Growing Carolinas real estate brokerage works to keep 'family' feel

Executive profile: Pat Riley

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For Pat Riley, real estate has always been a family affair. The Allen Tate Cos. president and chief operating officer grew up around his father’s real estate business in Lancaster, Pa.

"After church on Sunday, I’d put up signs," Riley said.

To make money, he worked as a carpenter during high school and college breaks. After college, he thought he might go into banking or finance.

But "between junior and senior year I put the hammer down and got my (real estate) license," he said.

"I said, ‘Let me try this real estate thing,’ and fell in love with it and never looked back."

That was in 1972. After graduating from college a year later, he returned home and helped grow his dad’s brokerage from two to 150 people. In 1988, he sold the company to B. Gary Scott Realtors. He served as senior vice president until 1991, when that brokerage was sold.