At the close of this year, I will be ending my 40+ career as the Chief Executive Officer of Keefe Real Estate.
It seems pretty incredible for me to say that, and even harder to imagine. However, my son Tom will be taking the reins, and I couldn’t be more proud or confident in his capability and desire. He will continue the family legacy but will shepherd our company into the new millennium and initiate new corporate frontiers scarcely imaginable all those years ago. It’s hard to recall or even imagine the evolution of real estate values from that time to today, but suffice it to say, I remember several milestones from long ago, like buying my first home in Geneva Bay Estates for $52,000, or my Dad purchasing
a spectacular home on the lake in Williams Bay with 300+ feet of lakefront, four or five acres of land, with greenhouses and a beautiful boat house for $325,000. And, by the way, he felt that he paid too much! If that were listed today, I’m pretty sure it would sell in the eight figures. For those who doubt the long term value of what we sell, it’s helpful to have that perspective. Being involved this long in a family company translates to a lot more than dollars and cents.
Keefe Real Estate is and always has been a home to me and many of our employees. Close associates from the early days are largely gone now, but many of their children and grandchildren are still close and some even work with us today. The wonderful memories are treasures that will never leave me, and I’m sure the same will be true for Tom and his colleagues. I still get calls from my Dad’s old buddies and children of his friends inquiring about something or the other, or just stopping by to say hello and touch base. This is always very special to me and continues to delight even as it becomes less frequent.
I will continue to be involved in the company as a member of the Board of Directors, and Tom has seen fit to share some office space with me. I intend to continue to show up to offer solicited, and probably unsolicited advice, and remain very active in the development side of our business as well as the management of the numerous commercial properties I have in the area. Tom will also benefit from the ongoing role that our long-time President, Steve Beers, will play in the company.
From the outside it may not look dramatically different but, believe me, there is a lot going on behind the scenes keeping our real estate company in the forefront of a very dynamic industry.
See you on the water, or in the halls of our office. I may even write a guest column now and then.
-Mike Keefe, Chairman of the Board | Keefe Real Estate Inc.