By Karen D. Lorentz
Bret Williamson has recently expanded the Killington Valley Real Estate team of agents with the addition of Cathy Qualgia and Gary Thompson, two longtime Killington area brokers.
“They were my peers when I began working as a broker at KVRE in 2004,” Williamson said, noting their considerable experience and knowledge. “I know them really well and was ready to expand the business so bringing on agents of their caliber was easy for me,” he added.
Prior to Qualgia and Thompson joining the firm this April, Laura Derderian also joined KVRE after moving to the area earlier this year with her family and getting her real estate license.
Qualia, who cofounded Aspen East with her husband Lee in 1975, has worked in real estate since 1980 — many of those years with Augie Stuart, owner/broker of The Performance Group (formerly Century 21 Contemporary Associates).
She noted that she “always felt at home working with Augie — it was like being with a friend or family and I enjoyed a great run there,” she said. She also noted having a good working relationship with Thompson who also worked there.
Referencing Stuart’s retirement, Quaglia said, “It’s nice to continue working with Gary at KVRE. Bret is smart, enthusiastic and dedicated. Gary and I found a new home there.”
Thompson echoed Quaglia’s appreciation of working with Stuart, noting that he respected him for his many attributes, including his “high integrity and sound work ethic. It was a pleasure to work for him and I look forward to working with Bret, who seems to be a younger version of Augie. I know Bret well having worked with him [on real estate matters] over the years,” Thompson added.
Thompson also knows the area well, having worked for Killington Resort in the late 1970s and 1980s. After a variety of jobs in the Rutland area, he got his real estate license in 2002 and worked for Eleanora Thompson in Rutland and in 2003 joined Century 21 Contemporary Associates which became The Performance Group in 2009.
Judy Storch founded Killington Valley Real Estate in October 1972 after having worked in real estate for the Killington Ski Area for two years. She sold to Williamson so she could take more time out for her globe-trotting travels but continues to work listing, selling and renting properties, bringing 52 years of experience to the current team at KVRE.
Williamson, who started working at KVRE doing rentals in 2003, got his broker’s license in 2004 and worked at KVRE part time while managing the Basin Ski Shop. He purchased the business with his wife Kim in 2017.
Noting that the real estate market has been “extremely busy” since 2017, Williamson said, “the timing was great enabling me to work full time as a broker.
“The market is still strong in Killington and inventory is pretty thin, but if priced appropriately, we see a lot of offers. I listed four properties in the last month, and they all went under contract at higher prices and had multiple offers. So it’s a good time to expand the firm, especially with two experienced brokers who know the area.”
With a total of 136 years of experience brokering sales and purchases of properties in the Killington area, Williamson said he also appreciates a team that knows the area well and can help match buyers to the appropriate home for them.
Williamson also appreciates the history of the red farmhouse building that is home to KVRE which is located next to the Wobbly Barn on Killington Road. It was the first home for Killington founders Preston and Sue Smith and the place where co-founders Mary and Joe Sargent first stayed while the ski area was being developed, he said.
Williamson displays photos of the founders on the farmhouse walls to illustrate the history of the area. He also updated it with new carpeting, fixtures, bathrooms, and painting. He added a custom counter made by local carpenter Steve Fuchs and will have him make some desks as well.
Williamson also rents an upstairs office to Fiore Property Services and Excavation and another office to the Smith Building Company, noting the “good blend of businesses here is what I was looking for.”
For more information visit: killingtonvalleyrealestate.com.