Serving the community is a priority for Emily KalligherEmily Kalligher fell in love with the Northland in 1992.
By: Mackenzie Allison, for the News Tribune
Emily Kalligher fell in love with the Northland in 1992.
After coming to Duluth from her native Minneapolis, Kalligher says she knew she had to live here. She got a job with a real estate company and now is the owner of her own.
“It was only supposed to be a short-term thing,” Kalligher said, “but I liked it so much that I had to find a way to stay. Real estate was interesting to me, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I purchased my first duplex when I was 18 and was licensed the same year.”
In 1994, Kalligher was presented with two real estate industry “Rookie of the Year” awards. However, those weren’t all she would find rewarding in her professional life.
Kalligher and her husband, Gary Kalligher, are now the owners of RE/MAX 1 Duluth office. They attained the franchise in 2008 after first operating Kalligher Realty Inc. for 12 years. The office has received the RE/MAX North Central State of Minnesota Single Office Broker/Owners of the Year award for three years in a row.
“Though proud to be a small, local, independent firm, we realized the magnitude of tools, services and technology available for the ultimate benefit of the consumer through RE/MAX and that made for an easy decision,” she said.
“We’re still local and independent, but we have the support and resources of the No. 1 real estate franchise,” she said, explaining her company’s focus on the community that has included giving back 5 percent to local charities.
Tapping into the larger company’s resources required learning a new system, she said.
“The first year was spent largely learning the RE/MAX systems at the brokerage level and in planning. Gary was busy selling and I largely handled administration,” Kalligher said. “I started recruiting in 2009, and since then we’ve grown agent by agent. We’ve been specific and deliberate about the agents we’ve associated with, and have had success in affiliating with great people who also happen to be great agents.”
John Doberstein is one of those agents.
“Emily is an incredible asset to have as a broker,” Doberstein said. “I tap into her vast knowledge frequently to ensure that we are providing the absolute best representation of our clients. … She is always available and always willing to put down whatever she is doing to help out her agents.”
Not only does Kalligher make an impact on those who work in her office, she’s also making a difference in the community she now calls home.
“I have two small children that take up a lot of time, but before that, I spent several years active with the Junior League of Duluth,” Kalligher said of the organization she’s been involved in for six years, and of which she is a past president.
“Junior League provided an opportunity for both in-depth project involvement and an ability to make a small, but meaningful difference, on a regular basis,” she said. “I really got in touch with the people of the community; I got a real feel of their needs.”
Kalligher also has been involved in the YWCA mentor program, Women in Business, guiding her teenage protégé, Hermean Shields, in making a business plan. Shields ended up winning first place in a business planning competition and a trip to California.
“Emily is a born leader, and she’s such a positive role model,” Doberstein said.
Get to know Emily Kalligher
Occupation: Real estate broker/owner at RE/MAX 1 in Duluth.
What do you actually do? I get to work with a fantastic group of real estate agents; I help as needed with contract questions, transactional challenges and professional development. I have a lot of fun with the recruitment of talent and in working with my husband, and strong administrative support in the management and operations of the business.
Number of years in your job: 19-plus years in real estate; 4½ years at RE/MAX 1.
Education: I attended the University of Minnesota on the post-secondary program when I was 16-17 and entered real estate at 18 in Duluth. Real estate designations and certifications include ABR, CDPE, CRS, GRI, ePro, Green and Certified EcoBroker.
Family: Married to Gary for 15 years; children Maxfield, 6, and Samson, 5; adult stepchildren Lindsay, Kevin and Jacquelyn.
Community involvement: Past president Junior League of Duluth, served as vicechairwoman for Life House Board of Directors, various volunteer activities.
What brought you to the Twin Ports?
Duluth was supposed to be a short-term stay in 1992, but the allure of Lake Superior, natural beauty of the area and just-the-right-size community made me want to stay. The affordability of housing caught my attention and made it easy to have Duluth be a place to call home.
What do you like to do during your free time?
Free time is usually family time or watching our kids in the sport of the season. I enjoy cooking when it’s too cold to be outside and I have intermittent commitments to gardening and yoga.
Describe your favorite place in the Twin Ports.
A rocky beach on the shore of Lake Superior.
What do you like most about the Northland?
It’s a great place to raise a family and enjoy life. The ease and access to appreciate water, trees, parks and trails is something special. I’ve had countless experiences where the people of this community have impressed me with their kindness and willingness to help a friend, neighbor or stranger.
How can the Northland retain younger people?
As a community, we could better recognize that today’s college student is tomorrow’s young professional. City leadership has done a good job of working with local businesses and property owners to meet the housing and lifestyle/social needs of our younger population. The increasing mobility of the world will allow people who can work from anywhere to choose our area if this is a place they want to be.
Who or what has made the biggest impact on your life?
Losing my dad early in life.
What are you most passionate about?
Professionally, I’m guided by helping people to make their best choices, whether it’s a consumer, prospective agent or affiliated agent, towards the most positive result. Personally, it’s all about kids and family.
How have social and business networking sites changed your life?
Professionally, it has redefined the landscape with the speed and reach of communication and it provides a new ability to get to know and listen to the consumer like never before. Personally, I have recognized that I value privacy more than connectivity.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
In life, being a wife and mother is the best and most important thing I’ll ever do. Designing and building our home was a lot of fun, and should make the short list. In business, having the good sense and the good fortune to surround myself with amazing people.
What goals have you set for the next 5-10 years?
To take the time to enjoy my family every day and give my kids the best of myself. To achieve financial freedom. For RE/MAX 1 to thrive and be recognized as the best place to do business with for consumers and the best place to work for agents and staff.
What advice would you give other young people?
Look for an opportunity and if you don’t see it, create one. Be giving of yourself — volunteer and community organizations are a great place to meet people who care about the same things you do; you’ll do some good and create positive energy that can open all sorts of doors.