Our 25 Years in Real Estate
When Marty and I started in real estate 25 years ago, we imagined that it would be short term, something to fill the gaps from our furniture business we owned in Old Town. We thought the two of us would each have a part-time role, particularly since we had two young children at the time. We quickly found that it took two of us working more than full-time to deliver the level of service we had offered in our previous business.
Back then, there was a formal dinner that honored the “million dollar” agents and those that had survived in the business 25 years. At that point, I really had no desire to be the person walking across the stage in 2017 to accept such a plaque. How time flies and how things change!
Our business today, “The Goodhart Group,” has evolved over the years. First, it was “Sue and Marty Goodhart.” Then, Marty decided to adjust his role to one primarily behind the scenes, so our brand became simply “Sue Goodhart.” Over the years, our team grew so we could better serve our clients. We again changed our brand to “Sue Goodhart and The Goodhart Group.” In 2008, our daughter Allison joined us. She brought a fresh eye, supreme intelligence, and a gift for implementation.
We then became simply, “The Goodhart Group.”
Looking back, I am amazed how much has changed since 1992. Buyer representation was in its infancy. Because of the late 1980s bubble and then bust, there was a movement to give buyers representation. It took nearly ten years for this to become standard practice.
We presented most contracts in person. The fax machine was new for moving paper around. There were a lot of late night meetings with clients because no one had a cell phone (fortunately, Marty often took late night duty). Now, clients can sign and edit contracts electronically, which has made life much easier for our busy clients.
There was no internet so no online listings. New listings came to us on dot matrix printers. We went to preview them for our buyers. Newspaper ads and direct mail were our best marketing tools. When we did a mailing, we’d stuff and lick the envelopes around the TV at night.
Technology significantly changed the business. First, we had pagers then “car phones.” Then came the Blackberry, followed by the Iphone. The advent of email had an enormous impact on our industry, allowing us to to quickly communicate with more than one person. Clients soon expected quick responses. The other great improvement came about with Mapquest to plan out showings and tours. Then the best invention ever came with GPS in the car!
Our path to our silver anniversary was paved with hard work and successes. Within a year of starting, we were top producers and later, the top producers at Long & Foster Old Town. When we switched to McEnearney in 1998, we quickly rose to number one at McEneaney Old Town and the entire company, which we have did each year since 2003 while we were at the company. In our twenty-five years in real estate, Marty, Allison, our team and I have worked hard to help our clients find just the right place that would fit them in the current stage of their lives. This summer, we are excited to announce that we have moved to Compass Real Estate, the nation’s fastest growing real estate brokerage and the top brokerage in Washington, D.C. We are proud to be have brought the future of real estate to Alexandria as the founding agents of the new Compass office in Old Town.
These 25 years have been extremely rewarding. Yes, we’ve had some challenges, but we love them too. They’ve helped us grow stronger and better serve our clients and community.
We have been so fortunate to do what we do with a great team and in an incredible community.
Today, I’m not certain I will work in real estate for another 25 years, even if I were so lucky to live that long. But I feel I am building a business along with Allison, Marty and our great team that will be around for the next 25 years – whether I am still working or not!
If we can help you or any of your friends or family members achieve their real estate goals, we’d be honored. Contact us at any time.