A TALE OF TWO KEEFES ~
It was the best of real estate operations, it was the worst of real estate operations. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity. What has befallen Geneva Lake with Keefe Real Estate, operated by the son of Mike Keefe, running the sales company of the organization, and Mike himself running the property ownership and management company?
Last week the Geneva Shore Report ran a story about Keefe Real Estate and got a few things blatantly wrong. One of those things was due to not understanding that the Keefe Empire has been split into two different operations (one the retail sales of residential property, and the other about property ownership and management). The second mistake the GSR reporting and editing staff made was more egregious. For whatever reason (it doesn’t matter to the entity hurt by a story that went wrong) the GSR reported that the Keefe Residential Real Estate Company (sales) was collecting rents down at the Riviera Pier for the concessions there on behalf of the city.
That was not true. Keefe is merely advertising and seeking lease holders for the city business spaces located there. The city itself will handle all
collections of rent and the terms of the leases. Within Keefe Real Estate the new CEO and owner of the residential operations is named Tom Keefe, and he’s no ordinary guy. He graduated from Tufts University in Boston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, and then went to work learning the real estate sales business in downtown New York, until he decided to come home. Last month he took over the helm of the Keefe company, and that firm is likely to make some dramatically wonderful changes in doing great work wherever its people are located around the lake. Keefe is the largest and highest volume real estate firm located in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth counties.
The GSR also recently learned about Keefe Cares, the non-profit charitable company that the agents and employees working at the Keefe Company contribute cash to, and then distribute to those who have less in the areas where Keefe does business. Last year they contributed fifty thousand dollars. They also assure, by contract, that the expenses of running the charitable concern never go over fifteen percent of the money donated. Would that all charities operated that way. On top of that, the people at Keefe purchase forty Christmas gifts every year for kids (listed by Walworth County) who are living in circumstances wherein they can not get a present without help. It’s hard to get to know the ins and outs of every important company operating around Geneva Lake, and the GSR has proven that.
It was not hard to get to know Tom Keefe, however, as he came forward to spend as much time as our reporters wanted to spend with him over the days of the past week. He is a class act, and it is going to be interesting to watch him take the helm in both hands and move Keefe on into the future.
Also for your notes
It was erroneously reported that John Halverson, the former managing editor of the Lake Geneva Regional News, was not living inside the district he is running for a seat on the city council from. That is not true. Mr. Halverson lives inside the district, and will be running against Tim Horn in the coming election. The GSR no longer endorses candidates (or they lose) but it does want to secretly support any former writer or editor of a local paper that has so supported the Geneva Shore Report in the past.