The last thing Rick Higgins’ father wanted for his son was a career in real estate. But Higgins figures he had real estate in his blood. “My dad built over 200 luxury homes in northern New Jersey,” says Higgins. “I used to go with him to the construction sites.”
Higgins has 25 years as a real estate attorney and property developer under his belt and was sick of commuting between Manhattan and New Jersey. So he decided it was time for a change. “I’m very impulsive,” he says. “My brother lived in New Canaan. I loved Fairfield County so I decided to move my family to Connecticut.” Settling in Fairfield in 1996, Higgins saw an opportunity for a new business. “There were 2,000 upscale homes in Greenfield Hills and not one real estate office,” he says. He rented a tiny office and hung up his shingle.
Looking back now, Higgins says he was naïve. “I knew a lot about real estate, having built and sold homes and been a real estate lawyer,” he says. “But it hadn’t occurred to me that selling real estate is all about knowing people.” And having just moved from out of state, Higgins knew nobody. He couldn’t even get around town without a map.
Higgins says it took five years to put the Higgins Group on the map. He started conversations with people who had given up careers to raise children or who had never quite gotten their careers off the ground. “There are a lot of really sharp people who hadn’t thought about real estate until we spoke,” he says.
What makes the Higgins Group different from other agencies is Rick Higgins’ belief that families come first. “Our agents work in a guilt-free atmosphere,” he says. Kids are welcome in the office, and agents are encouraged to work together to be more efficient. Higgins takes pride in his day-to-day involvement in his offices, which have grown from the one-man shop in Greenfield Hills to 14 offices from Greenwich to Shelton. “I sit in the bullpen with the agents,” he says. “Some agents need more help than others.” Higgins couldn't be happier. He's doing what he likes doing best: helping others attain their goals.