Realtors Christine Hansen, left, and Jennifer Parker are a mother-daughter dynamic duo in the real estate business. Hansen is broker-owner of Century 21 Hansen Realty Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, while Parker works in the firm’s Galt Ocean office.
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – If someone told the younger Christine Hansen that she would be a second-generation real estate professional, she would have laughed.
“I never considered following in my mother’s footsteps,” she says. Yet in 1987, at 22 years old, Hansen, broker-owner of Century 21 Hansen Realty Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, did just that.
“I was working as a receptionist at my mother’s real estate office, and I saw the commission checks for some of the commercial agents, so I got my license and got motivated,” she says.
Flash forward to 2009, when Hansen’s daughter, Jennifer Parker, decided to leave a job in the healthcare field to join her mother in real estate.
“Jennifer graduated at the top of her class from Florida Atlantic University and said she’d never follow in my footsteps,” laughs Hansen. Now Parker, 28, is a top-producing agent in Hansen’s Galt Ocean office, while Hansen works out of the main office. Hansen earned her broker’s license in 1989 when she decided that a salaried manager’s job was more attractive. “I had always done well, so compensation wasn’t really an issue, but I wanted some salary stability,” she says.
Building Her Own Path
Being a successful sales associate in her mother’s office wasn’t easy for Hansen when she first began her career.
“Everyone assumed my mother would feed me leads, so I purposely didn’t take any company-generated leads,” she says. “I didn’t even use my last name when I prospected.” But, looking back, Hansen says she would do things a lot differently now.
“When you’re young you don’t think about how that could impact your business,” she explains. Still, she managed to be a top-producing agent right out of the gate.
With the benefit of her personal experience working with her own mother in her real estate business, Hansen set her daughter up in a different office from the one where she had her headquarters. She also encouraged Jennifer to take advantage of the education that Century 21 provides. Still, while this mother-daughter duo is doing some things differently, other things remain the same.
“I don’t provide her with leads,” Hansen says.
But the proud mom says of her daughter: “Her first year, 2011, Jennifer partnered with another agent and got a $10 million listing right way. In 2012, she worked alone and closed about $3 to $4 million in sales.”
She attributes part of that success to the fact that Parker really listens to her. “I told her to prospect daily, stay in touch until they list and make a connection before you get the listing,” says Hansen, “and she actually listened.”
And, Parker has access to her mother’s personal touch when it comes to training and coaching.
“I provide the same training and coaching to all my sales associates. Jennifer doesn’t get special treatment. I love to help agents succeed,” Hansen says.
But, she adds that she’s also tougher than she may appear. “I think of myself as a nice, but tough, leader,” she says.
She also describes herself as a problem solver. “I love to save deals, and I’m really creative with the solution,” she says. The trick, she says, is to learn what the buyer and seller want and map out a way to help them both achieve it. “Don’t focus on the actual problem.”
Active at Work and Play
When she’s not working on the job, Hansen stays busy organizing unique fundraisers for charities she passionately supports. “We recently held a charity event and silent auction to raise money for the Just Believe Foundation, which provides food and support for less-fortunate children,” she says.
She’s also an avid scuba diver and motorcyclist who tries to plan at least one dive trip a year. In 2011, she and a friend went on a four-month motorcycle trip through South America. Anytime, anywhere, Hansen is always up for an adventure.
“I like to take risks,” says Hansen. In addition to sharing an aptitude for the real estate business, Hansen and her daughter Jennifer both have a penchant for scary movies – something they enjoy when they’re not on the job.
Now Jennifer has a daughter of her own, and Hansen is blessed with a four-year old granddaughter, Noelle. When asked if she will be a fourth generation real estate professional, Hansen just laughs. “Only time will tell.”
As dedicated to her profession as she is to her family and her community, Christine Hansen has taken additional education courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise. She earned the professional designations of Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB) and Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI).