Cheryl Eidinger-Taylor was looking for a new house for her family in 1990 when she asked her real estate agent if she enjoyed her job.
Eidinger-Taylor, who had just given birth to her second child, was on a leave of absence from her supervisory position at an electronics firm in Hopkinton. Encouraged by the agent, she decided to take the plunge and try a new career path.
“I discovered I liked real estate very much, and very quickly became a pretty good producer,” she said.
But her real talent was in management and leadership. Within five years, Eidinger-Taylor was managing the office and overseeing all the firm’s agents. As the company (originally known as Help U Sell, then Homeowners Advantage) grew, Eidinger-Taylor’s responsibilities also grew. The company became part of the ERA real estate franchise, a worldwide real estate company, in 1993. Five years later, the company merged with another firm in Framingham and became known as ERA Key Realty Services.
Headquartered in Whitinsville, the company today has 15 offices in Middlesex and Worcester counties, and about 350 agents. Last year, the company had $769 million in total sales, representing 2,385 sales units.
“We’re primarily a residential real estate company,” said Eidinger-Taylor. “Occasionally we’ll do a commercial real estate sale or new construction, but we’re primarily a residential real estate company.”
Eidinger-Taylor succeeded her husband Bruce Taylor as president of ERA Key Realty Services in December 2016. Before that she spent 12 years as the company’s chief operating officer.
Eidinger-Taylor’s career path has changed more than once. She grew up in West Millbury in the Blackstone River Valley. After graduating from high school, she attended Northeastern University at night, studying electrical engineering while working full time at Electronic Design Inc. in Hopkinton. Halfway through her degree, she switched into management and business. Halfway through that degree, she switched direction again, joining Help U Sell as a real estate agent.
“I put college on hold after I went into real estate,” she said.
Although her position as president of the company keeps her busy and she enjoys the leadership role, Eidinger-Taylor continues to occasionally sell real estate.
“I love them both,” she said. “I still do some selling. It keeps me knowledgeable about the business, the market, so when I’m helping agents I’m relevant. I love working with people, staff, other agents, customers. We’re really a family company. Even though we’re a large agency, we feel more like a family.”
In the 28 years she has been in real estate, the business has changed dramatically.
“The onset of technology has changed the entire business,” she said. “We did everything on paper, no smartphones.”
ERA Key, which recently merged with Hunt ERA in Buffalo, New York, is also a provider for Cartus Relocation, one of the top relocation firms in the country.
Eidinger-Taylor and her husband live in Uxbridge. They have five grown children and six grandchildren. The Taylors were avid sailors until last summer, when Hurricane Maria destroyed the sailboat they kept in the British Virgin Islands.
“This summer we’re trying out a power boat, but we’re really more sailors than boaters,” she said.
But then again, maybe this will be a new direction. She’s used to that.