By Elise Oberliesen

Vernetta Angelo splits her time as a successful real estate broker and marketing director at Budget Home Supply, a local home improvement and lumber supplier. Vernetta also goes by “mom” to her 17-year-old son, and 11-year-old daughter.  She works closely with her husband, Sean, vice president at Budget Home Supply—and expressed her gratitude for his support.

Vernetta Angelo, real estate broker and marketing director at Budget Home Supply (Tim Seibert/Longmont Magazine)

QUESTION: How do you manage all of your roles in both business and home life?

ANSWER: My husband Sean and I are a strong team. We couldn’t do our roles without each other, which is similar to how my parents worked together when they started Budget Home Supply. Sean keeps me grounded with what’s going on at Budget. And if we don’t have time for discussions in the store, we talk at home.

Q: How does working at Budget Home Supply influence your work with real estate clients? 

A: The lumber industry dictates real estate prices. If lumber goes up in price, the builder carries the cost over to the buyer. By knowing when lumber prices are going up, it helps me in real estate because I can let my clients know about price fluctuations and Sean keeps me informed about lumber pricing.  Of course, interest rates and supply and demand also affect prices. All of these factors combined have a domino effect on the selling price of new construction and existing homes for sale.

Q: What kind of influence have you had at Budget that pushes beyond the norm?

A: We hold different events like “Ladies in the Lumber Yard” in the fall. That’s been a cool influence because ladies are sometimes intimidated to come into the lumber yard. At this event, women can walk through the aisles, ask questions, talk to vendors, and enjoy a glass of wine. If I was a man—I would not have put my heart and soul into an event like this.

Q: How do you come up with such creative ideas for events?

A: When we brainstorm…I want to give another point of view that brings more fun to our events. Like at our trade show, one year I organized a comedian to be flown in for the event. Contractors attended the usual seminar and then the comedian gave a performance afterwards. On March 2, at our next event—we will have booths and vendors, a car show in the indoor lumber yard, BBQ, and DJ. This is how you build a family atmosphere that also builds relationships.

Our people at Budget take care of the nuts and bolts of the business and I try to help with the feel of it all—so our contractors feel like family. It doesn’t always have to be about business, we can talk about everyday life—we don’t always talk lumber.

Q: How do you manage stress?

A: I get overwhelmed. Like when I’m helping coach my daughter’s basketball practice and I’m driving white-knuckled to practice. I think to myself, ‘how will I get all of this done?’ Then, after the practice, I’m in a different mindset, more relaxed and I realize it will get done. Maybe not as fast, but it will get done because my mindset eases up. These are important moments, this is what life is about.

Q: How does your upbringing with Budget Home Supply influence your real estate business in the St. Vrain Valley?

A: I grew up in a hardware store and lumber yard. Sometimes an employee would pick me up from school. Growing up in all of that and seeing the changes in the building industry over the years. For example, I see all the fab products, colors used in homes today, I have a lot of knowledge. I know if there’s engineered floors vs. hardwood, solid stone countertops, or Corian, that’s likely to scratch. Sure, real estate agents know this stuff—but I’ve known it from day one.  Another example is when people started paying attention to radon risks, we already had radon contractors buying supplies from Budget. It allowed me to educate real estate buyers and sellers on the costs of radon mitigation systems. That’s where growing up in the building material industry gave me another level of knowledge I share with real estate customers.