As a young mom, Carine Nowak juggled her dedication to her career with her primary focus: her two daughters Sophie and Cate. So as they grew, her girls got a front row seat to their mom’s flourishing real estate business.
“My younger daughter Cate was like this little sponge in the back of my car,” says Nowak. “I’d speak to builders and clients as I drove her to school. By the time she was four years old, she knew what a contingency clause was.”
But Nowak, who had a successful catering business before turning to real estate, never imagined her daughter would become a realtor herself, much less work with her.
‘When she first suggested it, I thought she’d do a few open houses, get tired of taking people around and move on,” Nowak remembers. “But then, we created a team, and it just worked. Her strengths really came alive, and she became a great negotiator. She’s very open-minded, very organized, very social media savvy, very everything.”
Cate Bauer, who grew up in Katonah and earned her real estate license at the age of 18, always looked up to her mom.
“A lot of my grit comes from watching my mom,” she says. “She moved from Belgium to the U.S. by herself at the age of 17. She was solely responsible for her life and career – it was very inspirational to watch her work. Thanks to her, it was never an option to be a female and not work; that was just what I knew. It completely shaped me into who I am today.”
After Bauer graduated from The University at Buffalo in just three years, she began shadowing her mom. However, not everyone approved. One day, a colleague approached Nowak and asked what Bauer planned to do with her life. Nowak said her daughter would be a realtor.
“The woman laughed and said, ‘Oh, that’s not a career,’” Nowak remembers. “I responded, ‘What do you mean it’s not a career? I beg to differ. It can be very successful if you run it like a business.’ Now, just a few years later, that’s exactly what Cate is doing.”
In fact, when Bauer spoke at the 2022 Compass Retreat in Atlanta, she opened her speech with that story.
“It was condescending, but it was the perfect story because the title of my talk was ‘Agent as a CEO,’ and that story set the tone perfectly,” Bauer explains. “I should actually thank her because she motivated me to work even harder.”
Nowak and Bauer joined Compass three years ago, and Bauer quickly rose to national prominence for her business acumen. She’s become a sought-after real estate coach, helping already successful realtors nationwide advance by learning how to track, manage and understand their data. Essentially, she “unleashes their inner CEO.”
“I’m the back end-oriented coach,” Bauer explains. “But this wouldn’t have happened without support from my mom and my mentor, Chirag Shah, former director of coaching at Compass. Carine took a big risk when we began at Compass. I asked to have full rein over the back end of the business and become the COO. She’s been in the business for 18 years, but she had the courage to hand it over to her 20-year-old daughter and let me run with it. It’s amazing – I know a lot of parent/child teams where the parent wants to remain in control. But because she was able to split that with me, it gave me the confidence to do what I do today.”
In just one year, Carine and Cate grew their business 400 percent.
“I knew Cate had all the components to make good decisions,” Nowak adds. “She learned a lot very quickly, like all the layers of information and how to bond with clients.”
As the duo watched their industry change at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bauer was determined to get ahead of the leads.
“I learned how to predict market trends, understand who our next buyer would be, and how we could best service them,” she explains. “My data spreadsheet went viral at Compass – now, thousands of agents countrywide use it. They can track everything about their clients and utilize specific data points to customize their pitch for new clients.”
And on the front end, their attention to every detail is what helps them find the perfect community and house for each buyer. Nowak and Bauer have chosen not to specialize in any specific type of home, buyer or seller. Instead, they approach each client’s needs individually.
They work with buyers moving from Manhattan or Brooklyn as well as those relocating from around the country. Their intake process includes a detailed survey that covers everything from their client’s ideal weekend to the types of conversations they enjoy. Their meticulousness, strong work ethic and resolution to never cut corners is what allows them to sell houses quickly, and for top price.
For example, recently, they were hired to sell a house that had been on the market for a year. In four days, they staged, rephotographed and put it back on the market. It sold in two weeks to a cash buyer.
“Clients need to have the right price and the right broker,” says Nowak. “We understand that buyers have to visualize themselves living in the house, so we do whatever it takes to make that happen.”
“A lot of people think selling real estate is such a glorious job,” Bauer adds. “But we’re tripping over stools and unscrewing curtain rods – it can be hard if you do it right.”
But most importantly, Nowak and Bauer treat each other well, making their clients feel right at home.
“It’s like working with your best friend,” says Nowak. “I respect her, and I’m super proud of her. And she respects me and is super proud of me.”
Contact the Carine & Cate team at 914.490.9877, 914.582.9898 or email@example.com.
Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws.
For more information, visit thecarineandcateteam.com
This sponsored content was published in the March/April 2023 print edition of Katonah Connect.
Justin is a designer and photographer. He creates the look of a company – designing logos, posters, color schemes, websites, and marketing materials. Sexy stuff like that. He wrote a book on design called, um, “On Design“. Justin is also a photographer of people, events, architecture, products, food, and cars he can’t afford.