On January 1, 2017, Tom Keefe assumed ownership of Keefe & Associates, taking on the roles of President & CEO, and representing the 3rd generation of family ownership for the company. Born and raised in the Lake Geneva area, Tom spent several years in the New York realty arena before returning home several years ago to immerse himself in the day-to-day leadership of the family brokerage, founded by his grandfather in 1943.
Tom purchased the company from Michael Keefe, his father and the company’s Chairman. Mike will continue to serve as Chairman Emeritus, and real estate executive Steven Beers, a thirty-year veteran of the company, has been promoted from CEO to Chairman.
The transition is the culmination of a three-year executive team plan, focused on innovation and growth without compromising Keefe’s long history of personalized client service and local community involvement. At a time when many independent real estate companies are selling out to large out-of-state conglomerates, the Keefe company is intentionally bucking the takeover trend.
According to Tom Keefe, “As one of Wisconsin’s oldest and most respected real estate rms, we have doubled down on the highly-personalized, locally-owned approach, while also investing over a half million dollars in cutting-edge technology, training, and marketing innovation.”
Last year Keefe Real Estate was ranked among the top 125 top independent brokerages in the United States by Real Trends Magazine, and Keefe’s leadership team looks forward to more good news in 2017.
“We are all passionate about the importance of local leadership and personal service in realty,” said Chairman Steve Beers. “We pride ourselves on being high tech, but also high touch, with new school innovations built upon the old-school values and service that have characterized Keefe Real Estate for generations.”
Keefe Real Estate, headquartered in Lake Geneva since 1943, achieved over $420 million in sales for its clients in 2016. The company has nearly 110 agents and staff and now covers most areas of Southeastern Wisconsin from seven locations east, north and west of its Lake Geneva headquarters. Under the same management is Keefe Vacation Rentals, a growing subsidiary company of Keefe & Associates, which manages short-term and vacation rental properties in the region.
Tom’s late grandfather, Robert D. Keefe, founded the company as Farm Auction Service, Inc. in 1943, soon after expanding its brokerage role into other realty areas and changing its name. Tom’s father, Michael Keefe, greatly expanded the company’s role in Southeastern Wisconsin residential and commercial real estate sales and development projects, from the 1970s onward.
Steve Beers, the new Chairman, worked with Michael Keefe to build the residential brokerage to what it is today and has long been a statesman in Wisconsin real estate circles. Beers began his career at Keefe as an award-winning agent and then in various areas of management, serving as President and then CEO since 1997. Widely respected as a leading expert in Wisconsin real estate policies and procedures, Beers also is also incoming Treasurer at the Wisconsin Realtors Association, where he has served in a variety of executive capacities.
With stellar sales agents, an existing management group dedicated to overseeing a smooth hand-off, and a talented and enthusiastic team ready to take the reigns, Keefe Real Estate is poised to continue serving the Southeastern Wisconsin Tri-County area with best-in-class service.
Photographer: Anna Urban
By: Julie Morse