Like Mother, Like Daughter

By MNR News posted 03-16-2023 10:49 AM


How MNR First Vice President Patti Jo Fitzpatrick and her daughter, Kari, mix family and business
“Does anybody want to take over my business?” Patti Jo Fitzpatrick had built a profitable real estate business, was preparing to manage a large brokerage, and was on track to become an association president when she posed this question to her three children, Megan, Kari, and Tim. She was throwing herself into more local and national leadership opportunities and beginning to ponder the big picture—could family and business mix?

Patti Jo wanted to give her children a chance to share in the industry she loved. Kari, who was a senior in high school at the time, raised her hand. While Patti Jo’s son, Tim, worked in the real estate industry for a time, Kari found it a better fit. “I’ve been working with Kari since she graduated high school. Over 10 years.” Patti Jo said, beaming. Their partnership has come relatively easy because they’ve got a complementary working style. “We are both low key, hard workers who just love to help people get to the closing table,” Patti Jo said.

For her part, Kari has helped the mother-daughter team reach a new clientele: millennials. “A lot of our business comes from Kari’s sphere because many [clients] are her age.” Millennials surpassed the baby boomer generation as the nation’s top homebuyers last year, according to NAR’s 2022 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Many of The Fitzpatrick Home Team’s current clients— like most millennials—are also first-time homebuyers. In working with them, Patti Jo noticed more women taking charge in the homebuying process. “More women are taking educated risks now. . . .We meet more women who have stronger knowledge, credit, and greater income.”

When Patti Jo reflects on Women’s History Month and how it relates to homeownership, what she sees in real estate today marks significant progress from the days when it was frowned upon (and illegal before 1974) for a woman to purchase a home without a spouse or male co-signer. The Fitzpatrick Home Team brings a multi-generational approach to client outreach as well, specifically through technology. “Like most millennials, Kari doesn’t like to talk on the phone.” Patti Jo laughed. “I’m the one who usually makes phone contact.”

Kari prefers texting to follow up with leads. They use Zoom to meet with clients and sometimes review and send purchase agreements through the BombBomb™ platform while driving to and from appointments. For this duo, success comes by both adapting to the changing times and continuing to use the methods that still work. Running the Fitzpatrick Home Team with Kari’s support is the perfect way for Patti Jo to integrate family and business, a balance she’s been striking for over 35 years while serving buyers and sellers in Minnesota and Wisconsin.