I am SO excited to be sharing something with you we’ve been working on over here for about a year now… We’ve opened a real estate brokerage and are officially open for business!!!
If you’ve been following along here for a while you may remember me writing about our goals to diversify our business and branch into other home-related areas and you might know that in the past eleven or so years we have moved six times. (We found our current house almost three years ago and have no plans to move yet 🙂 We’ve moved for so many reasons over the years, but many of our moves have been due to our “roving” eye with real estate. We just love looking at it and have moved to new towns before with no intention of moving just because we fell in love with a house while browsing online. Whenever we would move into a new home we’d set about fixing it up- renovating it and decorating it- with the intention of living in it, but after living there for a bit (sometimes years – last time even less than a year) and having added a good amount of value to the property, we would come across something else and end up selling and moving and doing it all over again.
But this time in our current house we’re feeling pretty good and settled and I’ve barely even done any decorating in it yet and don’t have plans to do it quickly so as we look through the listings, we just don’t have the desire to move… yet we are still constantly hunting through the listings and doing drive-bys anyway. And, as I’ve mentioned in the past, we’ve been thinking about getting into flipping properties and being able to dig in and fix houses up but not having to move and uproot ourselves & the kids again… So as our minds went to flipping, we naturally started thinking about the business of real estate itself and creating something even bigger.
Whenever I look at a house and what it needs put into it, I can’t help but begin mentally calculating added real estate value and what the “cut off” point should be for how much money goes into it in order for the owner to potentially make a profit or at the very least break even should he/she move. And it gets me excited. We have literally been working with some of our clients since before they even found their homes and often give feedback on whether a home is “right” for our clients… When our clients sell their homes, they’re often covered in the press because of the design work we did and I end up sharing the information about the design of the houses with agents and writers so it’s gotten us thinking… We love our interior design business and thought about how a real estate brokerage could work hand-in-hand with it to aid clients not only in designing their homes but in helping with finding and selling their homes when needed. And how so many more people could benefit from real estate being looked at from a design perspective and from a brokerage that is run with our both our business and living philosophy at the forefront.
So about a year ago, we approached our clients-turned-friends Daan and Maura DeRaedt, who are serious go-getter real estate agents with an amazing team, about the idea of partnering to co-found a boutique residential real estate brokerage together in Great Falls… And lucky for us, they’re just as crazy as we are, and were totally in!!!
You may have seen me randomly mention the “Property Collective” on Instagram. We’ve been quietly documenting our adventures on that account and this year, we purchased our office building in the Village at Great Falls with Maura and Daan and have been in the process of renovating it. If you scroll back through the feed, you’ll notice black “milestone” squares where goals were met and/or big things happened for the company. We’ve shown some of the late-night work sessions with some of the agents on there and silly videos of me being goofy at the office, and well, this is what it’s all been about.
Maura and Daan are incredible people and Dave and I feel really honored to be partnering with them. Maura is one of my good high school friends’ little sister and I remember being so excited to work with her when she called me a few years ago to design her then-new house with her husband. Daan is Belgian (and could not be sweeter!) and when Maura traveled there during undergrad at James Madison University (yeah Duke dogs!!!) for a semester abroad, the two met and fell in love. (Crazy aside- Daan’s father is super-talented and has been doing lighting for years for Alex Vervoordt and Daan remembers going to his castle often growing up!! What?!! They travel back often to visit Daan’s family… Take me there guys!!) They have two adorable kids (see pic below) and are not afraid of hard work. We’ve never worked with partners before and I am constantly amazed at how aligned we all are in our thinking/ decision-making.
The real estate teams we have so far are amazing and I love seeing the offices filled with such fun, positive people with great energy & work ethics. The agents are super-supportive of one another and there’s some really cool camaraderie happening. Daan is a truly caring and supportive mentor to the other agents and I love seeing the excitement everyone has for each other when they meet their goals.
They’ve been buying and selling under Property Collective for the past few months and we’re now accepting new agents at the brokerage!! Our goal is to keep the agency small and personal and to make sure each and every buyer’s/ seller’s experience is on point, so the PC team is currently accepting four new agents this summer, and we’ll be accepting another round of new agents in the fall. If you know of any real estate agents looking for something a little different, please send them our way because we’d love to chat with them about the possibility of working together!! (And there’s a new agent contact form here if you’re an interested agent.)
And of course, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell their home in Northern Virginia, definitely get in touch & we’d love to help! (You can contact us here)
So what has changed about my days? Not a ton on a daily basis but there are more meetings with the team to strategize where we want to take these businesses and what immediate goals we’re all going after. I’m still a decorator and not a real estate agent (I leave all of that to the professionals over there!!) but I’ve taken my approach to creating tailored client experiences into another area/industry of the ‘home’ and it feels really good. I’ve always said that though I love to decorate, I think of myself as a business woman first and so branching out in this way feels natural and super exciting all at once. Maura & Daan are equally excited about what this means for them and their family and we’ve got a few more cool things in the works coming up that I cannot wait to share with you!!
And if you’re on Instagram and want to follow along on our adventure, our handle is “propertycollective” and here’s (below) a little snippet of what you’ll see there:
Thanks for coming along on this crazy ride with us!! Enjoy your day!!