Josh Greenwald, left, and Mitchell Greenwald, of Greenwald Realty Associates, beautify a Keene traffic circle.

Greenwald Realty Associates

Mitchell Greenwald came to Keene for love. It was 1970 and he was a freshman at Northeastern University, but two hours away, his high school sweetheart, Erika Glickman, was studying at Keene State College. Two months into the semester, the distance became intolerable. He dropped out of school, eloped with Erika and enrolled at Keene State. Greenwald stayed in Keene making it his home, raising a family, and opening two successful clothing businesses.

When the 1990s recession reached Keene, Greenwald’s retail businesses suffered and he pivoted, beginning to invest in Main Street real estate. Greenwald Realty Associates opened in 1986, and, in 2003, it became a family business when his son, Josh, returned from New York City to follow his father’s footsteps in making Keene home, for both his business and his family.

Josh Greenwald got his real estate license and focused on learning and expanding his father’s business, on the corner of Main Street and Gilbo Avenue. The company now employs nine agents and four property managers. The business specializes in residential and commercial real estate, owns and manages 100 properties and manages an additional 25 properties. Greenwald Realty still manages some of Main Street’s most iconic buildings, including those housing Ye Olde Goodie Shoppe and Fritz’s Fries.

Josh Greenwald describes Greenwald Realty as a “boutique style operation,” one that has resisted going corporate. He likes to wear jeans to work and describes the office as a family atmosphere where children, grandchildren and dogs filter in and out.

“With a small town, it doesn’t end with just one transaction. Our office is a quasi-chamber of commerce. People don’t just come in for real estate; they also might stop in because they want to know where to get a good sandwich,” says Greenwald.

Not being corporate is not just an office attitude, it’s also the way Greenwald Realty does business. Realty decisions often enter people’s lives at times of great transition — a new marriage, a new baby, a death in the family — and Josh Greenwald takes this responsibility seriously.

“We have this profound ability to have a real effect on people. We are solving problems every day,” he says.

Both Josh and Mitchell are actively involved in the town outside of the realty business.

“We are totally entrenched in the community,” says Josh.

Mitchell has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce, served on the City Council and is running for Mayor of Keene this year. Josh has served on the Monadnock Board of Realtors, the board of directors of the YMCA, Keene High School Project Graduation and in conjunction with Project Graduation has performed with Keene Dancing With the Stars. Greenwald Realty was also the marquee sponsor for the veteran’s benefit, Duty Calls earlier this year. Josh performed Sinatra tunes.

When Josh made the move back to Keene, he did so to have more impact. He believes in the power of community and the possibility of affecting real change in a small town. It is this palpable belief that makes Greenwald Realty Associates effective in encouraging sales. There is no better sale’s pitch than real life.