Welcome Home from The Blaine Team
Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
Keller Williams realtor Marianne Blaine believes there is a round hole for every round peg, and it is her job to bring the two together. Or rather, it is her passion, and the reason she hits the ground running every day. The 30 year veteran arts and education teacher and actress redirected her effervescent personality and energy to real estate, committing to treat people the way she wanted to be treated.
“We moved 15 times; we knew how we were treated. I knew what I did, and did not want for my customers,” Blaine said. “I wanted to build a real estate business based on referrals. Treating people as we want to be treated has done that.
“When we lived in Augusta a realtor friend said, ‘Come work for us.’ He must have seen something in me that I could not see at the time.” Having grown up with a father whose idea of weekend fun was visiting open houses, Blaine credits her dad with planting the early seed of her own real estate DNA. “He was in accounting and business,” Blaine said of her father. “He loved to look at houses; it was his hobby. He loved designing houses and moved us four or five times because he just wanted to do something different. He wasn’t an architect or a builder; he just enjoyed it. I loved doing it; all of us did.” Her penchant for attending open houses gave her the opportunity to do reconnaissance for friends looking for real estate through her many moves, further affirming that she just might have a special knack for the business.
What ultimately drew Blaine into real estate fulltime was a permanent move to Hilton Head Island after years of vacations in the Lowcountry; that, and her love of problem-solving. One of the first problems she had to work on was what to do about the disappearing act her husband thought she was perpetrating. Ric Blaine had anticipated seeing Marianne on a regular basis as he transitioned from his engineering career to his Hilton Head Island retirement.
“He wasn’t seeing me. In real estate you work all the time. You just do and you know it; you embrace it, and you just have to make it fun,” Blaine said.
“She said you better get your real estate license and join me,” Ric Blaine said, and with that The Blaine Team was formed.
“Together we make one whole person,” quips Marianne Blaine. “We work with a lot of couples. We believe having a couple as a team makes everyone feel more at ease. Like-mindedness occurs. We see our communication styles matching up which often gets to the heart of questions and answers much quicker.”
Whether envisioning the peg game, or simply possessing a proclivity for problem-solving, Blaine says she loves the challenge. “When people call me I listen to what they want. I want to set them at ease and have them understand that I am not someone who is going to badger them. I respect their privacy, listen carefully to what they want, and do my very best to find them a place as quickly as possible.”
However, not everyone is ready to move swiftly with their real estate decisions, and Marianne and Ric relish the long-term rapport they build with many clients over the course of several years. “Some people are on a five-year plan. They start looking at 50 if they’re going to retire at 55. We have people we have worked with for years. We stay in touch; we go for drinks or have lunch. This is a joy for me. It’s not work; it’s a delight—the best part of the job,” Marianne said of building these personal relationships.
The Blaine Team has grown strong on a foundation of treating every client in a personal way, and from that comes referrals. Now a powerhouse of three, Marianne and Ric have dubbed administrative assistant Joyce Darveau, an army of one. Darveau keeps the wheels greased in the office, executing marketing and promotional materials and data entry. “With Ric coming on board, it was such a help with another set of eyes and hands and ears; then we were able to hire an administrative assistant. In keeping with the Keller Williams system, we empower Joyce so that her responsibilities grow as we grow,” Blaine said.
“We found the round hole to our round peg; we found the right real estate company,” Blaine said of being a member of the Keller Williams family. The Keller Williams mission to build careers worth having, businesses worth owning, and lives worth living, fit perfectly with the Blaine’s personal and professional aspirations of working with passion, honesty, and integrity. The company perspective focuses on training and consulting, which fits neatly with Blaine’s makeup.
“Having worked in education for so many years, I have always been a voracious reader. I’ve always been anxious to learn everything I possibly can; so I take classes, I watch seminars, I do things to keep me on top of what’s going on as much as I possibly can. That’s one thing about Keller Williams; they offer as much as you can possibly take in. It’s like drinking from a fire hose.”
Ever striving to achieve the Keller Williams ideal of working to supply a life worth living, the Blaines play as hard as they work. “We plan family vacations at the holidays. We hang it up and get off the grid,” Marianne said. “We hike, we hang out, we play games.” Not ones to let the grass grow under their feet, she added, “We have groups of friends we get together with for game nights. We love to cook; we’re in two different supper groups, and I’m in a luncheon group where we all cook.”
“There are so many fascinating people here. Why would we want to be anywhere else?” Rick Blaine said.
This team’s energy and delight in what they do is palatable. It seems to be a case of a very round peg finding just the right very round hole.
Call The Blaine Team at (843) 304-4256 or visit kw.com/kw/agent/marianneblaine.