Ann Braunagel had an OK job, but something was missing. Ten years ago, she was working in the corporate world selling technology, when she decided it was time for a change.
“I really wanted an opportunity to make a difference,” she said of her decision. “For me, selling real estate and being part of the biggest transaction in most people’s lives is more than rewarding.”
Now, as a team leader at Keller Williams Realty and the head of two offices in Trumbull and Stratford, Braunagel’s role includes expanding her franchise and taking new Realtors under her wing.
“In a traditionally male-dominated environment, I think she adds a different perspective to the position that I think is well received by people who have long-term plans for themselves and their families,” remarked Tom Braunagel, Ann’s husband and partner at Keller Williams.
The fact that the Braunagels have since grown their team from 12 agents to around 140 people is certainly proof that she’s doing something right.
Indeed, Braunagel takes particular pride in helping new Realtors transition from other careers or from a spell at home with children.
Tracey Roballey, director of agent services at Keller Williams, was just such a person. Roballey left her position at a Fortune 500 company to stay home with her children for 13 years, and Braunagel welcomed her into the agency.
“She really helped me understand and realize how much potential I had,” Roballey said. “It makes a huge difference when you have somebody who not only wants to help you grow within an industry, but also develop as a person.”
Roballey cites a particular example, when Braunagel let her take some time away from her duties at the office to participate in Keller Williams’ BOLD program for eight weeks. Braunagel, she said, didn’t bat an eye.
Braunagel has fostered a “people first” culture at Keller Williams, her associates say. She recently put her interior design degree to work when she moved her staff into a new office, more than double the size of its original location.
Roballey is not just referring to the design when she says, “Ann put a lot of love into this. It’s a beautiful place, and everybody loves it.”