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Renee McGahan Real Estate Broker

Coldwell Banker Bain, Downtown Bellevue

Renee McGahan

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?

I know “longshoreman” isn’t the first thing that pops into your head when you see me, but believe it or not, it was fueling boats in Chicago at the Corn Cob building docks. (And, yes, they really look like corn cobs — Google it!)Where did you grow up?

This is a loaded question, but I like to say that I’ve found my home in Seattle by way of California and New York, which hopefully you can tell from my warmth and wit. It’s been said this dynamic manifests in my unrivaled ability to make friends and a proclivity for the F-bomb.Growing up, what did you want to be?

I wanted to work with special Olympians — and I did! Although, not the way I’d initially thought. I’ve volunteered for over 45 years with the Special Olympics and now sit on the board of directors in Washington State.What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?

I have no idea, really. Anyone have a yacht I can decompress on for a month or so?If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?

Interesting question. I’m an inquisitive person by nature, so if I want to know something/someone, I’ll research them. I’m creepy that way.What is Seattle’s best-kept secret?

Me (someone had to say it)!What do you love most about the industry?

Besides the rote answer (helping people and making them happy), I’m all about working with people who “get me” and vice versa. It makes for a really great relationship that far outlasts the “deal.” My clients are not just one-and-done dollar signs to me. This is a relationship and I’ve been lucky to meet some truly wonderful people in my line of work.How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?

If you can’t tell, I’m as real as you can get. I have a sailor mouth that I don’t muzzle since I’m a New Yorker by birth right and approach my business as such. Straight, no chaser. Obviously, I’m not for everyone, because I’m not like every other agent. For me, it’s not about “comparisons”; I’m just unapologetically myself and people seem to be drawn to that.What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

Nudging clients when you know it’s for their own good. Broker/client relationships are based on trust. Sometimes, it might take a few written lost offers for some clients to understand that I always have their best interest at heart. Unfortunately that just can’t be conveyed on the first go-around.What’s your best advice for generating new leads?

Don’t lead with “I’m a broker.” Let it happen organically. That being said, doing a great job for former clients naturally allows for lead generation. People love to talk — make sure they are saying your name!What has been your greatest accomplishment?

There are many, and I celebrate all of them, big or small. Besides the obligatory “family” answer, I’d say it was holding a world record (for a mere two weeks) when I was 15 years old. I was a competitive runner and, along with my nine other teammates, broke the world record in the 24-hour relay. Pretty cool, huh?What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?

Anything that has murder/mystery. I loved Only Murders in the Building on Hulu and The Maidens by Alex Michaelides. And, of course, anything with housewives yelling at each other! Sometimes you just need drama and incoherent babble, you know?What’s your favorite meal in Seattle?

My hubby’s!Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Seattle?

I wish we had more architectural history in Seattle. I lived in Chicago for five years, and I have to say, nothing trumps that city’s architectural goldmine. Because that’s my barometer, it’s tough to beat. But I do love Rainier Tower. It was built in 1977 by Minoru Yamasaki, the same man who designed New York City’s World Trade Center. Reminds me of my East Coast roots!What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?

Sadly, I had a client (buyer) that didn’t understand the “win/win” concept. At the 18th hour they pulled some really bad ju-ju that would have crushed the seller financially (her husband was in hospice). I felt so disgusted by my client’s actions that I put all of my commission towards the deal. I didn’t want any part of it. I might be tough and honest, but yes, I do have a heart.What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?

As you can tell, I’m a bit of an open book so I doubt that I will surprise many people here. But that being said, I came to the real estate game late in life. I know I seem like I’ve been doing this forever and my numbers suggest as much, but I haven’t! I like to think of it as a testament to the fact that it’s never too late for you to find professional success via your dream job. I did it — so can you!What is your favorite vacation spot and why?

Since I was young, my parents took us to Lake Tahoe as a family. When we had our own family, we started taking our kiddos there. Through A LOT of hard work, my husband and I were able to purchase our second home there. Full circle! It’s a beautiful place full of beautiful memories; I treasure it.In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?

BE. YOURSELF.What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?

I have some secrets that I need to keep up my sleeve. No divulging; only for my clients. Call me!Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?

My husband was a founding member of The Kennel Club at Gonzaga University (and our kids are alums, too), so I love keeping up on their IG (@gonzagakennelclub). I also love Humans of New York (@humansofny). Brandon Stanton photographs random people in New York and tells their story in the photo caption. A great inside look into people’s lives! Lastly, my new guilty pleasure is Deux Moi (@deuxmoi), an Instagram account that dishes out celebrity gossip like a modern version of the gossip columnists from days of yore. What can I say, except, Anon pls!

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