By Robin Jovanovich

Katherine Doherty grew up on the other side of Westchester, in the river town of Hastings-on-Hudson, where her family has lived for generations. Kat, as she is known, always wanted to be an architect, but her mother always thought she would make a great teacher. So that’s the career path she took.

After earning a B.S. in Elementary Education, with a concentration in Psychology, and an M.S. in Special Education, Kat taught first and second grade and Special Ed in Valhalla. While she loved teaching young children, in short order she had two of her own.

When she moved to Rye five years ago (“I like to think of myself as bi-coastal because my roots are still in Hastings”), Kat followed the arc of many her age. “I gave up a salaried career and decided to wing it!”

A self-described “house nerd”, Doherty became a real estate associate at Houlihan Lawrence. “I love looking at layouts, seeing how spaces are designed and decorated, and then reimagining them. I think being passionate is a quality that draws people to you.” She added, “It’s not just social media that brings you buyers and sellers.”

While many realtors are quick to tell you that buyers in our neck of the woods only want “new and done”, Doherty is seeing signs of a shift among young families. “Yes, everyone is looking for walkability, but more and more want charm and character.”

The challenge in the current market, she noted, is that a lot of buyers are slow to pull the trigger. “Before the first open house, potential buyers have already done their research — and walked or driven by the house multiple times. Some of them are Facebook ‘stalkers’ who’ve researched the sellers!”

She derives the most satisfaction from working with buyers and helping them find a home where they’ll be happy and want to stay.

And she said she’s already learned from the best. “Barbie Haynes is among the best. She’s that authentic, relatable agent, in addition to being a wonderful woman.” She added, “I’ve already had that teachable moment: You can still be an honest, ethical person in this very competitive business.”

Doherty’s the first to admit that being a realtor and the mother of young children (and class mom at both Rye Presbyterian Nursery School and Milton School) requires a lot of juggling. “It takes a village. Luckily, Rye is an amazing village.”

On a recent Friday on which she had an appointment with a buyer, she got a flat tire. “Joe from Rye Brook Service came to get my car. My friend sent her husband to get me. I borrowed their car and made it to the appointment with five minutes to spare,” she recalled with a smile.

“Right now I’m trying to get my friends from high school to move here. That’s one of my dreams.”