By Colleen Mahoney
Helen and David Brogan have built a life for themselves in the Springville area. Their seven children graduated from Springville-Griffith Institute, they’ve volunteered with the Dairy Fest committee and the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce and built lasting friendships. And, of course, they run their successful real estate business Concord Land Realty.
The Brogan’s Springville story began in December 1976 when Dave got a job working as an assistant principal at the high school. The couple, which was living in Highland Mills, NY, had six children in school, so Helen stayed behind to let them finish out the school year. They joined Dave in the Springville area in August 1977, and for about a year Helen stayed home with their youngest daughter.
In search of a part-time job, Helen began working with Tom Reynolds at Century 21 Concord Land Real Estate Company.
“I’d never done real estate before … I just needed a part-time job,” Helen said. “It kind of evolved over time.”
But she loved it and got her real estate license in 1978. Then Dave got his license about a year later and began working on Saturdays at Reynold’s agency. The couple fell in love with the real estate world and began putting more of their energy into it.
“I loved it … we didn’t want to give it up,” Helen said. “It was never really part time, it never is.”
Eventually, Reynold’s pursued politics — becoming a New York State Assemblyman — and passed the business on to Helen. They moved into their current location at 31 E. East Main Street, across from where the Leland House once sat.
“I thought the location was great, people would come out of the Leland House and see us,” Helen said. “Then the Leland House closed … but we stayed here.”
Before opening, the couple renovated the inside of the building which previously housed a dry cleaning business. They redid the floors, added doors and painted the inside. The outside was painted twice in an eye-catching red. In 1996, their Concord Land Realty officially opened its doors and has been serving the area ever since.
Dave retired from education in 2000 and began picking up more real estate work. Soon after they hired Dennis Sibley as associate broker. Sibley has been there ever since. About a year ago, Richard Brownell joined the team as a licensed real estate salesperson.
“We’re kind of a happy little family,” Dave said, of his agents. “It’s been quite a ride, but we have fun with it.”
Concord Land Realty services all of Western New York, from Fredonia to Rochester, Clarence to Olean. Helen explained all the agents can sell within the entire state of New York, but mostly stay regional. Sibley sells south into Randolph, Little Valley and the Salamanca area, while the Brogans and Brownell stay near the Concord area and north.
“We’re part of the multiple listing service, which means we can sell anything in Western New York,” Dave said. “It’s like everything goes into a big pool and people try to pull from there and sell that.”
A multiple listing service allows for real estate agencies to enter their properties into websites which are viewed by other multiple listing agencies in the area. It benefits sellers, as more potential buyers can see their property.
Being in the business for 20 years, the Brogans have seen a lot of changes, both in Springville and in the real estate business. In addition to the Leland House closing, they’ve seen Main Street businesses come and go and the internet become a tool.
“When we first started, we got a book every two weeks with all the property listings in Western New York,” Helen recalled. “We would have to search that entire book to find a property, type out the information and send it … everything was mailed … to our buyer.”
Now, she said, a buyer gives a location and some features of a home they’d like and the Brogans type it into a website. Multiple listings are found in less time than it took to find one in the listing book. They’ve also learned from trial and error, finding the best times for open houses and when people begin looking to sell their homes.
“Everything affects the market,” Helen said – “The weather, the time of year.”
Buffalo Bills’ games can also play a role in response rates, Dave said. “People don’t look at houses when the Bills are on,” he laughed. “We learned that after staring at each other at an open house for three hours.”
Working with each other, Dave said, is one of the perks of the job. They put up signs, work open houses and drive to listings together. But it’s not just working together that has made the company successful, Helen and Dave agree. The people they’ve met have played a key role in Concord Land Realty.
“We like it here, it’s a wonderful community with a lot of activities,” Helen said. “We’ve met a lot of people in this business, and they’re good people.”
Those good people and the success the Brogans have seen will keep them going for awhile. They’re looking forward to continuing to serve the community, and the people who want to be in it.
“To find a niche in a small town and be prosperous is unique,” Dave said. “In some aspects you control your own destiny … and we’ve worked for a long, long time for that.”
Concord Land Realty is located at 31 E. Main St., in Springville. They can be reached at (716) 592-4941 or online at www.ConcordLandRealty.com.