As an industry, real estate has a reputation from attracting an eclectic mix of professionals from other industries, eager to launch a second career. But its own executive ranks tend to be filled from those who got their start as agents – which makes Nanette Pastore’s rise from personal assistant to head of several branches of leading independent brokerage Pearce Real Estate a rare journey indeed.
Pastore came from a background in banking, but when her bank merged with another and her job was eliminated, her former boss recommended her for an executive assistant position at Pearce. She soon rose to the role of director of administration for the company, overseeing the admin staff across the firm to help them better assist agents. Then, when a management position at the firm’s Wallingford office arose, Pastore was offered the post.
At first, even she was leery. But she credits Herb and Barbara Pearce for recognizing her potential.
“I was very skeptical, but I just thought, you know, I’m going to take it, and do the best that I can. And I think maybe they saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself,” she said.
Pastore admits that agents, too, were skeptical at first, having a manager take over who hadn’t come up from the ranks of agents herself. But Pastore went the extra mile to win them over, obtaining a real estate license and getting her feet wet in sales in order to better understand agents’ struggles, and meeting with real estate management coaches and trainers to learn the ins-and-outs of recruiting and retention.
“It was all a matter of time, every day, moving a little bit father into trusting them and them trusting me. I would never tell them things that I wasn’t sure of; I’d always say, ‘I’ll check on that and get back to you,’” Pastore said. “And it took a while, but eventually I got to a point where I thought, you know, I do have the right personality, I can make this work.”
The agents she works with agree. “Nanette personifies the word ‘partner.’ As a leader, she is a true team player, providing guidance when warranted, support when needed, and encouragement when essential,” said David Mayhew, a top producing agent at Pearce.
Pastore took the once-failing Wallingford office from five agents to more than 30, and then based on that success, was soon asked to take on more. Today, she’s in charge of five Pearce offices.
“It’s just been a gradual growth process. I know this company inside and out, I know the ins and outs of how Pearce works. Barbara always tells me I bleed Pearce,” she laughs.
Pearce herself echoes that sentiment. “I consider watching Nanette grow and lead to be one of the highlights of my professional career,” said Barbara Pearce. “[She] inspires us all every day with her passion for excellence, her dedication to agents and clients, and her enthusiasm for all things Pearce. She is the consummate professional.”
Pastore also strongly values giving back to the communities Pearce serves. Among her philanthropic commitments, she currently serves on the board of directors for the Greater New Haven Association of Realtors, the board of directors for the Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way’s Allocation Committee for Wallingford and Meriden.