Wanda McIlvaine

After suffering the loss of her 16 year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1996, Wanda took a new look at life over the next couple of years and realized… Life is what you make of it. She found happiness and success in a second career as a real estate agent, broker and owner of a real estate firm.

As comptroller of her family’s pool business (Budd’s Pools) for decades, she found the job rewarding but it did not provide the day to day people interaction she desired. She wanted to be with people, help people, help them fulfill their dreams and see them smile. After considering so many potential vocations to fill this desire, she concluded no other business could do that except the real estate brokerage business.

So, off to THE Real Estate School. She obtained her salesperson license in 1999 (and later her broker’s license). She made a deal with her husband, a seasoned real estate broker/owner who said, “do well your first year in real estate and I will consider opening a real estate office with you.” She did VERY well that first year and they opened that real estate company.

Budd Realty, Inc. was born in the year 2000 in a little office located in historic Woodbury. In 2008 they built a larger office and relocated to Deptford. After 17 years of tremendous success and growth, Wanda and her husband became The Budd Group, a team of highly skilled people who opted to affiliate themselves with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach REALTORS®.

The Real Estate School stuck with her and gave her the confidence to become an agent. The stories, comradery and sociability the students and instructors shared were priceless. Many, many fond memories come from those classes.

While Wanda prefers the residential side of real estate, The Budd Group does everything from residential, land, and commercial sales to rentals and property management.

In the past twenty years, Wanda has listed and sold nearly 800 homes. She is excited to keep learning and loves communicating with her clients and being solution oriented. “When someone is looking to buy the greatest asset they will own, they want you to be excited about it, too,” she says. “My job is to take the stress away from buyers and sellers and make it a joyful experience!”

Wanda believes that success is achieving what you hoped for and loving what you do. She says, “real estate has brought me the happiness I sought twenty years ago after tragedy in my life redirected me to a second career.”

Advice from Wanda:

“Attitude is everything. Don’t think selling real estate is fast money. Stick with it. Learn the business. Seek out good mentors. And, like I learned at The Real Estate School, have 3 or 4 transactions pending settlement at all times.”


Mark M
Mt. Laurel, New Jersey
September 2011 Graduate

I took the Real Estate Salesperson Exam today and PASSED! Don, you are truly a "godfather" in Real Estate Education in this state and I will continue to recommend your school to everyone interested in a complete real estate education. Thank you for everything...you truly add tremendous value to your students' experience…

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Sherine A
Woodbury Heights, New Jersey
August 2019 Graduate

I just think this class was an eye opener and the teachers were great! Renee is a walking book of knowledge - I really enjoyed learning from her.

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Anastasia F
Haddonfield, New Jersey
September 2019 Graduate

Both Kelby and Michelle were excellent! I had fun learning from them. I wish I had them teaching my under-grad and graduate classes. Great Job!!

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Bob Johns
Broker/Owner Century 21 Rauh & Johns Sewell, NJ

As a Broker/Owner of Century 21 Rauh & Johns, a successful Real Estate Brokerage Firm, I have been referring people interested in starting a career in Real Estate to your school for decades. There are many reasons why I recommend The Real Estate School; primarily it is your strong reputation…

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Mia B
West Deptford, New Jersey
September 2019 Graduate

Both Kelby and Michelle were awesome! The offered stories and examples that painted a good picture that really helped with understanding and comprehending the material.

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Kelicia P
Sewell, New Jersey
July 2019 Graduate

THANK YOU FOR MICHELLE! What a fantastic educator; she kept me engaged and interested in the class. She valued my study habits and was very encouraging along the way.

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