Above: Ty Evans, left, and her daughter, Natalie Evans
It was her sales career with Estee Lauder that took Ty Evans from New York to Seattle some 45 years ago. But the switch to real estate was all about her love of beautiful homes.
“The best part of my weekends as a kid was when my mother and I went to open houses,” she said. “I was fascinated by architecture and design.”
Evans earned her REALTOR® stripes with Windermere Real Estate in Seattle in 1982. Today the mother of two sets of grown twins is one of the company’s top performers, leading a team of three with daughter Natalie and operations manager Tracy Johnson on Washington’s tony Bainbridge Island, where they consistently post annual sales of about $90 million.
Barbara Pronin: Two sets of twins, Ty! How did you manage to keep up with your real estate career?
Ty Evans: I did take a few years off when all the babies came. But we had a summer home on Bainbridge Island, and when we moved there permanently in 1993, I was happy to get back to work.
BP: Bainbridge Island is a unique market, isn’t it?
TE: It is. It’s an island the size of Manhattan, but with a population of just over 24,000 – mostly professional people and folks with Microsoft, Amazon, or other tech companies who live here but ferry to work in Seattle because they love the vibe of the Island. We are very family-oriented here, with a great school system, lots of equestrian trails and other recreational venues, and lovely seaside homes. Vogue Magazine calls us, ‘the Nantucket of the Northwest.’ The average selling price for a home here is about $1.5 million.
BP: And Natalie, what’s your background, and when did you decide to team with your mom?
Natalie Evans: Well, I grew up in a real estate household, so it’s always been a part of who I am. When I got my marketing degree, I went to work at Nordstrom’s flagship Seattle store, where I learned a lot about the value of customer service. I came to real estate in 2014, as social media and marketing coordinator for Windermere Capitol Hill. It didn’t take me long to realize this was where I was meant to be, so I got my real estate license in 2014 and became a full-time broker.
BP: What is it like working with your mother?
NE: Honestly, it was an easy transition, because we are both so much on the same wavelength. Sometimes it seems like we read each other’s minds. People tell us even our mannerisms are the same. But when your mom is your business partner, you learn very quickly to separate your personal life from your work life.
TE: We do have complete trust in one another, though, and I think that’s been part of our success. Our clients know they can count on either of us at any point in their transaction.
NE: Also, Ty’s been the best mentor I could have. She is Bainbridge Island’s only Executive Premier Director, an honor only given to agents elected by their peers for outstanding professionalism and market expertise. She has deep roots in this community. She’s served on the school board foundation. Everyone knows her.
TE: I’ve built my career on customer care. I’m proud to say more than 90 percent of our business comes from referrals. That’s one of the reasons we brought on Tracy about a year ago. She’s our operations manager, but she’s also a licensed broker, so she has been a great addition.
NE: And we’ve hired a part-time marketing person.
BP: How do you operate and stay organized as a team?
TE: Getting a good team together is as significant as a marriage. It takes a lot of trust, and we blessed to have that. We have group chats maybe 50 times a day, so we are all on the same page. At the same time, I know I can trust that when something needs to be done, or a home needs staging, Natalie will do it just as I would have done it myself.
NE: We also keep a master calendar, so each of us knows exactly where we are with each transaction.
BP: What is your market like right now?
TE: We have cash buyers coming in who are not bothered by interest rates – and inventory is still quite low, so move4-in ready places and golf course homes are selling quickly.
BP: Is your team open to expansion?
TE: Yes, to people who are as devoted to customer care as we are; who know the island and can bring that expertise with them. I love my job. My clients become my friends. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
To contact Ty Evans, email email@example.com.
Evans Team Listing
15935 Euclid Ave NE
Bainbridge Island WA 98110
Sold for 3,248,000