Mike Didier carries on long tradition of guiding Ozaukee Realtors Association
There is no rite of secession for the position of president of the Ozaukee Realtors Association.
Still, it wouldn’t be a stretch to suggest the Didier family of the Town of Port Washington has held a dynastic claim to the post.
Mike Didier continued that administrative lineage when he was installed in September as president of the association. He is the sixth member of the Didier clan to lead the group.
That family tree with its executive status has included his grandfather Nick Sr., who held the position in 1968 and 1969; uncle Nick Jr., 1981; aunt Sandy, 1984; father Peter, 1987 and 1988; and brother Dave, 2010.
In addition, Mike Didier was installed last month to a two-year term as a member of the board of directors of the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
Beyond a strong bloodline, he has something else in his arsenal that makes him successful in the real estate market.
Didier has been well-served by an intimate familiarity with the real estate profession and the county in which he does most of his business.
He grew up on the 500-acre family farmstead on Highway KW. That property has been divided among the family members, but they all still live on the land.
His grandfather Nick Sr. started a rural real estate and auction business in the 1940s. In 1973, his father Peter started Didier Realty in Port Washington and purchased the local Re/Max franchise in 1990, forming Re/Max United.
That family history, and the blending of work and pleasure, colored the way Mike Didier saw the world.
“When I was growing up, whenever the family would go out for dinner and a movie, my dad couldn’t help but stop at a few houses on the way … every time,” Didier said.
“When I got older, I was allowed to hold the tape measure.”
Despite that deep-rooted exposure to the business, he said his siblings felt no pressure to make a living in the real-estate field.
“None of us was pushed in this direction as a career. I think I could have been a poet and it would have been OK with my folks,” Didier said.
Although he has been a realtor for 11 years, Didier worked for a decade previously as an auto mechanic.
His brother David was a teacher and Tom was a police officer before both found their callings in real estate sales.
“We all got into the business by very different routes,” Didier said.
Didier said the timing of his change of career could have been better.
“I missed the real-estate bubble when everything was selling, but I was certainly there after it burst,” he said.
It has been an agonizingly slow recovery, but Didier said much of the Ozaukee County real-estate market has bounced back from the worst days.
“It may be another three to five years before all of the distressed sales are gone, but at least it is down to just a few. There were a lot more right after the bubble burst,” he said.
Didier said he wasn’t far into his career when he saw the benefit of collaboration and became involved in the Ozaukee Realtors Association.
“I started getting interested in the issues and concerned about the future of the industry and wanted to have a positive impact,” he said.
That led to Didier being elected to the association’s board of directors and eventually its president. A similar interest in making a difference led to his involvement with the Wisconsin Realtors Association.
Didier said his involvement with the state group has been rewarding, especially with the “wins” — like getting a provision in the latest state budget that prevents municipalities from blocking home sales until all building code issues are resolved.
“Municipalities should be able to enforce their codes, but that provision was holding up sales all over the place and prevented buyers and sellers from being able to negotiate,” he said.
The county group currently has 293 active members, and to Didier it has become a valued network of professionals.
“This might not be true everywhere, but I feel like we are all friends in our association. That is helpful when dealing with each other as listing and selling brokers,” he said.
When he is not assisting with a home sale or lobbying on behalf of the association, Didier is a supervisor on the Port Washington Town Board and an active member of the Port Washington Fire Department for 17 years.
“Both of those are related to real estate. Town government is mostly dealing with land-use issues, and as a member of the fire department I figure I have been in most of the houses in the area,” Didier said.
Didier is also vice president of the Port Washington Fire Fighters Association and is on the board of directors of the Port Washington Historical Society.
With all of those commitments, he said, his calendar is pretty full but manageable — so far.
“I wouldn’t be able to do all this without my wife Ali being willing to pick up the slack,” Didier said.
“And I know I can’t do anything more.”
ASSUMING A LEADERSHIP role in the real-estate community comes naturally to Mike Didier (above) of Re/Max United in Port Washington. At left, his grandfather Nick Didier Sr. was also president of the local realtors organization, as were Didier’s father, uncle, aunt and brother.
Top photo by Mark Jaeger,
Ozaukee Press file photo below