Real estate business run by ‘six-pack’
Each Wednesday morning the owners of the Property Shop get together for what is supposed to be a business meeting. Each Wednesday morning the owners of the Property Shop get together for what is supposed to be a business meeting. But from the looks of it, the meeting is anything but business.The owners, six women, gather in the front room of their office on Grand Avenue. They smile. They laugh. They tell jokes. They talk about trips to Morocco and Hawaii. And, mothers all, they talk about kids. But, the women insist, “We accomplish a lot in those meetings.” They must. Four years ago, one of the founders, Mogli Fairbanks, was running her own business out of an apartment complex she was selling near Glenwood Springs High School. Her office was one of the apartments, and when that sold, she and assistant, Manette Anderson, didn’t have a place to go. “It was a decision of when the last one sells I had to do something,” Fairbanks said. So she bought a house on Grand Avenue, knocked down some walls, bought some antiques, and opened the Property Shop with Anderson and another group of local brokers – Kathy Westley, Marianne Ackerman and Amy Luetke. The group – then only five strong – quit their jobs with other real estate firms on Sept. 1, 2001. “We all quit our jobs on Sept. 1, and then on 9/11 we were like, ‘Oh, God, what have we done?'” Fairbanks said.But the group didn’t have the luxury of second-guessing the new business. “We didn’t have a choice,” Anderson said. “And we were having too much fun.”And in addition to the fun, they’ve been successful. In 2002 Realtor Online Magazine named Luetke one of its “30 under 30,” a title for the top 30 real estate professionals nationwide younger than 30. To make the list, brokers have to not only be successful but also show a substantial amount of community involvement. They’ve also developed an innovative marketing strategy that includes the ubiquitous Property Shop moving truck and the Perfect Solution magazine, which includes community news and real estate information.And soon, the group will add a conference room to its Grand Avenue office.The five founders also added a sixth broker – Marci Pattillo. Pattillo completes “six-pack,” they joke. That “six-pack” business model is one key to their success, they said. Having six broker-owners allows them to make quick, decisive business decisions. One example: the decision to buy the Property Shop truck. Of course, decisiveness and ownership come with drawbacks as well. “That means you get to make a decision and then pull out your wallet and pay for it,” Pattillo said. Beyond the business model, though, there is another key to success. “We’re past the age of wanting to not have fun,” Anderson said. Contact Ryan Graff: 945-8515, ext. email@example.com
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Visual Journalist Chelsea Self can be reached at 970-384-9108 or firstname.lastname@example.org