Pat Pignitor understands real estate; actually, she loves it.

As a young wife and mother moving with her husband to follow his job, Pignitor often took the lead in finding and settling into the family’s latest home. As a business professional, she sold title insurance and worked with a real estate attorney before finding her true passion as an agent and, later, as a broker.

Today she manages one of the fastest growing real estate brokerages in Bucks County: Addison Wolfe Real Estate. For eight years Pignitor has helped to consistently grow the company and burnish its reputation for representing the most distinctive homes in Philadelphia, New Jersey, and Bucks and Montgomery counties. And last month she achieved another career milestone when Addison Wolfe announced its best — and biggest — year, transacting more than $208 million worth of real estate in 2014.

In an industry of outsized personalities, Pignitor says she didn’t feel she was the likeliest choice to become the firm’s broker manager at the beginning, and managing a start-up had never been a career priority. But Art Mazzei, the owner/partner of Addison Wolfe, knew Pignitor well. They worked together for years at another agency. Most importantly, he trusted her.

“As an entrepreneur starting a business, you need people around you whom you trust. You have to surround yourself with professionals who will work as hard, and sometimes harder, than you,” said Mazzei. “I knew Pat was that person. She’s been an outstanding manager and coach for all of us, and we would not be where we are today without her.”

With that trust, Mazzei asked Pignitor to leave her job at a large, well-established real estate brokerage to join him at his start-up in 2006.

“I believed in Art’s vision,” Pignitor said of Mazzei. “When he approached me about starting Addison Wolfe it sounded like exactly want I wanted: less corporate, more creative. But if anyone else had suggested the idea I would have said no.”

At his request, she quickly earned her brokers license in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in 2007 and became the broker of record for Addison Wolfe.

“I was excited by the opportunity. I’d been selling homes for a number of years, which I loved, but I was ready for this new challenge. I had such an affinity for the company, and I wanted to be a bigger part of it,” said Pignitor.

Eight years later she has no regrets. In fact, she says she sees the experience as being full of lessons for her three granddaughters, who are already thinking about their futures.

“I tell my granddaughters the most important thing is to get to know the business or industry they’re interested in. Start at the bottom and learn everything you can,” said Pignitor. “If you find you have a passion for the work, don’t be afraid to be bold and break out on your own. If you love it, and if you work hard, it can be the most rewarding experience of your life.”

Addison Wolfe Real Estate, 550 Union Square, New Hope, PA. 215-862-5500, www.addisonwolfe.com.

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