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Carla and Creig Northrop started out as team leaders of The Creig Northrop Team, eventually growing their business into Northrop Realty, a brokerage with over 200 employees and a Long & Foster Company. The brokerage’s high level of success has allowed the Northrop’s to give back to the community as well as allow their agents to expand and form their own teams under the Northrop Realty umbrella.

Here, Carla, CEO, provides insight into what it means to be an RISMedia Real Estate Newsmaker—individuals who are recognized for their positive contributions to the real estate industry—as well as why she and Creig made the jump from team to brokerage and how that’s inspired them to continue growing.

You were selected as RISMedia Real Estate Newsmakers, named Trailblazers. What does it mean to be a Trailblazer in the industry?
Carla Northrop: To be a trailblazer in this industry you need to lead by example and pave the way for others to follow. The most important skill we’ve developed is the ability to inspire everyone in our brokerage to reach higher, dream bigger and achieve greater. This, in turn, motivates everyone to learn more, do more and become more. If everyone has the chance to reach for the stars, they just might bring back the moon.

As husband and wife, how do you play off each other’s strengths to lead your brokerage toward success?
CN: We both have complementary strengths that have led us toward success. Our son, Will, says we are the Yin to each other’s Yang. We set standards of performance for others that are constantly being met—and improving at all times. We recognize each other’s talents and don’t lose perspective; remembering that we both have the brokerage’s best interest at heart, which makes it much easier to navigate and lead our company.

When did you decide to transform your team into a brokerage and why? What was the process?
CN: In February 2019, we decided to partner with Long & Foster and transform the Creig Northrop Team into a brokerage known as Northrop Realty. There were several reasons that drove us to make this change. We successfully reached our goal of attaining the ranking of No. 1 team in the nation for three years and we wanted to expand our footprint beyond five office locations, which is the maximum you can have as a team. Our sales agents also wanted to start their own teams and we wanted to play a big part in helping them grow, so we decided to take our success to the next and new level by becoming a brokerage.

How did you instill change within your team while still keeping your core values at the forefront?
CN: We did it with an “everyone matters” attitude, humility, empathy, and aligning our organizational and individual values to not only grow our brokerage, but to make everyone feel more engaged in their daily work and life. With growth, change happens but we never lost sight of our core values.

What about change within the community? Tell us about your initiatives with charitable organizations.
CN: It is, and always has been, very important to us to give back to the communities where we live and work. Our philanthropic efforts have included, but are not limited to, donations to the Howard County General Hospital, The American Heart Association, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, The Claudia Mayer/Tina Broccolino Cancer Research Center, and so many more. We have also enjoyed being the Chairpersons for many causes and are on various Committees and Boards. Creig continues to provide his talent as an Auctioneer to many local events to raise money for important causes.

What advice can you provide to those who want to introduce positive changes to the industry and their community?
CN: Our advice is to identify and understand what they want to change, and more importantly, be the positive change you want to see. If their goals align with their core values, then it should trigger a positive result. We are a communication and relationship company, and our industry is involved in transforming people’s lives for the better. Having a strong community support network is a critical component for creating positive change. People who engage in kind acts become happier over time. With a positive attitude and kindness to others, you will in turn feel good, optimistic and positive.

To view Carla’s and Creig’s 2020 Newsmaker profiles, and those of all the other honorees this year, visit

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at