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Blog :: 01-2020

Continuing the Family Legacy: The Next Generation of McColly Real Estate

Family owned and operated has always been a point of pride for McColly Real Estate. Over the company’s robust history, McColly Real Estate has emerged as the largest independent residential real estate company in Northwest Indiana, Central Illinois, and the Chicagoland area. Now, as they continue to thrive on a solid legacy and foundation, they also look to the future and the next generation of McCollys who will continue it.

Ronald McColly, president and broker, started the firm and grew it into a full-service company that still maintains the family-owned and operated philosophy. McColly Companies include Community Title, McColly Bennett Commercial Advantage, Luxury Portfolio International® and the McColly School of Real Estate. In all, there are eight members of the McColly family currently working for the firm, split by generation. Ron McColly, his brother, Tim McColly, his daughter, Rhonda McColly-Fleener and son Greg McColly. Then there’s Greg's wife Sandy McColly, Ron McColly’s granddaughter, Heather, grandson-in-law Drew Ranich, and grandson Reece McColly-Fleener. 

As children, Heather and Reece were exposed to the family business at an early age. 

Growing up, Heather was surrounded by everything real estate, which is why the family business is like second nature to her. It helped prepare her for her role as the Director of Career Development today. 

“Growing up, I had no idea about the true scale of our family’s company. I viewed corporate just as a place that always had sweet treats, a computer to play on, and familiar faces,” Heather said. “McColly is a place where everyone is valued. A place where we’re all on the same team and we help each other to grow and learn. With these qualities, trust and long-term relationships are created. With the right tools, support, and training, our agents can offer the best service to our clients and customers.”

“I have been with Community Title, a McColly affiliated title company since May of 2018, so a bit under two years. I have always had an interest in the work I've seen my family do, so I feel I naturally gravitated to the company after graduating from college,” Reece said.

After graduating from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Heather said her grandfather, Ronald McColly, suggested she return home to take part in the family business. 

“I politely declined and told him I wanted to learn another industry and live in Cincinnati, Ohio,” Heather said. 

She spent the next three years working in the wholesale apparel industry until she decided to make the leap into the family business. 

“I decided to join the company to learn from the best, my grandfather, who’s spent 45+ years building McColly Companies. So I called him and said, ‘Is that job you offered three years ago still available?’’’ she recalled. “Every day here at McColly brings something different, and I feel lucky to have such a great support system, not to mention our awesome agents who make coming to work a true pleasure.”

Since joining the team in April, Heather also has taken on the New Homes Division at McColly Real Estate. During her short time at McColly Real Estate, Heather has been a part of some big milestones for the company. 

“We’ve launched an innovative new technology platform for the company,” Heather said. “Including a new broker website, agent website, an agent-branded real estate search app, real-time listing presentation tool, customer relationship management system, and an automated home valuation module for sellers to use.”

When asked about his belief on how being locally owned and family operated benefits clients Drew, who is both Director of Relocation / Outgoing Referrals and the Director of Broker Relations, replied, "I like to always think that deep roots are the strongest. Not only has McColly Real Estate been around for 45+ years, but the McColly family, including Ron's grandparents, have been providing service through family-owned businesses for generations in Northwest Indiana. We bring that same philosophy to all 23 real estate offices we operate.  In every one of those locations, our Brokers are deeply involved in the communities they serve.  Whether they can suggest cleaning services, home stagers, furnace repair, roofers, etc. we rest assured our Brokers are in touch with local vendors who can go above and beyond to help our clients and positively affect each local economy we are part of as a result."

The McColly family has some big plans for the real estate firm.

“My biggest personal goal and company goal moving forward is for those of us newly entering the business to continue learning from and engaging with those around us to help ensure our success in the future,” Reece said. 

“I would most certainly say that overall growth is, of course, an important part of what we continually strive for.  But I am also very excited to be a part of a company that (as a result of our robust company infrastructure) is at the forefront of an ever-changing market and industry in our area. That presence uniquely positions us to have a huge impact in terms of servicing the growth Northwest Indiana itself is about to experience,” Drew said. “As we continue to offer our signature excellent service and the expertise McColly Brokers bring to our markets, we look forward to being a mainstay for our clients who look to us as their trusted real estate advisers.”

“Long term, I hope to see McColly remain a place where residential and commercial agents have the necessary resources, support, and environment to grow business,” Heather said. “By further providing these tools, our agents can give their clients and customers top-notch service.” 

Working with family isn’t always easy and can be challenging, especially during times of growth, but Heather and Drew have some solid advice.

“Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try new processes, even if they fail,” Heather said. “After all, if we aren’t changing, we aren’t growing.”

“Listen, learn, and remember to be humble about the opportunity you have. Most family businesses are in operation long-term because of incredible people (related or not) who have been with the company for years and are amazing at what they do. Strive to attain their level of knowledge and model yourself after their work ethic,” Drew said.

This media release originally appeared on NWI.LIFE  and was written by Kole Rushmore.

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