Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Koller.
Suzanne, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I joke that I have been in real estate since I was 5 years old. While most kids played school or nurse, I played real estate agent. I had a briefcase and a pink phone and used to ride my bike to open houses. True story! I have always had a passion for homes, design, architecture and neighborhoods.
I studied Hotel and Restaurant Management at UMass Amherst, because I was thinking that real estate was more of a second career. I dreamed of opening my own restaurant and I love the hospitality business as well, but my passion was not there. I am a terrible cook! While home on a break in college I got my RE license and the rest is history.
I started working for ZipRealty right after I graduated and hit the ground running, earning Rookie of the Year for my local RE board in my first year. I soon learned that I had an entrepreneurial spirit and did not enjoy working for a corporate type RE company. So, I left Zip after 2 years and joined Keller Williams, where they encourage and teach agents to grow their own businesses under the umbrella of KW. And thus, Suzanne & Company was born.
I think I was about 24 years old and there was no “&” at that time. I knew I needed leverage but was scared. I tried a few virtual assistants and then some local assistants. This part is not glamorous and there were years of struggle, but every year was better than the last. I was able to gain national recognition through Realtor Magazine’s annual “30 under 30” list when I was 29. I feel like from that point the growth really took off.
Fast forward nearly 10 years later and we are a successful, innovative team of 9 women, making waves and working to uphold yet change this industry. My passion remains, and I am fortunate to have like-minded, strong willed leaders with me on the team.
The other fun part of the story is that I practice what I preach. My husband and I have been buying and renovating our own properties since were right out of college. We own the 1848 Greek Revival in historic Bedford Center where the team headquarters is located. We have restored it over the years and used to live there in an apartment over the offices. As the business grew we moved out and bought a few other old houses that needed work. Currently we are trying to restore the house and barns on 6 acres in Bedford, an old farm we bought 7 years ago, that we lovingly named “Someday Farm”. We also own a 2 family with my mom and a tiny but sweet cottage on the Cape, our happy place.
I am a huge believer in real estate as an investment and I like to educate others on what are savvy improvements to make, good purchases to make and we are really working in our communities to highlight great stories of renovations, adaptive reuses, etc. Real estate is my passion and always will be!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Hell no!!! I have had a LOT of struggles the past 4-5 years especially as the team really grew. The classic challenge of going from doing what you LOVED to managing people, dealing with taxes and P&Ls…. I was afraid I would lose my passion. But I have been working hard to surround myself with the people that can support the business, so I can focus every day on what I love and what I am best at.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Suzanne & Company Real Estate – what should we know?
We are a really innovative RE team. Each of us has a strength that propels the team forward. I always wanted to separate myself from other RE agents in the area and the best way I’ve found to do this is by leveraging the strengths of others and really having the right people in the right seats! We have a whole Buyer Agent Division on our team, who only work with buyers. I only partner with sellers. We have a Listings Manager and Transaction Coordinators to make sure all the details are correct. And I have a Director of Operations, who runs the business so that I can work on fostering relationships with sellers, vendors and RE professionals. We aim to be change agents in this industry through our teamwork, marketing and constant love of learning. Above all else, we truly value our clients and those relationships. For example, this summer we threw a client appreciation party at my “Someday Farm”. Over 250 people attended – it was a blast!
I like to think we do things for the right reasons, always with the clients’ best interests at heart. Many say this, but we have 9 people that all have the same goal for the clients, rather than a traditional brokerage where the agents are “stealing” business from one another. We believe in doing the right thing and you will see us cheering each other on in those efforts!
A bonus to all of this, we have FUN together!! And it shows.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Good attitude and spirit.
Right people, right seats!
Most clients only buy and sell a few properties in their lifetime. It is a HUGE deal to them and they deserve a lot of care, respect and thoughtful assistance.
If someone tells me I can’t do something, I usually go out of my way to prove them wrong.
Don’t fear failure, rather embrace the learning opportunity.
A positive mindset is the foundation… and contagious!
I love the mantra that people won’t always remember what you said but they will ALWAYS remember how you made them feel!
- Address: Suzanne & Company Boston NW
Keller Williams Realty
90 Great Road
Bedford MA 01730
- Website: www.SuzanneandcompanyRE.com
- Phone: 781 275 2156
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/locations/564634976/suzanne-company-keller-williams-realty/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/suzanneandcompany/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/SuzandCompanyRE
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/suzanne-and-company-bedford
- Other: https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzanne-schmuhl-koller-b83b932/