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Loyalty. Honesty. The willingness to listen. Respect for each other’s differences.

Good qualities for a lasting marriage, no?

As it happens, they also make for a successful career in real estate.

No one knows this better than the three married couples profiled in this year’s Real Estate Issue: Sarah & Don Howe; Janet & Larry Mendez; and Tracie Mayo & Eileen Donovan. Partners in life and business, working together as real estate agents or mortgage brokers, they’re not only attuned to their own strengths and weaknesses, they know how important it is to understand their clients’ psychologies as well. There are few business deals as intimate or as fraught with potential misunderstandings as a real estate transaction, so it’s imperative that everyone be up front and comfortable with each other.

“The most important assets are our people skills,” says Don Howe, who’s profiled with his wife and fellow agent Sarah. “If you can’t find that connection with someone, they’re not going to work with you.”

As a leadoff to our annual Real Estate issue and a lead-in to Valentine’s Day, we’re happy to celebrate six people who’ve found a way to make love and real estate the perfect match.

A note about Realtor®: There’s a lot of confusion out there about this term. On the one hand, it’s a registered trademark for a member of the National Association of Realtors and according to them MUST be printed in ALL CAPS with the trademark insignia. On the other, there’s the stance of the Oxford English Dictionary, which says the term has become generic enough that it can run in lower case. I split the difference — you’ll see a lot of capitalized Realtors in this issue, but I saved the ® for the headline, along with a little love.

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