(April 12, 2019) Kim Looney started working at her uncle’s real estate company during her sophomore year in high school, and now nearly three decades later she is running the business.
Looney’s uncle, Bernie Roache Jr., opened Century 21 New Horizon in the early 1980s. Roache, who passed away at the age of 78 on Nov. 17, 2018, left the business in his will to Looney.
“These are very big shoes to fill,” Looney said. “Bernie had a very good reputation around town and was very active in our board of realtors.”
So far, adjustments have been manageable, Looney said.
“All of our staff is still the same,” Looney said. “The changes that we have made … we have a consulting firm in here that’s helping me actively recruit agents to come to work in our sales department. We’ve upgraded some of our software to make it easier for our staff and the tenant who rents from us.”
Century 21 New Horizon covers rentals in Ocean City as well as buyers for all over Worcester County and in Delaware.
Looney feels “optimistic” with the direction she’s taking the firm.
“I’m excited to make it what he wanted it to be,” Looney said. “This real estate company was Bernie’s life and so I want his legacy to continue in Ocean City.”
Looney said Roache had a big influence on her life.
“On the week of my 18th birthday I got my real estate license,” Looney said. “I turned 18 and I graduated high school in the same week and came to work here. This is where I’ve been. I’ve been here all along. Bernie and I worked side by side. So to me, that’s a success story to be in here all this time.”
Roache was considered family to all his employees and to his tenants, she said.
“The employees feel the camaraderie that we have here in our office,” Looney said. “For us, it’s a very close-knit group of people and we consider each other to be family, and we treat our customers like they’re family.
“Bernie used to say, ‘We have the Century 21 name, but we are still small enough to know the names and the properties of all the people that we work for,’” she continued. “I just had a person call me today and I asked about her mom. Her mom’s 91-year-old … she was originally the person who brought her property to me.”
Century 21 New Horizon is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 86th Street in Ocean City. For more information, call 410-732-4500.