5 Questions with Ronda Prothro
From a premium wine label to the luxury real estate closing table, Austin Portfolio Real Estate agent Ronda Prothro fully pursues her passions with ambition, commitment and expertise. Her extensive background in marketing, negotiations, sales and public relations combined with her ability to objectively look at a property in order to market and sell it quickly make her a skilled resource and negotiator for her clients.
We sat down with Ronda to find out more about her family’s exclusive wine label based in Napa Valley, her other hobbies and her background that has helped her remain a top producing agent in the eccentric and booming city of Austin.
From PR with the San Francisco 49ers and Sacramento Kings to a media spokesperson for the Santa Clara Country California jail system, how did you end up in real estate?
My career has always been focused on public relations and marketing. After starting in sports and moving on to the public sector, I began consulting for a variety of government agencies and public companies. One of my multi-national clients hired me to launch and lead an in-house creative agency, and I ended up doing the same thing for another company. When that company got acquired, I eventually partnered with a very talented graphics designer, and together we launched a highly successful Silicon Valley based marketing/design agency. Our clients spanned a variety of industries, including high tech, medtech, and education. We also began working with custom builders and real estate companies.
When my family moved from Silicon Valley to Austin nearly 8 years ago, I maintained my business, but longed to get more involved with the local community. Having bought and sold numerous properties, along with managing some major remodels and working with them as clients, real estate was always an interest of mine. It seemed like the perfect time to merge my experience in public relations, marketing, and real estate!
Tell us how your background as a managing partner for a boutique marketing and graphic design agency helps you and your clients in real estate today.
My background helps me tremendously! Our agency had the opportunity to develop and execute strategic and creative initiatives for some very high-profile companies. I also managed the day-to-day business operations. This combination of strategic, creative, and business helps me effectively consult with my real estate clients and manage all aspects of a transaction, from meeting a client to closing a deal. I am also incredibly picky about aesthetics, which helps me prepare a home for sale, from staging to marketing. I believe that each marketing piece represents an attention to detail and quality that reflects both on the agent and the seller.
You and your husband Bruce are winemakers. Tell us about your wine label, Prothro Family Wines, that you launched in 2015.
Our affinity for wine goes back to our very first date, more than 30 years ago, when we went wine tasting in Napa Valley. As newlyweds, we began an 8-year stint as home winemakers, serving our wine to friends and family who always begged for more. Demanding careers and kids caused us to take a 16-year hiatus. On the verge of being empty nesters and in the midst of moving into a new home, Bruce retired from his demanding corporate career. In the process of unpacking, we came across a shoebox full of our early home winemaking photos. It brought back such great memories and we realized that we wanted to get reacquainted with the people in those pictures… so we began to devise a plan to make wine again and Prothro Family Wines was born!
We are fortunate to source grapes from premiere Napa vineyards and make our wine in a state-of-the-art facility. Since our launch, we have won medals at the prestigious San Francisco International Wine Competition, built a significant Wine Club, and consistently sell out quickly. We are a boutique, exclusive brand that is not available in restaurants or retail, but direct to consumer. Our customers really respond to our model.
The back of each of our labels features a word and a story that gives an insight to where we are in life. Bruce and I write these together, so they have a lot of personal meaning to us and they resonate with our customers as well. For example, the word on the back of our first wine is DEMARCATION… the line between old and new… past and present… good and great… Demarcation truly captures that season in life for us. You can read more about our wine at prothrofamilywines.com.
What do you enjoy outside of Real Estate?
I love going to the movies and reading a good book. I’m also an avid athlete. I ran track in college and have maintained a rigorous workout schedule most of my life. I recently started a new workout regimen at a new studio called F45, which I really love. I box with a trainer. Boxing is truly my favorite workout and is the perfect combination of cardio, strength, and aggression. We do a lot of sparring, and I have to say that punching something (with my bright pink boxing gloves) is quite satisfying. In addition to working out, I am obviously into wine…which may be one of the reasons I have to work out so much!
Having moved from California, what it is about Austin that you enjoy and that keeps you here?
There is so much to love about Austin! This is my second stint through Texas, and I’m grateful that my kids had the opportunity to spend time here growing up, just like I did. We like to say that Austin kind of gets under your skin… it’s the type of place that you just keep thinking about. That’s what happened to us when we first started looking here. The people are incredibly friendly, accepting, and respectful, which I really appreciate. The outdoor activities are wonderful. I love the hike and bike trail along the lake, and Bruce and I will often walk from Mopac to Longhorn Dam and back (but we manage to make a quick stop at Chuy’s for our favorite tortilla soup). I like the uniqueness of Austin – the creative, artsy vibe, the downtown area, the food, and the hill country. I also love meeting the old-time Texans and experiencing their Texan sensibility and graciousness… and did I mention the queso? When I come back to Austin after a trip, I feel like I can breathe again… I guess that’s what ultimately keeps me here.
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