1. Please provide a brief description of yourself and your company.
My name is Sue Richey, Principal Broker of Richey Property Management. We’re a full-service property management company that serves real estate investors, homeowners and foreign service and military officers throughout Northern Virginia.
I’m a Virginia Tech graduate with a B.S in Marketing Management and a B.A. in Communication Studies/Public Relations. My husband and I own the company and my role at Richey Property Management is focused largely on Business Development. I look for new ways to expand our business, develop strategic partnerships with other small businesses and individuals and make contributions to the community as a whole.
More recently I’ve been able to focus a large amount of my time on one of my passions, marketing. I’m working on branding and telling our story to potential customers with the goal of setting ourselves apart from others in our industry. My role has taught me that I should always keep learning. That’s what keeps things interesting. Having been in the real estate business for over 20 years, I wanted a new challenge and there has been a lot to learn in what I’m doing now. But I love that part of it!
2. What led you to your profession?
I actually fell into the real estate business back in 1997 after leaving the corporate world. I’ve always loved working with people and helping them get what they want. Little did I know that real estate would be such a great fit. I started out as a traditional real estate agent but I’ve always had the entrepreneurial bug. As the real estate industry changed, so did our business. It opened up other opportunities and helped us grow the property management business we have today.
3. Who is the most influential woman you know? How does she inspire you?
The most influential woman I know is Oprah Winfrey. As a young woman, I always watched the Oprah Show and I have the greatest respect for her. She has built an empire but remains grounded. She takes the time to self-reflect and surrounds herself with people who inspire others and make others’ lives better. She inspires me to always be learning, reading, expanding spiritually, and being my best self.
4. What advice do you have for women who want to grow/begin their careers in your industry?
For women who want to start their career in the real estate industry, I would tell them in order to be successful, you have to take it seriously and be professional. I would also tell them to look for a mentor. The reason I was successful as a Realtor early on is because of the mentor that I had when I first started in this business. It’s hard to know what to do and how to build your sphere. Rely on others and get the help you need to be successful.
5. Please describe your involvement in the community.
Giving back to the community is something I am truly passionate about. I have served on various boards over the years, volunteered in many organizations and currently am the Chairman of the Board at the Reston YMCA. I love all the work we do there and how much of an impact the YMCA has on the community. I consider myself lucky to be part of that!
6. What’s one childhood lesson that you still practice to this day?
A lesson I was told over and over again was to be appreciative for what you have. I’ve always pushed myself and as I accomplished things, I used to check it off the list and keep moving on to the next goal. I used to look at people who had so much more or accomplished so much more and it would leave me frustrated. I don’t do that anymore. That lesson I used to hear my mom tell me over and over still plays in my head when I find myself going down that road. Gratitude is an amazing thing.
7. What are you most proud of in your career?
I have two things I’m most proud of in my career. My resilience and the willingness to take risks. Through these two things, we’ve been able to accomplish what we have not only in our business but in our personal life. Real estate has been a roller coaster over the past two decades and we’ve pushed through the very difficult times only to come out on the other side with a new type of business. We’ve also made a lot of mistakes but if we didn’t try or take the risks, it could be a very different picture. I’ve always believed in taking risks and trying new things. If it doesn’t work, you just pick yourself up and try something else. Just keep going.
8. You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
If I could meet one person for dinner it would be Deepak Chopra. I’m a spiritual person and his work truly inspires me and I want to continue to learn and grow in this part of my life. I’d love to go to one of his retreats. His programs and workshops help people continue to grow and live in peace and gratitude. If I could ask him anything, I would ask him about the one thing he does every day that has had the most profound effect on his life.
9. How do you support, honor and celebrate other women in the industry?
Within our industry, there are many opportunities to recognize the accomplishments of other women entrepreneurs. I’m involved in different organizations that share ideas and I’d love to create a small group locally of women entrepreneurs so we can share accomplishments, struggles and offer advice on a variety of things we face as women leaders.