By Matthew Bado, TSB Staff
Who do you call when you need help coordinating an estate sale, downsizing or just moving in general? You might consider giving McKinney’s Donna and Jeff Rea a call. They own the Caring Traditions franchise here in North Texas.
‘Our hearts are in it from start to finish’ – this tenet is at the core of Donna and Jeff Rea’s Caring Transitions of North Dallas Suburbs. It has proven to be an apt foundation as the owners of the Caring Transitions of North Dallas Suburbs, recently captured Caring Transitions’ “Rookie of the Year” award for their exponential growth and great cooperative effort in building a strong Caring Transitions presence in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The award was presented at Caring Transitions’ national conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
“We had absolutely no idea!” Donna said of capturing the award. “But it’s nice to be recognized.”
The Reas first heard about Caring Transitions via Donna’s friend, who worked with the Kansas City, KS franchise. The encounter proved to be fortuitous as Donna was looking for a new professional opportunity. Given her strong volunteer background and experience in working with the elderly, most notably the “Meals on Wheels” program, it seemed Caring Transitions would offer a natural transition. While Donna was considering her friend’s experience, Jeff was looking to leave the corporate world. The two began researching the franchise to learn more and liked what they saw. “All the pieces of the puzzle fell into place naturally. Some things just feel right and this is one of them,” Jeff noted of the duo’s decision to purchase their franchise. “We opened our doors for business in March of 2012.”
Working hand-in-hand with area senior living and assisted living communities, they began building a clientele list via estate sales. They later added senior relocation services; their business is now evenly split among the two.
“I appreciate the variety of experiences that we share with family members, the wonderful stories that we get to listen to and the family histories that we learn about,” Jeff noted. “The relationships, really, are the most rewarding part of the job.”
Donna echoed his sentiment. “The relationships are so critical to what we do. We appreciate the ability to help people who are going through a life triggering event, to walk them through the process with caring hands and caring hearts.”
According to Ray Rofkar, director of Operations for Caring Transitions, most franchisees have a deep-rooted desire to help people and are sensitive to the situations that customers are experiencing in their lives. “The strength of Caring Transitions is that we can help with any or all phases of a transitional change. We can handle all facets of a situation, or augment other providers to fill in gaps that they may not cover. We strive to give everyone a tailored, customized plan to deal with his or her unique situation,” he noted.
Caring Transitions franchise owners are backed up by a variety of services designed to support their clients and provide a comprehensive solution to their challenges. Support services include a unique online selling platform, localized website template and support, reduced rates with national partners, online training modules, and a dedicated, professional corporate support team, Rofkar said.
Donna credits their “amazing” staff, which now number 18, including two estate sale managers, and office manager and two senior move managers. “Our staff is compassionate and passionate about how they do their jobs,” she said.
Thanks to word-of-mouth referrals and new connections with realtors and senior living communities, their business continues to grow. The pair has also forged collaborative relationships with other Caring Transitions franchises in Texas, working in tandem to assist clients.
“We want to stay connected to the roots of why we got into this business. Really, this business is all about people and that’s what we will continue to concentrate on, focus on our clients and staff,” Jeff noted.