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82-year-old broker commits to 5 more years with Century 21

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In a remarkable display of dedication and passion for the industry, 82-year-old Grace Kelleher, owner of Century 21 Kelleher Real Estate Inc. Brokerage in Mississauga, Ont., has made the decision to extend her franchise agreement with the company for another five years. 

With an illustrious career spanning over four decades, Kelleher is defying the odds, remaining committed to serving the needs of homebuyers and sellers in her community.


Trailblazing a path in a male-dominated industry


Back in 1969, when the real estate industry was predominantly male-dominated, Kelleher embarked on her real estate career with an unwavering determination to break through the glass ceiling. 

As a single mother at the time, she navigated the challenges and obstacles with resilience and emerged as a successful female real estate broker. In 1978, Kelleher founded Century 21 Kelleher Real Estate Inc. Brokerage, which has since become one of the longest-running franchises under the brand.


Fond memories of the “gold jacket era”


Reflecting on her early days in the industry, Kelleher recalls the nostalgia-inducing “gold jacket era,” where wearing a gold jacket signified being a real estate professional. The jacket served as a conversation starter, Kelleher remembers. “Back then, everyone assumed you worked in real estate when you wore a gold jacket. By wearing it, you could meet so many potential clients.”


A close-knit work family and community involvement


At present, Kelleher Real Estate Inc. consists of a small team of five agents, some of whom have been with the brokerage for an impressive 30 years. 

The close-knit group considers themselves not only colleagues but also a work family. Even outside of office hours, they make time to meet for coffee, fostering strong bonds that have endured over the years.

Community engagement has always been a priority for Kelleher. She fondly recalls the brokerage’s annual car wash fundraisers, which supported Century 21’s national charitable partner, Easter Seals Canada. 

Despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic, Kelleher continues to lend a helping hand to those in need, assisting with grocery shopping and other necessities in her spare time.


A driving force for an active lifestyle and meaningful connections


When asked about her decision to keep working rather than retiring, Kelleher emphasizes the importance of staying active and connected to the community. 

“Working allows me to get out of the house, talk to people, and be a part of the community; I am not the type of person who wants to stay at home all day doing nothing,” she explains.

“My biggest high is when I am putting together and presenting an offer. I cannot even sleep on those days because I am so excited; it is such a wonderful feeling.” 

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