From fulfilling his mother's dream to making his clients' dreams come true, Bob Coloney transitioned to real estate after being the driving force behind The Center of Hope.
What initially drew you to the town of Scotch Plains?
“While I grew up in Kenilworth, NJ, I moved to Scotch Plains in 1995 with my wife and raised our three children here. I’ve always been extremely involved in the community by coaching a plethora of youth sports and pursuing my mother’s dream.”
What was her dream?
“My mother was a hospice nurse, and ultimately, she was a pioneer of hospice, not just in New Jersey but throughout the entire country. She was responsible for getting the Medicare benefits approved for hospice patients. She had a life-long dream to create an in-patient facility, and she didn’t care if people didn’t have the resources or money to support their hospice care, she just didn’t want people to pass away alone.”
How did you get involved?
“In 2000, I was working for a mortgage company, but she wanted my help, so I went to go work for her. I was a purchasing manager for her program, Center of Hope. Unfortunately, shortly after, she fell ill with pancreatic cancer and was given six months to live; however, she didn’t want her dream to die. After her passing in 2003, I was tested on my ability to be president of the program, and eventually around six months later, I was appointed.”
What was your goal?
“We acquired the Park Place Diner here in Scotch Plains and turned it into an administration building because the ultimate goal was building the in-patient facility. We hired George Albanese and The Alma Group to do a feasibility study that approached around 100 of our closest donors and volunteers and pitched the idea of a physical, in-patient facility. The majority of them didn’t believe that was a realistic goal.”
How did you overcome that?
“Determination and a great support system. None of this would have been possible without my wife Diane and her support on the development team. Diane stood by my side and worked tirelessly throughout the fundraising campaign to achieve this amazing goal which enabled us to build Peggy Coloney's House. In the end, my group and I raised about $11 million, and in two years we created Peggy Coloney’s House at the Center of Hope in honor of my mother. It is a 33 bed, in-patient facility for those who are facing end-of-life care.”
Today, you are a real estate agent. How did you get here?
“After accomplishing what my mother dreamed of, I felt fulfilled enough to pursue my own goals. I was always interested in construction and all things realty, and in a year, I had gotten my real estate license. I am truly fortunate that my wife Diane supported my decision to become a real estate agent. She always believed in my abilities and I am so grateful for that.”
What drew you to real estate?
“I loved the idea of being my own boss, and I love interacting with people. I believe to have an ability to connect with everyone and anyone regardless of if they are a first-time homeowner or in the market for a $1 million home. The knack I have for empathizing with people regardless of their circumstances is why I am where I am today.”
How did getting a later start in real estate affect you?
“It wasn’t easy getting here; however, I did fantastic, and it motivated me to keep going. Today, I have 10 years in real estate. I truly love what I do, and I have no regrets other than I wish I started earlier, even right out of college. Receiving text messages and seeing Instagram posts from my satisfied clients stating that they weren’t able to get any contracts, but I got them one in six days, or people who weren’t able to sell their homes before they met me is the most rewarding feeling. When I wake up every morning, I am proud of where I am.”
"Real estate isn't a job to me, I truly love it."