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September 17, 2019
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40 years in real estate and still going strong

  • Sandy Geary

By: Irene Hilsendager
August 16, 2019

Sandy Geary was born in Oakland, Ca. and at the age of two, the family with four children moved to Novato. Sandy started her education in kindergarten and went on through high school in the Novato School District. She furthered her education by attending Marin Junior College for one year. She started working at Marin General Hospital and being of a young age, Sandy felt working and getting an experience in the real work force, she would receive more of an education than attending college.

Moving to Sonoma County in 1973 Sandy purchased her first home on Davis Circle for $43,000. She said, “I was so penniless that I couldn’t even up-grade my carets.” But being a persistent person with two small children, Sandy made her way on the Rohnert Park scene.

Her husband had received a small inheritance and they purchased a four-plex on Kirsten Ct. Olaf Grossman Palmer was the salesperson and took a liking to Sandy’s straightforward likable attitude. Since she was selling Tupperware and Avon at the time, she walked into the salesman’s office with papers being pushed toward her, she had the feeling people had confidence in her even though she knew absolutely zilch about real estate. Olaf told her she would do well in selling. She took the chance and since she could not afford the $400 for real estate schooling, she found other ways to get acquainted with selling properties. While changing babies and cooking dinners, she would speak into a tape recorder and then playing it back, she was giving herself lectures.

Sandy had to take the real estate tests in San Francisco and was as nervous as a cat in a room of 25 rocking chairs. She was told if she receives a post card in the mail it would mean she flunked out but if a large manila envelope showed up it meant she had passed. Geary said she remembers the day distinctly: it was raining when she saw the mailman coming down the street and he had a manila envelope in his hand. She met the carrier on the curb and while handing the envelope to her, Sandy dropped it into the gutter. The precious piece of mail was floating down the gutter and Sandy had to chase it down before it became too wet. Sandy checked and she had passed all of the tests and had to go to San Francisco for fingerprinting. Olaf called Flo Grestky to see if the new realtor would be able to work for Century 21, but the line was busy, so he called Henry Maio of Sonoma Properties and she was hired by Henry. She sold her first home to John Polley of Polley and Polley.

Sandy felt quite confident as she sold 30 homes in her first year of being a realtor. At the time she was only 26 years old-what a testament to hard work.

At one time Sandy was labeled the four-plex specialist. Being an owner of a four-plex she would also send letters to the other plex owners to indicate if they wanted to sell their property, she would be happy to abide.

Sandy was a single mom and hustled to keep the family fed and safe. She has been president of the board of Realtors and is now a past president of the board of directors. Sandy has always been excited to be in real estate and felt very professional being involved in the industry.

Geary bought a 6,000 square foot building on State Farm Dr., loved the building as she could move walls without anyone’s permission, but tough times came about. Sandy had also started Hills and Homes as a property management company as it gave her a base of income with invested properties.

Sandy has been involved with Timely Real Estate, became a partner with Rohnert Park Realty but since times were getting quite tumultuous, she lost her partner who moved to Oregon. She then bought a Re-Max franchise and built it up to 30 agents however, in 2006-2007 those agents had to find other jobs as she sold the franchise to Anne and Spence Hyatt.

In 2017, Sandy opened a Prime Real Estate boutique office with partner Debby Benson Miller, a very successful business. She has generational buyers and sellers; meaning houses have been sold to parents and now their children as they know and trust Sandy. In fact, she has sold ten houses to one family-probably a record.

Sandy has been a Rotarian for 10 years and was the second president of The Rancho-Cotati Rotary Club.