BY ADELE CASANOVA
Dee Parker and Olivia Kleinmaier, real estate brokers with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Carolinas Realty, enjoy the longest agent partnership in the Winston-Salem area. They formed their team in January of 1996 after Dee returned from the industry’s national convention in Atlanta where she realized that partnerships among agents were becoming a national trend.
In the mid-90s, agent partnerships were virtually unheard of in Winston-Salem or the Triad. Many of Dee and Olivia’s colleagues thought that partnering in an industry of independent contractors would not work, but Dee and Olivia moved forward with determination. Now, 23 years later, they continue to celebrate their decision. In total, they are currently in their 32ndand 30thyears, respectively, in the business. Dee said, “For many years, we marketed ourselves with the logo “The Leading Ladies of Real Estate,” but I expect the time has come to use “Real Estate’s Golden Girls,” referencing the long-running TV series about seasoned women who still found a lot of purpose and gusto in life.
These ladies see in each other the same strong work ethic, and they value having a partner who is invested equally in serving their clients. Their partnership has passed the test of time due to patience and respect for each other’s professionalism and dedication. With two “equals” on the team, they are secure in knowing that one will always be in town for clients’ needs, while allowing each other opportunity to spend time away with friends and family.
Currently, the popular trend in real estate brokerage, and a quite successful model, is a group of agents working as a team under a lead agent’s name. But, as Olivia says, “That is not us. We are a true partnership of equals.” The two have very different personalities which gel perfectly. They attend all listing appointments together as they each see different details about the property and can bring a comprehensive plan to the seller client. Both have spent their entire careers in the Winston-Salem and surrounding market and have a wealth of knowledge about home values and neighborhoods. They cherish Winston-Salem and remain excited about the many positive changes seen in recent years. “Winston-Salem is a gem,” said Olivia, “and its culture offers a satisfying lifestyle for residents of all ages.”
Dee and Olivia agree that the best part of their long career together has been serving their multigenerational and repeat clients. “We find we are working with children and grandchildren of clients from years ago,” said Olivia. “We appreciate their trust as well as the opportunity to keep up with them and their families. We have helped many repeat clients over the years and feel honored that they continue to choose us for their real estate needs.”
Many, many changes have occurred over the years in real estate brokerage. “Keeping up with all the technology and effects of social media is both challenging and exciting, and we have found it wise to be selective among all that is available. At the end of the day, this remains a people-to-people, face-to-face business: engage – listen – respond,” said Dee.
In business as Parker-Kleinmaier, Inc., Dee and Olivia are pleased to offer what they call “Double the commitment, double the skill, double the creative resources and double the experience.” They have achieved the Chairman’s Circle Diamond Level with Berkshire Hathaway (the highest achievement award given by the company and to only 1% of its 60,000 agents); formerly shareholder partners with Graham & Boles Properties, Graduate Realtor Institute and Accredited Buyer Representative are among the several industry designations they hold. More importantly, these ladies possess the market knowledge to help clients make good decisions with friendliness and warmth – creating an experience that is remembered with pleasure. They can be reached online at Dee.Parker@bhhscarolinas.com or 336.413.6513 and at Olivia.Kleinmaier@bhhscarolinas.com or 336.655.1600.