Owning a home is more than an investment, it’s an important part of grasping what many people view as the American dream.
Jennifer Whalen, a former assistant attorney general, transitioned from serving as assistant counsel for the state Racing and Wagering Board to starting a real estate firm, The Whalen Group Distinguished Properties, Inc., focusing on residential and commercial properties. Since 2001, her passion towards helping people achieve the American dream of home ownership has led to growth of her boutique real estate firm, which has a diverse range of agents.
“We are most concerned about our clients being satisfied and giving them the best service and advice while representing them with ethics and integrity,” Whalen said. “We put them before our own needs and our own selves. If they need something, we call them back immediately.”
The five agents working at Whalen’s firm also share her passion for real estate, with all having expertise and degrees in different areas.
“It is not a hobby for us; we love the industry and love what we do,” Whalen said. “We are well equipped to handle the transactions we deal with.”
One of Whalen’s agents is actually a client she worked with to help find the “home of their dreams.” After seeing their passion for the industry, she recommended they get licensed and join her firm.
“I could just tell she loved the industry,” Whalen said. “I added her to my firm and trained her.”
Having agents with different backgrounds allows the firm to provide an array of information and perspectives, such as one agent holding an expertise on education and local school districts.
“We do bring a lot of additional information to the table when we serve out clients,” Whalen said.
Her firm also believes in the mantra “the customer is always right” and will help clients achieve whatever goals they have, whether selling or purchasing.
“We are grateful for their business and are pleased and honored to help them through the process,” she said.
The industry also did not experience the usual seasonal decline around the holidays, with sales not slowing down as much, and she is readying for business to pick up. She said now is a “good time” to list or buy a house.
This spring, the firm is offering a listing rate special of 4.5 percent, which is “very competitive,” she said. Some of the popular homes sale areas she has noticed are Bethlehem, North Colonie and Niskayuna due to the school districts, and Saratoga County is attracting homeowners for the low property tax rates.
This year, she is also looking to expand her firm through adding another five agents, but she said keeping smaller, independent firm remains her focus.
“I don’t want to be a big franchise,” she said. “I like the fact we are a small boutique firm with a lot of expertise in a lot of different areas.”