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“I Had Big Dreams”: Dawn Daly of House of Brokers on Her Journey from Receptionist to Owner

06-Jun 04, 2023

Dawn Daly, who was recently named the owner of House of Brokers, knew from a very young age that leadership would be a large part of her future. She has worked in nearly every role in the company in the last 24 years, starting at the front desk. Daly attended college for a period of time, but she was eager to enter the professional world, so she applied for the receptionist position at House of Brokers when it became available. “They realized that wasn’t going to be enough for me,” she said. “They tried to keep me busy, but it still wasn’t enough, so they moved me to MLS processing, which is inputting our listings into the local MLS system.” Daly continued her studies and then quickly expanded her professional repertoire, pursuing opportunities in marketing and even IT and tech support. Creating an IT department for the company was the next step. 

It was during her time in tech support that she realized she enjoyed supervising other employees. The daughter of a teacher, she was drawn to the role not only of supervising, but also helping other members of the team learn new skills. She then decided to take on even more responsibilities. “I wanted to learn more. I was able to mentor with our office manager to learn all about the area of relocation. We partnered and built relationships with relocation companies to secure clients to partner with our agents.” In addition, Daly also became interested in learning the accounting process, which she was well-suited to do since accounting was a strong focus in college. 

When the office manager announced her upcoming retirement in 2015, Daly decided to apply for the position. She had gladly taken on so many responsibilities in different positions at that point that it made sense for her to be so interested in the role. She ended up writing an eight-page proposal about the nature of the position and her vision for the future of the company, which she pitched to the owners. They accepted after some negotiations, and she began working as the office manager in fall of 2015. “This was a vision come true, but I knew my vision didn’t stop there. I knew when I first started with this company that I had a long future ahead of me and that just maybe I could become an owner too one day. Today that future has come front and center, and I couldn’t be more happy or proud to now be the owner of such an amazing company.”

In this new role, Daly has plans to continue to grow the company both in service and locations. This focus on growth represents one of the central connections between House of Brokers and REDI. “Both REDI and House of Brokers are pillars of the community. Real estate and economic development go hand in hand.” This fall, House of Brokers will be celebrating 42 years in business, and REDI is celebrating its 35th year. 

Daly didn’t always think she would stay in Columbia, but she is thankful that she has chosen to stay in the place she’s always called home. “When I was a little girl, my dream was to go to New York or Florida. As I grew up and left the college scene and got into the corporate scene, though, I realized that this community pays back in dividends. The community has the most giving and kind people. I think for anyone who’s moving to Columbia or starting a business, you will find so many avenues and resources to help you be successful—not just starting, but also sustaining a business in the long term.”

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