3 Aug 2017

All in the family

As children, many of us go through a stage where we want to be the exact opposite of our parents. And yet, we wake up one day and realize that somehow, we’ve become them.

Following in the family footsteps happens often in real estate. In fact, there are currently more than a dozen Allen Tate Realtor® teams made up of family members across the company’s footprint in North and South Carolina. Here are a few of their stories.

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One of the most valuable things Phyllis Wolborsky (pictured above) has learned in her 48-year real estate career is to treat clients well.

“Our clients have often said they have felt like a part of our family in the way they were treated. I taught my children at an early age how to speak to others, encouraging the boys to listen to me when I was on the phone with my clients,” said Phyllis, leader of the Wolborsky Group in the Allen Tate Raleigh-Falls of Neuse office.

Today, three of Phyllis’ sons and a daughter-in-law work with her in the business.

“We have complementary skills. Between us, we have more than 100 collective years of real estate experience. Our family has worked with generations of other families over the years,” said Phyllis.

“My mom taught me that the right way is the only way,” said son Kevin Wolborsky, who worked in the wireless communication industry before joining his mother in 1998. “Honesty and integrity is how we do business.”

Twins Brian and Mitchell Wolborsky earned undergraduate degrees in communications from the University of Georgia, but completed their advanced degrees in real estate from the University of Mom.

“Like my mother, I absolutely love getting to know people. To help them place their families in a home just gives me so much pleasure,” said Brian, a 16-year industry veteran. “It just gets better every year. I’m so lucky to have such a great resource as my mom.”

“I saw Mom’s successful career when I was growing up, and I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” said Mitchell. “She’s knowledgeable, she’s well-known throughout the Triangle, and she’s fun.”

Daughter-in-law Jennifer – married to Phyllis’ oldest son Brad – admired the passion she saw in her mother-in-law. Jennifer earned her license and worked with Phyllis before starting her family, which now includes three daughters.

“When we moved back to Raleigh in 2005, joining the family business just seemed like the natural thing to do,” said Jennifer.

“I continue to be amazed how well Phyllis understands and cares about her clients, and how passionate she is about what she is saying,” said Jennifer. “I love being part of a family legacy.”

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After graduating from the College of Charleston with a degree in studio art and a few years working as a painter, Mary Powell Young DeLille moved back home to High Point, N.C.

“I didn’t have a job or a direction of what I wanted to do with my life,” said Mary Powell.

But her mom, Allen Tate Realtor Carol Young, took the opportunity to “direct” her daughter and signed her up for the Dan Mohr Real Estate School. 

Mary Powell earned her license at 26 and worked with Carol for seven years. After marriage and the birth of her sons, Mary Powell decided to stay home with her family, renovating homes on the side.

Like many women in real estate, Carol had been drawn to the business because of the work-life balance it offered. As she built her 33-year career, Carol increasingly valued her community involvement and volunteerism.

Mary Powell watched and learned from her mother’s example over the years. She just finished a two-year term as president of the Junior League of High Point and was appointed to the Historic Preservation Commission with the City of High Point.

Last year, Mary Powell jumped back into the business, joining her mother in the Allen Tate High Point office. She missed the challenges of real estate and the opportunity to “hang out” with Mom.

“I have encouraged Mary Powell to continue her involvement in the community, and have a good system to keep in touch with clients,” said Carol. “She’s helped me update my image, be more visible online and embrace change. She has some great creative ideas.”

“No matter how long you’ve been in the business, every day you learn something new,” said Mary Powell. “To have Mom’s 33 years of knowledge available is invaluable to me.”

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For Garrett Kachellek, joining his mother Jan in the business in 2015 was a way to move closer to family.

After earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Elon University, he pursued a career in politics, including work on a presidential campaign. He also earned a Master of Education from UNC Greensboro, working in student personnel administration and leadership development at UNC Greensboro and the University of Utah for six years. But it was time to come home.

“My mother had been putting the seed in my head for years. I am lucky to step into a position as a newer agent with someone who has 17 years in the business,” said Garrett, who works with Jan in the Allen Tate Charlotte-SouthPark office.

“It’s a tough business. You are not just opening doors and showing houses. You have to be tough, stand up for your clients and represent them to the end,” said Jan. “I’ve told Garrett to always keep one step ahead of the process. Work hard, show kindness and business will come your way.”

“We genuinely get along. She has been a good mentor, which has given me great insights when working with clients and negotiating deals. I’ve helped her streamline some of her processes,” said Garrett.

“He has opened the world of social media to me. And he’s really good at explaining to clients how we plan to market their house. It’s been a real pleasure to have him in the business,” said Jan. “He’s a natural.”

Karen Murray
Karen Murray

Karen Murray is Public Relations Manager for the Allen Tate Companies. She has more than 20 years of experience as a marketing communications professional, writer, wife and mother of four.

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