T. Wayne and Claudia Cole
Through a very full chapter of life, there were many ups and downs, but we stayed true to ourselves and refused to compromise our priorities. While navigating family illness and building a life together, we prioritized people over all else.
Wayne and Claudia met in 1999 and have been building their lives together ever since. Claudia was a single mom with a 12-year-old daughter when they met. Putting herself through college to earn an MBA while holding a position as a training manager for a Fortune 100 company. Wayne was running a successful construction company building and remodeling custom homes. However, after 25 years of construction, the physical toll grew too high. Wayne decided to become a licensed REALTOR®, following his passion to fight for others. As consumers, they had experienced nearly a dozen horrible transactions by then. Agents wouldn’t return calls; they didn’t show up to signings, and worst of all made them feel self-conscious for asking questions about the process. Wayne wanted to do a better job. In 2010 Wayne completed his Real Estate schooling and was ready for the test.
Following a gut instinct, he left early for his real estate exam so he could stop and check on his father. He had stopped by the day before and knew something was wrong. That feeling stayed with him and led them down a path he never expected. Wayne and his family found themselves in the hospital that same day as their father underwent emergency surgery in an attempt to remove the pancreatic cancer that had been found. Family is everything to Wayne and Claudia; they sold their dream home and bought the home next to Wayne’s Parents (that I might add was not for sale at the time!). Wayne put his Real Estate ambitions on hold and for the next 9 years, Wayne and Claudia were the primary care takers and medical advocates for their mom and dad.
Claudia remembers, “In getting to know Wayne and his family, I witnessed what family could be. His parents were the kindest people I ever met. They accepted and loved everyone, gave me grace when I needed it, and became parents to me as well.” They thought they would only have Dad for a brief period of time, but we were blessed with a full 11 years before he passed.
In 2015 Wayne returned to pursue real estate, and they began to build 501c Real Estate Team together. “It was a lot to balance, but we loved the work we were doing and being there for our family. There was no compromising for us. It wasn’t always easy, but the two of us were always able to balance each other out through the highs and lows, one lifting the other up. We communicated and supported each other as partners in every sense of the word.”
Those years were a whirlwind. While caring for his parents, both of their grandchildren were born, and at times it felt like they were trying to juggle five or six jobs between them. Still, they never regretted a single second. In 2016 Claudia became a licensed Realtor and shortly thereafter retired from a 31-year career to pursue building the 501c Realty Team full time.
“The best part of our team has been our contribution to the community. While facing family illness, we received several community services and were thrilled to give back as soon as we could. There are so many wonderful organizations that made a difference in our lives. We enjoy paying forward that kindness every opportunity we get.” The 501c Realty Team donates a portion of every transaction to a non-profit and to date has donated over $200,000.
“Once the transaction is over, we will be there to celebrate with you and continue celebrating each victory as your lifelong REALTORS®”.
T. Wayne Cole
REALTOR®, Team Leader
REALTOR®, MBA, Team Manager