Total existing-home sales—completed transactions that include single-family homes, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops—rose 3.1% from December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.00 million in January.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Kathy Kane
The Art of Real Estate
When Kathy Kane emerged from New York University with a degree in fine arts, she never dreamed that years later, she’d be selling real estate. “At that time, real estate was never even on the radar,” she admitted. Fast forward to present day, Kane is now an Associate Broker with Coldwell Banker in White Plains and serves as a Trustee on the Hudson Gateway Realtor Foundation board.
Her pre-real estate career also included stints in the restaurant business. “I did everything from waitressing to bartending, to managing and bookkeeping and some of the skills I learned were no doubt helpful in the real estate industry,” she said. Her artistic work included sketches, watercolor paintings and graphic design.
At one point, she worked with an art dealer in Westport, CT, who later opened a gallery in Manhattan. Kane spent about four years commuting to the Big Apple, picking up more customer service skills along the way.
However, it was a flower shop owner who inadvertently led her down the path to real estate. “It was a neighboring business of the art gallery in Westport who told me about selling real estate part time,” she recalled. “I thought about it and decided I should try that too!”
After earning her license in 2006, she began working part-time with Weichert Realtors in Yorktown. “Of course, it was right when the market started to tank, so my timing was impeccable,” she quipped. She continued to manage both art and real estate careers for six years before landing full time in the home selling industry.
In 2012, she was recruited by Coldwell Banker at about the same time her friend from high school, Joan Spota, joined the Yorktown branch. “We became an unofficial team there, even after I joined the White Plains office,” she said.
Given Kane’s diverse career background, she adapted quickly to her new business. “Working in restaurants for many years, I had a lot of connections,” she explained. Her biggest challenge was learning how deals work in the real world. “There’s only so much you can learn from a book, but you have to get out there and start doing deals to learn how to navigate the mine fields.”
Kane credits former HGAR President Gail Fattizzi with coaxing her to get involved with the Realtor Foundation. “I used to help my mom deliver meals when I was a teenager, so I wanted to start doing some type of community service,” she added.
As a result, Kane joined the Foundation Fundraising Committee in 2019 and just this year, she was nominated and appointed as a Foundation Trustee. “We have a lot of really fantastic members who bring many skills, time and energy to the organization,” she said. “The fact that we can donate thousands of dollars annually to charities and non-profits throughout the Hudson Valley is so rewarding.”
Meanwhile, she and team member Joan Spota became licensed property managers in 2018 and formed a company called West Put Home Services LLC. The firm handles everything from collecting rents, working with vendors, and home watch services for “snowbirds” heading to warmer climates for the winter. Just last year, they acquired another property manager’s business and plan to continue growing the firm.
Of course, Kane is still involved with the typical real estate roles of listing and selling. In her spare time, she likes to cook—another skill honed from the restaurant business. Wine making and home brewing are also on the list. As for the arts, Kane still dabbles in drawings when she has time.