Harrington didn’t intend to become a business owner when she moved to Charleston in the ’70s. In fact, she began her career as an intensive care nurse at Roper Hospital. Soon afterward she discovered that her skills as a caregiver, commitment to heightened personal service, and talents for hard work and networking were tailor-made for the real estate business.
“A good friend of mine had a cottage out here [in Kiawah], and he was moving back to England,” says Harrington. “We had dinner a few weeks before he left, and he said, ‘You know, I’m not happy with the way the rentals are going with my cottage. Why don’t you take care of my cottage?’”
Harrington protested, at first, because she didn’t have a background in managing property rentals. But within a year of renting her friend’s cottage in 1978, she had obtained enough properties in Kiawah to leave Roper and focus on her new business full time.
Since the beginning, Harrington has worked to set Pam Harrington Exclusives apart by maintaining a personal connection with her clients. Harrington even gained a few of her first clients the same way that she started her business— by helping friends who asked her to rent out their cottages.
“When we’re working with somebody, it’s not just a job,” says Harrington. “Many of my clients turn into friends after we’ve completed the transaction, whether it’s a rental or a sale. They feel they can always call me if there are any problems, and our relationship continues to this day.”
Harrington and her staff handpick their rental properties, making sure they are clean and well-appointed. And when it comes to helping clients buy or sell homes, she understands that demand exists at every price point. “Whether it’s a $50,000 property or a $10 million property, we offer clients the same individualized treatment and care,” she says.
Pam Harrington isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. She can be found at her office every day of the week. “It’s my life,” Harrington says, “and I love every minute of it … even working seven days a week.”
Ashley Sprouse is a Charleston-based writer.