The reality of working in real estate is that it’s a demanding industry. It takes personal accountability, immense organization, time management and a high level of productivity to succeed. Now, imagine working like that 24/7 with your partner or spouse. Some would say they couldn’t, but here we are to prove that you should never say never. At William Raveis, working this hard means close relationships with your coworkers, which in one of these cases, blossomed into a relationship! We are proud to share the realities of working with your partner or spouse from three real couples at William Raveis, who complement and support each other in their careers and at home.
Stacey and Pels Matthews, Washington Depot, CT: “Find a Rhythm”
First up are Pels and Stacey Matthews, of the Matthews Group in our Washington Depot, CT office. They’ve been together since 1991, when they met at a bar and embarked on their nearly 30-year relationship. Stacey was 10 years into her real estate career, and Pels was commuting to NYC to work on Wall Street when they decided to conquer one industry together. They now have a team of over 20 agents in Washington Depot.
“We have very different strengths and weaknesses so we are able to tackle issues from different approaches and sometimes transfer clients to each other when one of us is struggling with a problem,” explains Stacey. “One of the most amusing things about working together, that I always enjoy, is when I am complaining about something and he thinks it’s no big deal, so he takes over and ends up with the same complaint. Who doesn’t love saying, “I told you so?”
After decades of being on the same team at home and in the office, Pels and Stacey admit to finding a rhythm in working together, even if it took a year at first. Pels continues, “The strength in our relationship carries over to the bond within our large team, even if Stacey calls me the paperwork police and the ultimate rule follower. But remember: no paperwork, no paycheck! She has an ability to see through the noise and problems that arise in the course of transactions and for that, I am thankful. It’s definitely been a learning experience to figure out keeping the humor alive while doing what we do. We are working nearly all day, every day, and that makes the moments we get without work special.”
As one of our most successful teams, remaining in the Top 1 percent of the company year after year, we’re proud that the Matthews have chosen William Raveis as their home, to continue their business and their relationship together.
Melissa and Alan Hamilton, Westport, CT: “Be Accountable”
When it comes to marriage and working together, who’s in charge? In agreeing to be part of this interview, Alan Hamilton joked, “I’d have to ask my boss…. oh wait, she says yes.” Alan and his wife, Melissa, aka. “The Boss,” run their real estate team, Hamilton Homes, out of lively Westport, CT. He continues, “Of course, there is no principal leader in a married couple real estate partnership (at least I keep telling myself that), but it’s important to be accountable to your business partner, especially when you wake up next to them every day.”
From the moment they wake up, it’s accountability from the first hour on, from when they challenge each other with daily joint cross country runs to linking their office lines to both cell phones, so in keeping up with their busy lives and the all-important work/life balance, they never miss a call from a client. It’s conceivably why they remain in the Top 6 percent of the company.
“Those runs are necessary,” Melissa explains, “because it’s one of the only times we have together that we definitely can’t, and are forced to not, talk real estate.” Alan adds, “For us, being ‘spouses who sell houses’ (cue, cute eye roll), works very well. This business can be draining at times, so it’s nice to have a partner to pass the reins to when you need.”
Just as they say, the first year of marriage is the hardest, so apparently it’s the same for the first year of working together. Both the Matthews and the Hamiltons admit it took about a year to get into the groove of working together and maintaining their relationship. Alan explains, “I was in the business before Melissa. I know she just loves when I try to tell her how to do it ‘my way.’ We both have our own styles, and it took us about a year (and a few healthy little spats) to figure that out! We absolutely respect each other’s strong points (I’m good at tech and the nitty-gritty), while Melissa is amazing with people and finding a common ground. At the end of the day, I love working with my wife.” Bravo!
Philippe Doh, New York City, and Rebecca Ducey, Washington Depot, CT: “We’re Each Other’s Lucky Charms”
When you’re an independent contractor, like a real estate agent, it is possible to find love in the workplace — Just like Philippe Doh, of New York City and Rebecca Ducey, of Washington Depot. The decision to join William Raveis was never more meaningful than the day they met, at the annual Raveis Convention at Mohegan Sun. The two immediately started dating and even bridged a gap between city and countryside for Rebecca’s team leader, Pels Matthews, who was putting an effort into establishing a meaningful collaboration between the NYC and Washington Depot offices, as they share a lot of the same clientele.
“What was remarkable was getting to know Philippe personally and professionally in tandem, something you wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to do upon just meeting someone,” says Rebecca. “I realized very quickly we are in sync on both fronts and we decided that working together would be a logical collaboration for us. It’s a lifestyle we have come to know very intimately together as a couple living and working in our two distinct markets.”
Philippe continues, “In meeting Rebecca, I realized she’s tenacious, and loves real estate as much as I do but also has a level of patience and compassion that enables her to connect with clients in a deep and meaningful way. It was the perfect match, in and out of the office.”
Rebecca and Philippe are well-known throughout William Raveis, especially now that they are linked. “One of the most memorable moments in working with Rebecca was when we realized that we had been present for all of each other’s showings that led to a closed deal or conversations that led to a listing agreement since we met,” Philippe writes. “We’re each other’s lucky charms.”
As anyone in real estate knows, working in this industry can mean being on call during nights and weekends, which luckily within this relationship translates to a mutual understanding. Rebecca states, “It’s refreshing that neither one of us takes it personally when the other has a ‘last minute’ showing that throws our plans off (which has happened). We are fortunate to spend a lot of our working hours together which can offset the grind. It’s comforting to be able to speak my work language with my partner who understands.”
While the term opposites attract can sometimes seem like a conflicting attribute for couples, Rebecca and Philippe agree the different aspects of their individualized characters works incredibly well for their relationship, in and out of the office. Rebecca clarifies, “In business, I soften his rough or aggressive edges and he strengthens me when I need that boost in confidence that I’m on the right track. We compliment and balance each other.” They truly are the Raveis couple, and a success story for anyone looking for love in real estate.
Happy Valentine’s Day!