Aug 31, 2017
Some St. Louis residential real estate firms have changed hands over the years, others have stayed ‘in the family’—but most have enjoyed noticeable growth despite the transitions. T&S talked to several local firms to find out what has spurred their success whether the market is booming or slow.
gladys manion real estate
Stafford Manion, owner and president of Clayton-based Gladys Manion Real Estate, is the grandson of its founder and namesake, and enjoys keeping her memory alive. Manion says resilience and a positive attitude have kept the firm open for more than 80 years, even through difficult periods.
“We had never experienced anything like the market challenges from 2008 to 2010,” he says. “I went two or three years without earning anything myself. But we kept advertising and charging forward, and we stayed afloat. I did not want the company to go under on my watch.”
Manion says he learned a great deal about perseverance from his tenacious grandmother. She launched the company in 1936 at a time when real estate firms employed few females. “Gladys wasn’t a hard woman, but she was a driven one,” he recalls. “To start a business like this during the Great Depression took guts.”
Gladys ran the firm until 1960, when she passed the torch to her son James, who turned the company over to Stafford in 1987. “There were about three agents when my grandmother was in charge, but now we have a management team and 40 agents,” Manion says. “Other firms have tried to buy us, but I like to think Gladys is looking down and feeling proud of the fact that the family company is still here.”