Managing Brokers: Putting in Overtime

by Chicago Agent

A Real Estate Attorney as a Managing Broker

When managing broker and real estate attorney Dan Macahon left RE/MAX a few months ago to start his own independent company, Lake Homes Unlimited, real estate agent Pat Kappeler followed him right out the door – and not just because he gives her free legal advice.

In the five years that Kappeler has been working with Macahon, she’s consistently been impressed with the way he handles his business and clients. “He’s got a big heart,” Kappeler says. Not only is Macahon known around the office for providing counsel to clients for free (he only earns a fee when a transaction closes), he’s also known for his astute handling of short sales and foreclosures.

“When I get a short sale listing, I hand the client off to him and his team, and he handles the rest,” Kappeler says. When agents try calling a difficult mortgage company or lender, they typically don’t get very far, since banks are told to collect. But because Macahon is a real estate attorney, Kappeler says, he knows how to get to the bottom of issues, and always manages to talk to a manager or a supervisor about any outstanding problems.

In fact, Macahon did just that when Kappeler turned to him two years ago, when she needed help with a particularly difficult short sale. Kappeler represented the seller, who had been threatened with foreclosure, and was dealing with the seller’s two banks. Neither company wanted to cooperate, despite two buyers already walking away from the home after long waiting times.

When Macahon got involved, “he wouldn’t take no for an answer.” He had several conversations with the banks and never backed down, insisting to talk to supervisors and managers. “It wasn’t until he threatened them with trying to destroy what was left of the seller’s credit that they finally started to cooperate,” Kappeler explained. “Because he’s an attorney, he knows the rights. He knows how to get through to them.”

But that’s not all he did. Macahon also took the time to talk to the sellers, explain the short sale process, and kept them informed about why the short sale was taking so long. The home finally closed in January 2011, and Kappeler attributes that transaction to Macahon’s dedication. To Kappeler, the work Macahon does is “like magic”; he gets things done, but he never forgets he’s working for the clients.

A Managing Broker’s Help in a Time of Need

When tragedy strikes at home, it’s not often that real estate agents find themselves saying that they survived because of their managing broker. But that’s exactly what two agents at Southport Sotheby’s International Realty have to say about Karina Caulfield, who was granted her own Sotheby’s franchise in 2010, just one year after helping ease a merger transition between Sussex & Reilly with Sotheby’s.

Only a few short months after that merger, Cory Sanders, who was an agent with Sussex & Reilly, met Caulfield, his new managing broker at Southport Sotheby’s International. Shortly after, he unexpectedly lost his partner in a car accident. Caulfield was the first person, outside of his immediate family, to call and offer assistance. “She was like an angel,” Sanders says. While Sanders took time to grieve and be with his daughters, Caulfield met with his clients, handled inspections and negotiated contracts, all while never taking a commission. Along the way, Caulfield kept Sanders informed through emails, and when Sanders returned to work, he discovered his sphere of influence was still intact and business had grown.

Allison Schumacher had a similar experience with Caulfield after losing children in both 2009 and 2010. Yet Schumacher’s story was different in that, in 2010, she was working at a different Sotheby’s location under a different managing broker. When her then-managing broker didn’t respond to an email about needing coverage for an open house, Schumacher sent a blanket email to the company, and Caulfield was the first to respond.  After Caulfield’s offer of help, Schumacher immediately moved her office over to Southport Sotheby’s.

“I’ve never had a managing broker step up like Karina did,” Schumacher said.

As with Sanders, Caulfield took over Schumacher’s listings for six months while Schumacher took time to heal and work with March of Dimes. If it wasn’t for Caulfield, Schumacher says she would have quit real estate, a sentiment shared by Sanders.

Yet, Caulfield’s big heart isn’t the only reason the two agents enjoy going into work every day. “Karina cares about people. She cares about her agents. We’re truly a family,” Sanders says.

Caulfield also sits down weekly with all of her 70-plus agents – her office size doubled within a year – to talk about how to grow their business. It’s a chance for everyone to share ideas, and Caulfield always listens to their thoughts and concerns.

“Everything happens for a reason in life,” Schumacher says of her personal and professional relationship with Caulfield. “Her positive, forward-thinking actions are what make this business grow.”


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  • Monique says:

    Have you researched his back round as a managing broker? Check to see how many offices have been decimated by his leadership and the trail of carnage he left behind.

  • Patti says:

    I personally know this man, and he is a liar from top to bottom. This man, has ruined so many lives with his deceit and his manupliation of the law. This man should not be able to practice law….Research your facts, and contact his past…it will be an eye opener!!

  • Monique says:

    Just to clear up any misunderstanding, the 1st two comments made are regarding the article titled, “A Real Estate Attorney as a Managing Broker.”

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