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Hang Your Heart

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A match made in Oakland. Well almost. Just off Dutton Road, is where Connie LaBarge Thomas found her family's home 25 years ago. Her move to Michigan from the foothills of the Adirondacks in upstate New York and the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts left her homesick for the rolling terrain, open spaces, and woodsy trails that were so familiar to her in her early years. She found them right in her own back yard - Oakland Township.

There is a common set of values that attract people to Oakland Township - a love for the outdoors, the engaged and vibrant community, welcoming neighbors, and an appreciation of the arts, education, dining and other conveniences that our area offers. Connie embraces those values that we share. It is that love and appreciation that takes her to places where you've probably seen her - walking the trails, at charity events for the Critenton and schools, or at church.

Life's memories are built with one life changing family event after another. It's when we say "I do;" It's when we find out a new baby will arrive soon; it's when the kids leave home and a house feels big and empty. And sometimes it's when unexpected loss or sudden illness hits us. These kinds of moments impact our decisions, especially the ones that have the greatest impact on people we love. Connie has experienced many of her own life changing events. She genuinely appreciates that there are many things that move us, both literally and figuratively. She brings that to her profession every day.

For instance, Margie Brisson recently sold her Oakland Township home, "Connie impressed me with her knowledge of the homes in the area. She worked diligently right through to closing date. Selling my home that I have lived in for forty years was a big decision for me. Connie's happy disposition, winning smile and support made this transaction a pleasant one."

Relationships are key. Over the years Connie has built a respected network with fellow Realtors based on good communication and a positive attitude. Through these relationships she is able to create a team all working toward the same goal. We create relationships with professionals who make us feel comfortable and who will listen and learn from us how to best help us.

Bill and Sherry MacIntyre moved from Oakland Township to Addison Township, "Connie was a pleasure to work with. She was professional, thorough, and kept in close contact with updates, feedback, and relevant information about the real estate market. She returned all our phone calls the same day and made us feel as if we were her only client".

Connie began her career in real estate in Saratoga County, New York in 1981. One conversation in her early years stands out when her first mentor advised her that, "Your success will be in proportion to the people who think favorable of you when they think of real estate." Such advice over the years has been formative in the kind of professional that Connie has become. It is why she has become involved in so many charitable events - from sponsoring and manning the cotton candy concession for a school carnival for 14 years (They still call her 'Cotton Candy Connie'.) to participating in the Women's Council of Realtors' many fundraising events.

Giving of her time is important. Connie has volunteered for 20 years as a director on her neighborhood board. She fondly refers to herself as their 'historian' now. Connie says,"Civic awareness goes hand and hand with knowing and loving your area". As a recent graduate of Leadership Oakland, she has learned the inner workings of our local government and the factors that have resulted in Oakland County being the only county in Michigan with a balanced budget, and the only county in the United States that is debt free. In appreciation of her community, Connie continuously strives to become informed on issues affecting real estate and willingly shares the experience with others. "nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care" and Connie practices that givers-gain philosophy learned through her years of membership with Business Network International (BNI).

"Rochester & Oakland Township have been my husband's and my home for over 25 years. I have lived here, in 48306, three times longer than any other zip code in my lifetime. I raised my sons here. I've has the good fortunate to watch them and their friends become successful young men and women. It's that feeling of being in a small, close community. Thank you for helping me to enjoy the success of my family and business."

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