Community Spirit
The leaders of the Real Estate Team place caring and community at the core of their growing enterprise.
by Leigh Stuart

Matthew Donnelly and Michael Sroka, co-owners of the Real Estate Team, share a passion for hard work and supporting local communities—two things that more or less define Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs.

Donnelly, a Northeast Philadelphia native, took his first steps into entrepreneurship at age seven, selling lemonade on the corner near his childhood home. That ambitious spirit gained strength over time. First, it inspired him to found his own landscaping business while attending La Salle University in his freshman year, and he ran it successfully for a decade; and, in 2006, he took the bold step to become a licensed Realtor serving buyers and sellers in the real estate market of Philadelphia and surrounding suburbs.

“Every decade since World War II, America has seen approximately 20 to 25 million new homes built,” Donnelly shares. “With the last real estate crash in 2008, a lot of builders lost their shirt and put new projects on hold or completely got out of the business. The decade from 2010-2019, approximately only 5 million new houses saw construction, leaving a supply-and-demand issue that was not only frustrating for clients but also for agents working their tails off trying to get buyers under contract on a home with very limited supply.”

Besides being a Realtor, Donnelly helms a property management company with his partner, Sroka. Their team can step in to help property owners who seek opportunities beyond buying or selling a home.

“Our property management company gives people a different option when they work with us,” Donnelly adds. “We can help clients who may want to keep a property as a rental investment, but don’t want to be a landlord for a variety of reasons such as not enough time or energy to deal with tenant requests, finding contractors for repairs, and the additional accounting needed. We try to be personally involved in all things real estate. We also buy a few properties a year for long-term hold, so our finger is always on the pulse of the market.”

Carefully tended relationships with a host of reliable local contractors are among Donnelly’s most prized assets. These relationships are also a boon to sellers, as these same professionals can step in to transform a good property into a great one, thereby increasing its value once it’s ready to go on the market.

Relationships are at the heart of Donnelly’s business. He has a knack for building bonds that bolster his clients’ chances of finding the perfect home or, if their aim is to sell, the perfect buyer.
“My biggest talent is building relationships,” Donnelly says. “You need that skill to be successful in real estate. Because I keep in contact and work to maintain relationships, I can leverage those strong relationships for the benefit of my clients.”
Donnelly’s interest in community extends beyond Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs to include shore points along the New Jersey coast. Donnelly’s team is also licensed in New Jersey, where he also owns a home (Brigantine), and he takes pride in helping friends and neighbors buy and sell homes down the shore.
His penchant for positive interactions extends into the team he and Sroka have built.
“We have worked hard to be successful, so maintaining that atmosphere is important for us,” Donnelly says. “Our team operates like a small brokerage within Keller Williams Main Line. Having our own independent office space allows us to work with people with similar attributes to us, which helps us control the company culture by limiting drama and negative energy. Our team members are fun, hard-charging, positive people who put customer service first and come from an abundance mindset, and that is a big priority for us.”
The phrase “work hard, play hard” certainly applies. For example, the team often hosts client parties, fully catered, with live music, or just recently gave away 150 cheesesteaks to anyone who came by their office one day. As a father and active volunteer in the community, Donnelly coaches sports such as baseball and basketball, and helps run some local charity events. Donnelly and Sroka also own investment shares in Bar Sera, one of Conshohocken’s most popular spots for neighbors to eat, drink, and be merry, as well as Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City, New Jersey.
“It’s all about human connection, whether it’s giving back to the community or working in real estate,” Donnelly says. “Our team won’t focus on how expensive a property is when working with a client because our goal is not to sell one property to a client, but to have a client for life. We will be there when they want to buy an investment property, downsize, move up, or help their family and friends when the time comes.”
Donnelly’s favorite quote is from Zig Ziglar: “You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.” He concludes, “Our business is about building as many strong relationships as we can.”
Matthew Donnelly
Keller Williams Main Line
901 Fayette Street, 2nd floor
Conshohocken, PA 19428
(267) 551-6775
Photograph by Alison Dunlap
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, June 2022.