Spotlight on Success: Edward Welch and Higgins & Welch Real Estate, Inc.
By: Brian J. Odelli
We have all heard the Henry Hartman quote, “Success always comes when preparation meets opportunity”. Yet it is a pleasure to see it come true in real life. The journey that has led Edward Welch and Higgins & Welch Real Estate, Inc. to its position as the 9th fastest growth company in the region began during Edward’s college years.
While bartending at a local establishment, he would meet a patron, Harry Higgins, and the course of his life would be changed forever. “Harry would come in and I would constantly ask him questions about real estate. After a while he suggested that I take a course he was teaching at the Temple Real Estate Institute. I was about to graduate from college and planned to teach English in China. Harry offered me the opportunity to join his company as an appraisal apprentice. It was a difficult decision, but since I had already experienced some time abroad (Welch spent time studying in Rome during his Temple years and traveling throughout Europe and Scandinavia), I jumped at Harry’s offer, and thank God I did”. Welch’s apprenticeship didn’t last long. Shortly thereafter he was given a chance at real estate sales. After a period of time selling properties, Edward realized that there might be a better utilization of his talents, and that he could repay Harry in some small way. He felt that he could utilize his business degree and help bring a streamlined business focus to a company in need of such attention. “I approached Harry with an offer. While I enjoyed the appraisal and sales side of the business, I felt that I could really make a difference in a management role. We needed to manage the business like a business. I felt confident that I could bring oversight, discipline, goal setting and accountability to the company. My thoughts weren’t revolutionary, yet they were necessary”. Harry had spent his career cultivating personal and business relationships. Welch saw an opportunity to reconnect, deepen and expand those relationships”.
Welch never lacked energy, motivation or enthusiasm. The challenge was getting a veteran team of professionals to “buy into” his vision. Edward was given the manager position but encountered some resistance from Higgins’ original partners. Ultimately, Higgins was faced with the difficult decision, continue with the old way of thinking or put his faith and trust in the “young man”. “Harry believed in me, and still does, but we needed a different approach for our organization. The bottom line is that everyone here now understands that we live and succeed as a team”.
Welch has diversified the company’s focus into different areas of the real estate market. The company has broadened its client base and remains firmly committed to delivering the best possible experience to its clientele. “We treat everyone with respect. We never lose sight of the fact that regardless of the size of a real estate transaction, behind the deal is a person who feels his property is important”. It is that commitment to their customers that has led to the success of Higgins and Welch Real Estate, Inc. I guess success does truly come when preparation meets opportunity.