The first time I met Annie, we were out to dinner with friends after our children’s daycare orientation at A Child’s Garden. Her personality and laughter filled the room and she had such a welcoming vibe about her. Listening to her talk about her current high powered job at WWE at the time was fascinating to learn about, as well as how she juggled flying to LA on a whim, and also being there for her family. Since meeting, we have a close group of ACG moms who have all become instant friends – the type of moms that you can call on at any moment to share the good & the bad with, and the type of moms who also support each other in all other aspects…including our careers. When Annie announced that she was changing her career path, we celebrated — seeing the joy beaming from her face we knew that not only was this going to make a great impact on her family, but it was also going to make an even greater impact on her career. Annie is one of the most sincere, smart, powerful and driven woman you will meet, and we are so happy to be highlighting her and her career as a realtor here in Fairfield this week for our Meet A Mom!
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in the area?
I was born in Evansville, Indiana but moved to Fairfield when I was 4. After college I lived in Manhattan for a few years until moving back to Connecticut with my husband, Gary.
How old are your children?
Amelia is 2 ½ and Hadley is 1. My girls are 18 months apart and I’ve loved watching their bond form. Being their mom is truly my greatest joy.
Tell us about your background.
I graduated college with a degree in Sports and Entertainment marketing from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. I jumped right into a career as a publicist in the sports entertainment world, working for Showtime Networks, specifically on their sports properties – MMA and Boxing, studio shows for the NFL and NASCAR and sports documentaries. After six years, I left Showtime and began working at WWE in Stamford. It was around this time my husband and I moved back to Fairfield after having lived in NYC. As the Director of Communications at WWE, I worked in an extremely fast-paced, global department but soon realized I was missing the joy in my career. I decided it was time to take control of my career, my success and my happiness, and that is when I got my real estate license and I have never looked back! It is and was the best decision I could have made and I’ve loved every moment of this career, especially knowing I am helping my clients make life-changing decisions like buying their dream home or selling the home they raised their family in.
How does your past career as a publicist in the sports entertainment world benefit you as a realtor?
Really, PR is just another form of sales. As a publicist in the sports and entertainment world it was my responsibility to “sell” our events, our athletes and their personal brands to the fans. It was my job to get the audience interested in them on a personal level, to tune-in and to buy into the event. The management, communication and marketing skills that I honed during my 10-year career in that fast-paced, high energy environment have given me a distinct advantage in navigating the many nuances involved in a successful real estate experience. My past career also taught me how to keep calm and cool in high pressure situations.
Tell us about the real estate market in Fairfield right now.
The Spring market has begun and we are already seeing it heat up rather quickly! Many people feel the Spring market begins in April, May or even June however that is such a misconception as it truly begins Super Bowl Sunday. I have been advising my clients who want to wait until warmer weather that they will fall behind and will not be able to take full advantage of the Spring market, which is traditionally a very strong time to buy and sell. We are seeing attendance at all of our open houses sky rocket, new listings are coming on every day and the buyers have rapidly been coming from within town and out of town looking for inventory. January also saw interest rates drop, which is great news for buyers but also terrific news for sellers at it incentivizes the buyers to get out there and make an offer on their dream home now!
You are part of the Al Filippone Team at William Raveis. What advantage does that give you and your clients?
I love our team at Al Filippone Associates! It is such a collaborative, encouraging, and motivating group of people. As a realtor, being on that team is such an advantage for so many reasons. Al has such an extensive history in the business with such a deep knowledge base. He is extremely hands on with every single agent and every single transaction, from the weekly training that we receive, the Master Series in Negotiation that we all take, and the collaborative environment that he encourages between all the agents. He offers a staff of administrative support that is unparalleled with any other team or agency in town, including a full-time social media coordinator and in-house staging services. All of this benefits our clients immensely as we can service them truly at the highest level with the backing of William Raveis but they feel and benefit from the personalization of our small, knowledge-based, boutique firm. Our team has consistently been ranked as the #1 team in New England by the Wall Street Journal. What an honor!
When working with clients from out of town, what are some of the things you tell them about Fairfield?
Often as a realtor, we are acting as ambassadors for our town. Many times, we are introducing our out of town clients to Fairfield. As someone who grew up here and chose to come back to raise my family here, my passion for this town is quite apparent whenever I speak about it. I tell them about the wonderful community of people that support each other. I show them statistics about the fantastic public and private schools, the amazing local shops and restaurants, the beautiful beaches and family parks, and of course, the accessibility to New York City.
How do you balance your work and family life?
Being a realtor is truly a 24/7 job, however it gives me amazing flexibility to make sure I am present with my family as well. Often, clients will need me to be available to them on their schedule and I understand that! Evenings and weekends are a very real part of the job. But first and foremost, I have a husband that is incredibly supportive of my career and together we always make sure our schedules align so that one of us is available to our girls while the other works.
How do you handle the “Mom Guilt” that we all feel?
Look, it doesn’t matter if you are a working mom or a stay at home mom, we all have mom guilt and we are all just trying to do the best we can to not just survive, but make sure our kids thrive! Every single one of us feels the “Mom Guilt” at least 15 times a day, right? I’m constantly just reminding myself to be kind. Be kind to myself. Be kind to my family. Be kind to the person that may be moving too slow for me in the grocery store because I have put some ridiculous tight timeline in my head and am making myself move a million miles a minute. So I tell myself to slow down and BE KIND. One things I have found that helps for us is that we make sure we eat together as a family each night , we do bed and bath time together and if I have to work back to back days on the weekend, we make sure to find some extra time mid-week to do something fun and out of the ordinary with them, like a trip to Saugatuck Sweets for an ice-cream date on a Wednesday afternoon!
Funniest part that you’ve learned about parenthood?
Kids really have their own personalities and can say some pretty funny and at times embarrassing things in public!
Who has most influenced you to be the mother that you are today?
My mom has been the biggest influence on who I am today as a mother. She gave up a very promising career as an on-air news anchor to stay home and raise my sister and me. She taught me the true meaning of selflessness and love infusing it with humor, fun and a sense of adventure. In addition to my mom, my tribe of women in Fairfield, otherwise known as “mom friends” are a constant support system and sanity-keeper. It truly takes a village and I am so fortunate that we have created this village to do this together.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
My motto is always “Ladies, as long as everyone has survived the day, we are crushing it.” I text this or tell this to my friends many times a week!
How can someone contact you if they would like to hire you as their Realtor?
I’m available on cell or email anytime! I am always happy to give a complimentary Highest Price Analysis on your home, I can add you to my database to receive updated market snapshots and statistics or I am happy to create a customized daily/weekly/monthly email for someone who is looking or planning to begin looking for a home in the area. I service all of Fairfield County and beyond! Or, if you just want to say hi or have some questions about the market, please feel free to reach out! Anniek@afahomes.com / (646)712-4461