If you’ve ever had a chance to work with or even talk to Christine Richardson, you’d likely never know her path to becoming a REALTOR® was a sneak peek into the #MeToo movement.
In the ‘80s, Christine was working in a male-dominated world and confessed, “I got asked to make a lot of copies and get coffee because if they saw a female in the office, they assumed I was a secretary.” Actually, she was a software engineer. If that wasn’t bad enough, she recalled that for three years, her boss “egregiously” sexually harassed her. Christine never reported it.
She continued, “My 22-year-old daughter would say why wouldn’t you just speak up? Nobody cared and it wasn’t going to matter anyway. When I knew I had to leave, he told me he’d make sure that I never got another job in the industry again.”
Christine noted what a different world it was back then. Especially since this happened prior to the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas nationally televised trial, which brought attention to sexual misconduct in the workplace. This postscript resurfaces now to demonstrate how her faith and resiliency helped her find a way out and led her to create the life and career she always dreamed of living (and beyond).
Hello, Real Estate
Born in Texas to a father in the Army, this middle child of five moved around quite a bit in her formative years, living all over the U.S., as well as in Germany and Italy. When she was in seventh grade, her father was stationed at the Pentagon and the family put down roots in the area where they stayed. She credits both her mother and father for instilling her incredible work ethic. While growing up, she became adept at meeting new people because she was always the new kid.
Her first experience with real estate came after she and Mark, college sweethearts who met in a computer science class, got married and bought their first home. A few years later, they bought a foreclosure, fixed it up and lived in it for the next 10 years. They purchased their first investment property when she was 25 years old, and the entire process stunned her. She was hooked!
For 31 years now, Christine has been going strong, with $534 million in total volume. She has blissfully stayed with one brokerage in Weichert Realtors® since 1988, and says she feels blessed to be in a fabulous industry, “There’s so much to do, and it’s so much fun! Every day is completely different and I just love that.”
Christine is committed to giving back to the community that has already given her so much. Throughout her career, she has served in various capacities at the local, state and national level. She also got involved with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) and saw what a huge impact it had on the industry. She advised, “If you aren’t making your fair share contribution of $40 to RPAC, you need to. It’s like insurance for your business.”
As the 2019 President of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® (NVAR), she encourages engagement from all agents to work together and give back. “This is our industry and we need to protect it.”
Christine said that getting involved is not just a necessity for helping your workload, but also for curating a better mentality. With stronger, more positive outlooks, everybody wins and so she urges, “Attend the events, take the classes, volunteer to serve on a committee. You’ll be amazed how much you’ll learn and the great people you’ll get to meet. You might think you don’t have time to get involved, but you do, even if it’s just a couple of hours a month which is what it takes to serve on a committee.”
Christine’s Dream Team
Christine has created a rock-star team where each member is able to focus on their own personal strengths. As the team leader, her main focus is nurturing relationships, as well as handling all the contracts and listing paperwork and negotiations.
Then there is Denise Longo, who Christine dubbed the “linchpin” of the team. Denise was a former client who she talked into getting her license in 2006. She started as an assistant and quickly showed off her superpowers. Denise’s role is much the same as Christine’s and they often work side-by-side. Doing a listing appointment together can be like an unofficial party, “Everyone has more fun…we also finish each other’s sentences a lot and make each other laugh all day.”
Christine’s husband, Mark, is the tech guru of the team and became a full-time employee in 1997. Mark handles the website and photography (both still and the Matterport 3D imaging), as well as wears many other valuable hats, like hanging photos or carrying furniture in and out of houses.
Tom Mutton is also licensed and does part-time buyer and tenant support for the team. Tom was also a client in the early ‘90s and is now a stay-at-home dad with four children. He’s proficient at making this group laugh, which is absolutely one of their core values.
Christine and Mark’s other dream team consists of their two children, 28-year-old Timothy and 22-year-old Carly. Timothy is married to Rebecca, and they are both financial advisors living in Herndon. Carly recently graduated from college and teaches singing lessons at the School of Rock, in Vienna. The family has a furry family member in a 10-pound ball of fluff named Mistletoe, who is a Lhasa apso and brings joy to the family every day. The couple will often walk Mistletoe while catching up on the day’s events and brainstorm where they are heading and what they are looking forward to.
Christine’s passion for real estate is palpable and she prides herself on being calm while in the eye of the storm. A problem-solver to her core, she has also earned herself the nickname of “Rosie” due to her uncanny ability to see through rose-colored glasses. That’s a superpower in and of itself. After all, who can’t use more positivity in their life?