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Growing up in an Eichler helped shape the life and real estate career of Nicole Collins
Fridays on the Homefront
The Eichler Network welcomes six new additions to our roster of preferred service companies: BLAINE architects; MCM-style doors, walls, and countertops supplier Make it Mid-Century; lighting supplier Practical Props; Crystal Shade Window Tinting; handyman Wilson Construction; and Eichler realtor Nicole Collins. Collins (pictured above) gets the spotlight below for this round of introductions, carrying on a 50-year tradition as the Collins family's second generation of Eichler owner. Photo: Michael Gordon

As a longtime Eichler resident, with 20 years of real estate experience, Nicole Collins is uniquely suited to help fellow mid-century modern homeowners bring their homes to market.

Moreover, Joe Eichler's progressive legacy helped shape this independent broker/realtor's life and career.

When Collins returned to Castro Valley to raise her children, she insisted on moving back to an Eichler. She recalls stories of her parents, an interracial couple, moving from the East Coast in 1971. Because of Eichler's non-discriminatory housing policy, the Eichler neighborhood in Castro Valley was where her parents ended up.

"It was the most diverse neighborhood in Castro Valley. In fact, it was the only area my parents were shown property—thankfully!" she says of her childhood home, a double gable-roof model.

"Growing up in an Eichler gives you a different outlook on houses, architecture, and community," Collins says as a reason she's continued to immerse herself in the lifestyle. "I'm a second generation Eichler owner. I grew up in one, rented one, and eventually bought my own."

Furthermore, like Eichler himself, Collins welcomes diverse clients. Having worked with clients from the Bay Area to Sacramento and from the Russian River to Santa Cruz, she notes, "I've found that it doesn't take an ‘area specialist' to get the job done but rather a real estate specialist."

  Fridays on the Homefront
Eichler Network's 'Home Maintenance Directory 2020'—where you'll meet more companies you can trust with your next home improvement project. For the 2020 edition, click here. Photo: Sabrina Huang

All along Collins has maintained a penchant for mid-century modern. Over the past two decades of her career, she has seen more homebuyers come around to modern living—especially to Eichlers.

"When I was a kid, Eichlers weren't popular in the mainstream," she recalls of the 1980s and ‘90s.

For Collins, the attraction of Eichlers is multifaceted. "I like the clean lines, floor-to-ceiling windows," she effused, while also admiring the open floor plans. "It makes a huge difference. It makes me feel free!"

Until recently, Collins has eschewed advertising as a way to promote her company, 4 Rivers Realty. Her business has been firmly established through word-of-mouth and referrals.

"As a mother, real estate has been a great career for me," she says. Having raised her teenage son to greater independence, she's now looking to direct more energy to real estate—Eichler projects in particular.

"I've always been passionate about real estate," she says. "I've enjoyed an amazing 20 years selling homes. Now that my youngest son is going into high school, I look forward to focusing even more time on my business and on the homes and real estate projects I love."


Nicole Collins • 4 Rivers Realty
Real Estate Marketing
Serving the East Bay
[email protected]

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