina:  As a daughter of the owner I must work 3 times harder than all the other agents.   Not only to set an example but to let them know I worked hard to get where I am. 

Star Keating (Mom) and Alayna Summamen (Daughter)  with Coldwell Banker Vanguard, Florida

How long have you in the business?
Alayna: Mom has been in business since 2005. I got my license in 2007, worked part time with mom in property management for a few years. I went full time with mom in 2012

Who got in the business first?
Starr (Mom!)

What is the biggest benefit of working together?
Starr: It’s only made my life easier. We eased into a good business relationship, since Alayna started part time in property management. When I started in real estate I was part of a team. There was an imbalance with the team, so I broke off as an individual agent. 

Alayna: You know what to expect, There is built in trust. There is no question we both want the best for each other. When we do not travel together, we know the other will take equal care of our clients. Another benefit is having my mom as my real estate role model.

What is the biggest challenge of working with your mom/and vice versa?
Starr: If on vacation, we are still talking about work, so we need to be aware of that, especially when other family is around. First year Alayna was in the business most of the transactions were my overflow. I wanted to be sure Alayna was not in my shadow. Now the business is 50/50 shared.

Alayna: I had a career before real estate.  I hesitate to tell people that Starr is my mom because I don’t want customers to have the perception that I am ‘only the daughter’.

What is the most unique thing about your business that only could occur being family?

Starr: Alayna is very professional. We don’t make a point of telling customers we are mother/daughter. We don’t look alike and one time in front of buyers as Alayna was leaving the meeting, Alayna said “I love you” and the customers looked quite surprised. 

Alayna: A lot of people that do know we are related naturally gravitate toward us. I think we have a bigger customer base because of it.

Advice for anyone else considering bringing their mom or child into the business?
Starr: Working with family is still a business. Run it like a business. Separate family from work. You will have hard business talks, keeping it business reduces getting feelings hurt.

Alayna: My daughter is 1 and maybe someday she will want to go into real estate. I think it is important that before family joins, the team should have other work experience and skills that are developed before they join the family. Treat the business like a business and have meetings as well.

 

Phyliss Danforth (Mom) & Dave Danforth (Son) with Coldwell Banker Danforth, Washington

How long have they been in the business?
Dave worked as an agent under Phyliss who managed a corporate owned franchise in 1990 and then they bought the franchise together in 1993.

Who got in the business first?
Phyllis (Mom)

What is the biggest benefit of working together?
Wisdom, Business Knowledge, Mentorship, In office role model.

What is the biggest challenge of working with your mom/and vice versa? 
Succession timing, deciding the time when Phyllis was going to retire.

What is the most unique thing about your business that only could occur being family?
Nice parking spots!

Advice for anyone else considering bringing their mom or child into the business? 
Work Ethic and competitive spirit.Lori Arnold & Josh Arnold with Coldwell Banker Apex, Texas

How long have they been in the business?

Lori has been in business over 35 years as an agent, then broker owner. Josh has been a licensed agent for 10 years. They have worked together for 4 years. 

Who got in the business first?

Lori was first. She started in real estate at 18 years old, became a top producer, then took over the brokerage from her mother, Millie Hendricks, around the time she was 25 years old. She had 1 office and 5 agents and she grew it to where we are today (20 offices and 900+)

What is the biggest challenge of working with your mom/and vice versa?

Josh: There really are not a ton of challenges as crazy as it sounds. We work really well together and we know our collective strengths and weaknesses. I also respect that at the end of the day, it’s her company and her decades of hard work. She respects me and always listens to my input and opinions before making a decision. We are both crazy about CB Apex and we love what we do (to un-natural levels!) so it’s easy to get lost for hours and hours in the work. 

What is the biggest benefit of working together?

The biggest benefit it getting to share such as special part of our lives with each other. It’s very rare to get to work so closely with your family and not many people have this opportunity. It’s a blessing to get to spend all those hours together, serving others and working towards common goals. We get to share in successes and its just a blast! 

What is the most unique thing about your business that only could occur being family?

I think the most unique thing about our business that can only happen because we are family comes from the day-to-day leadership. We are to the point now where we can pretty much read each others minds, so whenever a new tool, marketing idea, coaching, training, contract question, legal question or other scenario arises – we can always answer an agent quickly and efficiently. It is pretty seamless for any agent to call either one of us and get the same, “right” answer to whatever pops up. 

Advice for anyone else considering bringing their mom or child into the business?

Go for it! I think it has been an amazing blessing. As long as each person respects the other and each person knows their roles, it will go great! 

 

Senior Manager, Content & Multimedia at Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. In his role he manages content strategy and execution across several platforms. He’s held other roles within the Marketing Department ranging from Previews & Product Development to the day to day management of the coldwellbanker.com redesign. Besides being a marketer, Gustavo is a filmmaker, musician and writer.

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