Creating Community: A Delicious Destination

“When a person sells a house, it is a life event.
I enjoy helping people work through a time of substantial change and readjustment,” said Joey Trombley, owner of Kavanaugh Realty. “It is especially rewarding to help a family achieve the dream of home ownership. Depending on the situation, sometimes we talk people out of buying or selling. We’re invested in building and maintaining a viable community, and we consult with our clients to make sure we’re meeting their needs. It’s more than just a sale. Our reputation is built on ethics and honesty.”
When asked about the periodic volatility of the real estate market, Trombley was sanguine. “People have to live somewhere. In any market, people are buying and selling homes. The balance may shift, like the stock market, but we adjust accordingly. We come from a mindset of abundance, and we’re here to serve.”
A native of Perry Mills, a hamlet in Champlain, Trombley grew up in a family business, Northern Blacktopping, established by his father in 1961. After graduating from Northeastern Clinton Central School, Trombley began his work life at the now defunct Harris Graphics, then purchased a sporting goods franchise, McDonough’s Sporting Goods, with his brothers Larry and Perry. Dubbed “a born salesman” by his brother, Trombley answered an advertisement for a real estate agent at Cronin’s Realty and honed his skills in the field for the next seven years. Meanwhile, Frank Kavanaugh, who had founded Kavanaugh Realty in Rouses Point in 1956, was looking for a partner. After much contemplation and negotiation, Trombley purchased the business in 1992. Understandably proud of his community and accomplishments, Trombley’s passion and enthusiasm for the business is as strong as ever.
On the telephone with a client, in the shadow of a whiteboard with several carefully printed columns of action items, Trombley’s son, Gaelan, the next generation at Kavanaugh Realty, exudes energy and optimism. “I love my job because the day is always changing for me,” he explained. “A commission-based business allows me to run my own schedule, travel around and problem solve.”
Growing up in Chazy, Gaelan completed his B.S. in Global Supply Chain Management from SUNY Plattsburgh. He began working at Kavanaugh Realty as a junior in college and earned his real estate broker’s license when he was 21. Joining the business in 2011, Gaelan has worked tirelessly (with the expert assistance of the Boire Benner Group) on rebranding the business. There’s a new slogan—Local Matters— shamrock logo, and an expanded marketing campaign using videos, podcasts and social media. If you play Words with Friends or are a member of Facebook, you have probably seen Gaelan, Joey or other Kavanaugh agents. “I never ask people to buy a home,” said Gaelan, a classic influencer. “I’m giving knowledge in the video. I try to tell my story and offer advice to home buyers and sellers.”
As a member of an age group that is beginning to build families and is looking to buy their first home (with his wife, Gena, Gaelan is himself a husband and father to a young family), Gaelan finds it rewarding to help his peers make memories. “We don’t own the inventory,” he said. “Clients can ‘shop’ on places like Zillow, but it is our job to find a home that has the right feel for them.”
“Gaelan reminds me of myself 30 years ago,” remarked Joey. “There was no doubt we had to evolve, and since he joined us, we have shifted marketing dollars and rebranded ourselves. I am looking forward to the next chapter in our business.”
Calling herself the liaison between Kavanaugh’s clients and “everyone else” (attorneys, bankers, appraisers, and inspectors) involved in a home sale, Nicole Bombard joined Kavanaugh Realty in April 2019. With a background in customer service, Bombard grew up in Westport helping her mother, a customer service manager at the Chazy-Westport telephone company.
“My first job was stuffing telephone bills,” she said. “Due to my mother’s employment, we were the one of the first families in town who had DSL (a digital subscriber line that connects to the internet) and a desktop computer. My generation grew up with analog technology, and we were the first to transition to digital. This gives me a unique insight into using technology to make things run smoothly.”
Bombard’s background includes taking computer classes in college, training in real estate and seven years as an office administrator. “I was contemplating starting my own business,” she explained, “when Gaelan put a post on Facebook that they were looking for a closing coordinator. I sent him my resume and within three days they hired me.”
In June 2019, Kavanaugh Realty expanded their offices into a newly renovated space in the D&H train station in Plattsburgh. Dubbed “Mission Control,” this is where Bombard does her work. “I have a great working relationship with Joey, Gaelan and our nine licensed agents,” she said. “I love my job. I can work behind the scenes. Our Local Matters project is phenomenal. We’re not just selling houses; we’re selling homes and community.”
Gaelan explained, “My father and I run things as a partnership. We’ve really developed our decision-making muscle,” Joey corroborated. “We are constantly evaluating, generating new ideas and talking. We have a commitment to run this business legally, ethically and honestly.” Nodding in agreement, Gaelan added, “I like putting things into play, such as net- working, training, marketing, and recruiting.” Joey handles the billing and accounting.
Citing working in “do mode” as the secret to his success, Gaelan’s by-words are “persistence and consistency.” Finding marketing “a blast,” he explained he tries to have fun every day when he goes to work. He spends his down time with his family. “I love playing with my children.”
“Action and attitude” are what drives Joey. “Attitude dictates everything,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 34 years and do not consider it work. I do what I enjoy.” Living in Chazy with his wife, Maggie, a retired science teacher, he balances work with pickleball and golf.
Established for decades in the Rouses Point and Champlain communities, Kavanaugh Realty’s Plattsburgh office has begun to attract clients from other areas in the North Country. With digital technology, clients can reach agents at their cell phones, facilitating communication and removing the need for a front office.
Although Joey has no plans to retire, he and Gaelan are developing a succession plan for when that day comes. In the meantime, look for Kavanaugh Realty’s freshly designed placards dotting the North Country.