THIS IS A match made in realty heaven. Both Katie Keating and Shannon Cahill want nothing more than to help you find your dream home and partner with you as you put your signature on it and fill it with one-of-a-kind pieces of art.
Keating and Cahill have joined forces, each bringing her own area of passion and expertise—Keating in real estate and Cahill in art. Unlike real estate transactions from years past, they want to remain in touch and be a part of your journey even after the final papers are signed.
Keating and her family moved to Lake Forest recently and they couldn’t be more excited to officially become part of the community.
There are so many things Keating loves about her new hometown, but top of the list are the schools. “My daughter is a pre-schooler at Sheridan and my son is in kindergarten at Everett. The community has been really welcoming. I feel like we moved in and just immediately clicked with everybody.”
Keating says she and her husband are pleased that most of the warnings they received from well-meaning friends about the transition from city to suburbs never came to fruition. “They said they didn’t want us to be shocked. They warned up that when you moved to the suburbs, you’re not going to have those restaurants around the block. You’re not going to have your friends easily accessible. You’re going to have to plan everything.
“So we were a little worried and then we moved.” As it turns out, Keating and her family could not be happier. “We loved our life in the city. But we are very happy here. I feel like moving to the suburbs, everything is just very accessible, very easy, and I kind of feel like we find ourselves being able to spend more time at home because we have the space and we have the yard that we never had.”
As part of the well-known Mabadi Group and having just gone through the process herself, Keating is armed and ready with the most current and up-to-date information available to assist other young families make that same transition.
As Cahill notes, realtors on the North Shore do much more than sell homes. “They also become a great resource for their clients, not only in terms of selling their house, but also everything that comes after. Who do we go to for a contractor? Who do we go to for interior design or art? I know that that’s an area that realtors want to expand and so I can reach out to them and help them to help their clients and provide an additional resource for them.”
Much of Cahill’s business includes clients who have moved up from a condo in the city to a larger home in the suburbs. “Some are empty nesters who have engaged in new construction homes. They have these walls that they need to fill.”
In addition, Cahill’s business also involves helping clients take their current collection and figure out how to make it work in their new space. She helps many clients with what she terms an “art refresh,” basically helping them keep the art they love.
Cahill began her art consultation business, Art en Object, about six years ago. “It’s not my background in terms of education, but what I did professionally before starting Art en Object definitely helps in this art consultant role.” Cahill has a PhD in statistics and was the director of research for a foundation. “I spent a lot of time setting up research studies and doing focus groups and trying to understand and assess where people are coming from.” This invaluable experience comes into play now as Cahill interacts with clients. “I think I can get a really good read off them. I have a strong track record in terms of succeeding in finding them art that really resonates and really connecting them with art and the artists who make it.
“We moved into a large Victorian with lots of walls to fill 16 years ago, when my four kids were all under the age of four. I was home a lot more and I started nesting. We started this typical process, like many young families who buy their forever house and they start filling it. And one thing I started doing was acquiring artwork for the walls of this house, and I got to know the artists. And friends would come in and say, ‘where did you find that?’
“I have a friend who’s an interior designer and she reached out and said, ‘I have this project. Please help me with the artwork.’ And that was kind of the jumping-off point and I said, sure. I loved it. I loved the whole thing. And so I started doing it more formally and turned it into a business. Art is one of the few things that you have in your home that is a true reflection of who you are.”
She views her role partly as “educating her clients, but in a very gentle way. And giving them options—but not too many.” She focuses on local and emerging mid-career artists who are not represented, many of whom her clients would probably never come across if not for her.
It seems natural that Keating and Cahill have found each other. Keating says that within her realty group, “We don’t just help people find their perfect home or sell their home. It’s more about staging the home if we’re helping them sell it and when they purchase from us, it’s not just like, oh congratulations, see you later. It’s very much keeping in contact and they’re reaching out all the time saying ‘Hey, do you have a painter that you love? Do you have a contractor that you can refer along? A handyman?’
Keating notes that once families move into what feels like their forever home, they are then ready to begin investing in art at a different level than when they were living in a condo in the city. “As a real estate agent, I’m able to say, ‘oh my gosh. I have an amazing woman.’ I know Shannon is going to come in and be able to bring all of these different art pieces for them to choose from. And just knowing that she’s going to get to know their personalities and pick out the perfect piece that they’re going to love for years and years down the road. I know that she’s definitely someone that’s in my portfolio of people that I feel 100 percent confident passing along to my clients and I know that they’re going to be super happy when they’re looking to invest in art.”