Rookie Spotlight: Family ties and a fresh perspective
"I didn't have much choice," Jim Prange says about his family business. "We all went from puberty to real estate. Nikki didn't have much choice either."
Jim is talking about his daughter, Nikki Prange, a fourth-generation sales associate who Jim thinks might be the best of them all.
Nikki came into her dad's Premier Properties of Southwest Florida office in Marco Island reluctantly. "It was never really what I wanted to do," she said. "I swore, 'I'm not going to get into it'. I was born and raised here, my dad has been selling here since 1980, his dad and HIS dad were in the business in Indiana … my grandfather is still in the business. But I moved back from college, and got my license in 2005. Thought I'd try it.
"And now I'm committed to it."
Robin Rozankowski is Jim's assistant, and has known Nikki since she was little. "I have to remind myself she's 23," Rozankowski said. "She's dependable, responsible … and very successful this year."
"I sold seven properties in nine days," Nikki stated about her recent accomplishments. "The smart money is buying. It was always meant to be a long-term investment; people who want to live in these houses instead of investors are buying, they're getting realistic."
"The kid's on the right track," Jim Prange says. "I'm proud as can be of her. She's pretty polished, she knows things. Nikki has to turn on the computer for me, she shows me how to open the lock boxes – 'This is how you do it, Dad,' she says to me. When she's not working here, she's researching, or she's coaching cheerleading at Marco Island Charter Middle School." ("She's got that cheerleader personality," Rozankowski said with a laugh.)
"I don't coach cheerleading to get my name out there," Nikki explained, "but I was a cheerleader in high school and I missed it. And it's great networking."
"It's obviously in the genes," says Jim. "My dad started in real estate at 21. I was 18. I used to walk along the beach when Nikki was a kid, and I'd point out condos. We all grew up with the idea that it really is a 24/7 business. We were all young enough to know that you had to be honest, we're not afraid to say 'I'm not really sure.' It's a commitment to a work ethic, that's the bottom line."
"It's a very big learning experience," according to Nikki. "I love working with people. And I get to work alongside my dad, which is fantastic."
Sounds like, some day, a fifth generation wouldn't be out of the question.