Around 1750 the town of Alexandria was founded. A young surveyor at the time, George Washington recommended that the Potomac River’s deep water close to shore would make Alexandria an ideal port for trade. Houses were built and the town began to grow. Many of those houses and warehouses are still occupied today. Many of the warehouses have become restaurants and shops, and there has been three generations of folks moving in and moving out…and still do.
Thirty years ago Cheryl Monno got her real estate license and proceeded on a course of helping those folks continue to move in and out. This led her to founding Seaport Properties, a property management and real estate services company, in 2011. It was about time!
I just met Cheryl for the first time conducting this interview, but her sincerity and warmth made it seem like I was talking to an old friend. As it turns out, we have known many of the same people in this town over the past thirty years.
Growing up in Fairfax and graduating from Hayfield High School, Cheryl has seen the development and growth of Alexandria firsthand. Right out of high school, and like many of us, Cheryl was in love, got married and had two children. Unfortunately, like many of us, the marriage did not work out and Cheryl moved on. Cheryl met, who was to become her best friend, John Monno, and a 22-year romance developed with them getting married ten years ago. “John is my friend and he believes in me more than I do,” she says. Today, John is the muscle of the business helping Cheryl with the physical management of the over 200 properties managed by Seaport.
Cheryl began her career as an assistant property manager for a local real estate firm. Management thought that she might be too young to deal with those wealthy property owners, so she left and began a 23-year career with Hooff Realty of Alexandria…one of Alexandria’s premier real estate companies of the day. The energetic property manager loved her job but wanted to open her own office. With encouragement from her family and friends, and the introduction to Scott Humphrey of R.L. Kane, Cheryl had direction and an office.
In the four years she has owned and operated her company, her desire has not diminished. ”I love working,” she tells me. “I will work until I am 99 years old.” “I treat every property that I manage as if it were my own,” she says. I think that Cheryl gets her drive from her father who is a former Marine and conductor for Southern Railways. “You know,” she continues, “I don’t think my father ever called in sick and mom was a stay at home mom and raised us.”
Today Cheryl is anything but stay at home. Her 34 year old daughter has given Cheryl a 13 year old granddaughter and a 6 year old grandson. Cheryl attends her granddaughter’s softball games when the Mount Vernon Magic play. Cheryl’s son is 33 and has managed to remain single.
Even though she enjoys her work, there is always time to get away to their house in Ocean City, Maryland. Here she can unwind, but not for long…she wants to double the portfolio of Seaport Properties. If you are looking for an investment property, a rental or a place of your own, give Seaport Properties a call. If you are looking for a really neat person, give Cheryl a call.
313 S. Washington Street
Old Town Alexandria
Written by: Bob Tagert