Real Estate

Tempe realtors keep it in the family

Mother-daughter duo opens Locality Real Estate

Posted 5/5/22

Laurie and Chelsea McDonnell are about as close as two people can be.  Not only are they mother and daughter, but they often finish each other’s sentences and, until just a few months ago, they lived a few blocks from one another. They also happen to own a business together. 

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Real Estate

Tempe realtors keep it in the family

Mother-daughter duo opens Locality Real Estate

Posted

Laurie and Chelsea McDonnell are about as close as two people can be. 

Not only are they mother and daughter, but they often finish each other’s sentences and, until just a few months ago, they lived a few blocks from one another. They also happen to own a business together. 

The McDonnells started Locality Real Estate in October. The real estate brokerage now counts 43 realtors on its roster and boasts listings across the Valley, with a speciality in the Tempe area. They also do some work in northern Arizona and hope to expand their reach across the whole state eventually. 

The duo said working together and maintaining a close family tie has never been a problem for them. 

“During the pandemic, we decided to branch off and start our own thing,” said Chelsa. “We worked together in the past and wanted to work together again.”

This is the first time we’ve been business partners,” Laurie added. “We had a clear idea as to what we wanted to be doing, what our goals were and what it looked like.”

Both Tempe natives, Laurie and Chelsea have loved watching their shared hometown grow and thrive amid the Valley’s real estate boom. 

Nationally, rents have increased 17% since March 2020, according to Apartment List, but the increase has been higher in towns like Tempe, which saw a 31% hike. That’s likely been helped along by tech giants such as Amazon and Deloitte, who have chosen Tempe for their headquarters. Others, like Intel, have settled in nearby Chandler, where Locality also has its office, making the whole East Valley a destination for the thousands moving to the Phoenix metro. 

“The market’s been interesting,” said Laurie. “Tempe is landlocked, so it’s more challenging for buyers to buy in Tempe. There’s nowhere to build and there are so many people who want to live in Tempe that it’s making the market stronger.”

Starting a new brokerage in the middle of such a housing boom was a no-brainer for the McDonnells. They say demand is high no matter how far you go out from the city center. 

There are unlimited opportunities and it’s a great industry to be a part of,” said Chelsea. “You can do whatever you set your mind to in this industry, which you can't say for all industries. We make more of an impact than just a transaction. We’re helping people in their new life chapters. We don’t take it lightly.”

The industry isn’t likely to slow down any time soon, according to Laurie. 

“There’s no indication at this point for adjustments,” she said. “Interest rates are impacting the market a little bit, but Tempe will continue to see a seller’s market.”

With work busier than ever and the industry causing stress after stress, the McDonnells said they are happy to work with family during what can be a chaotic time. 

“We’re lucky to have a great working relationship,” said Chelsea. “Not everyone can say they can work with family.”

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