After 16 years in the corporate world, Sheryl Simon was ready for a change – and she saw an opportunity to make a mark in the world of Massachusetts’ luxury real estate market.
“It got to a point where the three of us said, “We can do this better,’” Simon said. “There wasn’t a niche company in Weston and Wellesley, and we really thought we could do a great job there.”
And so together with her co-owner and team partner Amy Mizner, and third co-owner Debi Benoit, the firm of Benoit Mizner Simon & Co. was born just seven years ago. Last year it was ranked #14 in the state for single-family home sales, and in the fall the firm celebrated its sixth year by opening a third branch office in Needham.
Simon and her partners have made good on their commitment to buyers, sellers and each other to revolutionize the industry with their own signature brand built around unsurpassed service, innovative market penetration and unparalleled access to the wealthy buyers and sellers that flock to the area.
“While Simon’s numbers are impressive, it’s her reputation as one of the most trusted real estate brokers in the MetroWest area that makes her a standout in her field,” said Margrette Mondillo, Simon’s nominator for this year’s Women of FIRE Awards. “Her creative finesse, sixth sense about client needs and priorities, and her ability to connect with both sellers and buyers on a very personal level are her strong suits.”
Simon’s success is the result of a lot of hard work, meticulous planning and an empathy for people – and yet it almost didn’t happen.
After graduating with a degree in early childhood education, she discovered a very limited job market and instead moved into managing insurance claims. A few years later – married, with two young girls – the time came to make the next move in her career.
But still “it wasn’t like I woke up one day and said, ‘Real estate is my destiny,’” she said. “I really wanted to be there for the kids, morning and evening. My most important job is being a mom to those kids. I had to find something that would allow me to be there for them. I loved real estate – when we bought the first house I was almost disappointed because I loved the process – so almost on a whim I got my license.”
A lot of real estate happens on the weekends, she said; the arrangement allowed her to be there for her daughters during the week, while her husband took on weekend parenting.
“They got the best of both of us,” she said. “I didn’t fit that 9-to-5 mold. I wanted to have it all.”
What followed was a period of trial and error – Simon tells stories of hardship, mistakes and struggles with dry and self-deprecating wit – but also a time of learning and growth. By the time she left Coldwell Banker to start BMS, she was vice president and ranking in the top 1 percent nationally.
“At the end of the day I feel so lucky to do what I do,” she said. “I have five grandkids and I’m able to be there for them. Someday I’ll wake up and I won’t want to do it anymore, and then I won’t – but I don’t think that day will be any time soon.”