Kentwood Real Estate
Years in business: 41
Size: 4 offices, 258 agents
Coverage Area: Front Range of Colorado
2021 Sales Volume: $2,937,266,366
2021 Transactions: 3,545 units
Ohio native Gretchen Rosenberg came to Colorado to attend the University of Denver where she earned a degree in Public Affairs and International Studies, then an MBA in marketing.
Looking for a career change as a single mom to an 18-month-old, she received her broker license then helped found the Kentwood Real Estate Cherry Creek office in Colorado.
Today, she serves as president and CEO of Denver-based Kentwood Real Estate, the exclusive Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices affiliate in Colorado.
What’s the secret to success in your industry?
Gretchen Rosenberg: I think there are a few things that lead to success. One is attention to detail. Another is attentiveness to your consumer.
How has the Denver market fared in the first half of 2022?
GR: Our market is strong. We weathered the recession fairly well in 2008, ‘09, ‘10 and ‘11. We saw erosion in prices, but fortunately, had diversified our economy and that helped us in those years. Combine that with the quality of life we have in Colorado, and we’ve had a crazy market. This year is cooling a bit—maybe someone is competing against two to three offers instead of 20 to 30—but it’s still fairly competitive.
What makes a new agent a good fit for your firm?
GR: One of the founders of the company used to say, “Does the person have fire in the belly?” I think that still resonates with us today. We generally are not a training-ground company; we don’t typically take brand-new agents, unless we see that fire or they have a good business background. We want someone who is going to work hard and is building for the future.
In what ways do you champion women at the firm?
GR: I love that we have a good blend of men and women on our leadership team. I do like to promote women, but not exclusively. I am a champion of women and diversity, and someone who I feel will add to the fabric of our team. I don’t want everyone to be the same. I welcome different experiences and points of view.
How is your firm unique in your marketplace?
GR: We are known as a luxury firm, but we don’t exclusively do luxury because Denver offers a lot of housing types. We treat everyone with that luxury touch.
How important is it to introduce the latest tech to the firm?
GR: New tech is a challenge, which is a blessing and a curse. It’s hugely beneficial, but there are so many shiny new things being thrown at us. We have to be very mindful of what’s going to move the needle for agent productivity. That’s what we focus on, and not just every tech solution out there.
How do you maintain a proper work/life balance?
GR: If you love what you do, you are in balance. Years ago, someone said to me that I work too much, but I really love what I do. I do try to shut off in the evening when I can and spend time with friends and family, and enjoy Colorado, because it is a beautiful state.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received about your career?
GR: “Don’t pay attention to the chatter.” Real estate is a notoriously gossipy profession. Stay true to yourself and work hard for your clients and the rest will follow.
What’s the key for keeping brokers happy?
GR: We’re very good at retention at our company; our average tenure is 19 years. I think we have an extremely strong management team and believe in our brokers. We’re always in our offices, great relationships and a great culture here.