It’s just after lunch in Glen Ellyn, and Kathy Quaid is walking into the large foyer of a million-dollar home on a private, serene road. A bevy of workers –painters and carpet cleaners and floor refinishers – dart past her, readying the home for market. In a flash, Quaid is up a ladder in the kitchen, to offer a needed hand to her partner Maureen Rooney, who is hanging a new light fixture over the table.
They’ll be here a while, in heels and hose, moving furniture and hanging curtains, then head off to an appraisal or another appointment, before circling back to check on the work done, hang some art on the freshly painted walls, and stage the master bath.
It’s this hands-on approach that has solidified Quaid and Rooney as top agents in the DuPage market. Their knowledge of the clients, the home itself, and the community have made the duo a dynamo in local real estate over the last four years.
“We love real estate, but more than that, we love people’s stories,” says Quaid. “The people, not the home, that’s our main concern. We want to help them get to the next place.”
Quaid and Rooney Distinctive Real Estate is the top realty team in Glen Ellyn, with more than $54 million in sales in 2013.
Completing the team are brokers Brian Quaid, Craig Williams and Michael Cellini, and administrative assistant Kim Prickett.
As for Quaid and Rooney themselves, they feed off each other’s strengths as much as they finish each other’s sentences.
Quaid and Rooney are designers. They keep up on the hottest trends and stays up-to-date with what home buyers want most. “Some agents are either listing agents or buying agents,” Quaid explains, “but we consider ourselves both. We continue to work with buyers to hear first hand what they are wanting and use that information to help us prepare our clients homes on the listing side.”
Their level of expertise keeps them connected to clients long after the sale of their home closes.
“We become the most important people in someone’s life, for about two months,” quips Rooney. The confidence clients have in the Quaid and Rooney team transcends the sale, as their role evolves from savvy agent to trusted friend.
“We get calls from former clients all the time,” says Rooney “Can you help us decorate? Should we finish the basement? What colors should we use? Do you know a good contractor?”
And they do. In fact the staging end of real estate has become one of Quaid and Rooney’s strongest assets. Home staging is about setting a scene, creating a mood and “dressing” your home to appeal to buyers.
The team will rearrange, eliminate and redesign the furniture and accessories, transforming the space and producing a "wow" factor to which buyers will respond.
Need a little more? Full service staging goes above and beyond, to complete additional rooms in the house. For a quoted fee, full service staging can involve the staging of vacant homes, homes with little furnishings, or homes that have not been updated for many years. The Quaid and Rooney team will bring in furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories to create the inviting and ambient home that will attract buyers.
The relationship Quaid and Rooney builds with the clients they represent become the foundation for their business. Clients come to count on their advice, referring friends and neighbors, returning when they are ready to move again, or when their grown children are ready to begin their own households.
“Our customer relationships flow just like the market,” Rooney says. “Our first customers are starting to downsize. Their children are upsizing. We are right there for all of it.”
The team also has worked hard at building strong relationships with city and local agents who call to see what is coming on the market.
“We have worked hard at building a strong relationship with our industry peers to be a reliable source for them. They often comment that we always get the “pretty” listings – not knowing that we have worked very hard in partnership with our clients to get them to that point,” Quaid says.
That approach is what keeps them on the move constantly. Having closed 92 home sales last year, Quaid and Rooney believe this year already is looking to be an active real estate market.
“We are always running, running, running,” says Quaid. “If you can’t multi-task, you’re in trouble.”
And it’s at that very moment that something catches Quaid’s eye, and pulls her attention back to the home at hand.
“Those doors, Maureen, should we have had them painted white? It will go better with the rest of the trim don’t you think?”
And in moments, the partners are back in the thick of staging, comparing doorways and window treatments, and searching through tables of décor treasures for just the right piece.
Kathy Quaid believes that doing what you love is the key to success, so after a 20-year career in corporate sales she decided to dedicate her professional life to real estate, and she’s never looked back. “My passion for real estate and people combined with the dynamic elements that make up a real estate transaction is what energizes me,” she says. “I am thrilled to assist my clients as they move on to a new chapter in their lives and to make that transition stress free and fun-filled. Married and the mother of two, Quaid spends her off-work time biking and traveling, and spending time with friends. An active member of the Glen Ellyn Infant Welfare organization she also enjoys volunteering at her children’s school.
Maureen Rooney’s entire real estate career has been spent in the DuPage County area so she often happens upon someone she has helped find a home. “I love hearing what they are doing with their property and that they are happy,” she says. “That kind of ongoing relationship is what brings me the most satisfaction.” A longtime resident of the community, Rooney and her husband raise our family in Glen Ellyn and enjoyed participating in the schools, parks and programs. Her local involvement left it’s mark, and now her adult children are Glen Ellyn residents and business owners as well. “The many years of relationship building has served me well for a real estate career that continues to give,” she says. “I am thankful for it all.”