Buying and selling a home can be one of the most exciting, stressful and confusing times of one’s life. There are many elements to consider, decisions to make and a necessary bank of knowledge that most people simply do not possess–and that’s just to begin the process. And after the home is bought or sold, more work is often needed to “make it one’s own.”
But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Colorado born-and-bred father and daughter team Bob Brown of RC Brown Construction and Grace Brown Sullivan of Compass Real Estate are looking to change the real estate process, utilizing his more than 30 years of construction know-how and her digital marketing savvy to provide knowledge and resources to make buying and selling a home easier. The result is a full-service experience that’s leaving clients wondering, “Why doesn’t everyone do it this way?”
Grace’s idea of working with her dad sparked because she found it challenging to be a solo real estate agent. “You never want to do a disservice to your client by not having the time, the resources or the knowledge to give them the absolute best service possible,” she said.
Her solution? Bring in her dad for his construction background and knowledge of Denver. “It’s like he’s the ultimate resource for any buyer or seller in Denver,” Grace said.
She convinced him to pare down the number of houses he would build and work with her. And that’s how the pair created Brown Residential, providing their knowledge and skills on many facets of real estate to clients.
Bob is not only an expert in every part of the building process, he also has extensive experience working with architects and designers on projects from the ground up. He’s cultivated a network of subcontractors and other professionals that he trusts and who have a reputation for being both professional and easy to work with.
“I like creative projects,” Bob said, adding that he s been doing more modern designs recently. He’s inspired by creative contemporary design and likes focusing on getting a house to connect with its natural surroundings.
Among his more impressive projects was a 6,700-square-foot modern residence in Cherry Hills Village named by Colorado Homes & Lifestyles as its 2016 Home of the Year.
Grace took a more indirect route to real estate, but she came up in the business.
“I grew up with my dad building houses. I was probably 5 or 6 years old and he started doing spec projects in Cherry Hills and southeast Denver,” Grace said. After graduating from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Grace decided that she wanted to be in a bigger city, so she moved east to Baltimore, working for Under Armour in the finance department. She then moved to Los Angeles and worked for Pandora Radio.
“But I had this draw to real estate,” Grace explained. “I ended up getting my real estate license in California and when I moved back to Colorado, I decided that real estate was exactly what I wanted to do.”
She started working at Sotheby’s International in Cherry Creek, building her base of contacts. And though she wanted to start working with her dad right away, “I kind of got shut down for about a year,” she said with a laugh. Bob was in the midst of several custom projects at the time. However, when those were completed, Grace’s team dream was realized and the two started working together in December of 2018.
Here’s how they operate. Grace has a potential buyer looking for a home. She sets up the viewings and helps find what may be the perfect property. When they walk through the house, Bob brings his building expertise to the conversation. Perhaps there are concerns that might arise on a home inspection or maybe the clients are envisioning a kitchen remodel. Bob is able to assess the situation and provide advice as well as potential costs for fixing or enhancing the property. And though he may not always be able to do the work, he provides recommendations for tried-and-true contacts that can complete the project.
With the Browns providing this level of service and expertise, clients can save time and effort in decision-making, creating a much more enjoyable buying experience.
Sellers who work with the Browns also receive “an exceptional amount of value,” Grace said.
As an example, the duo is working on a listing in Cherry Hills which is likely to come on the market in June. Getting the house ready for sale is a two- to three-month process, Grace explained, because modernizing the interior with paint and using subcontractors to fix things that might come up during the home inspection.
Bob and Grace provide a combination of skills that make sense for any potential client looking to buy or a sell a house. But clients not only get the knowledge that these two possess—they also get the chance to work with two people who genuinely love being together.
“When I think about us working together, it’s just the greatest thing in the whole world,” Grace said. “I mean, there are so few father-daughter businesses out there, especially in construction, and I just love it. We just have so much fun, on the job site or thinking creatively about properties or about strategy. I’m excited to see where it takes us.”
Katie Coakley is a freelance writer based in Denver covering travel, beer and outdoor adventure. Her work has appeared in newspapers, magazines, online outlets and Outside online. She’s trying to figure out a way to work with her dad, but he’s enjoying his retirement too much.
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