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Local couple carries on family business
Eva Pendley Realty
Heather Roland holds a picture of her grandmother, Eva Pendley. She is pictured with her husband, Jason, at the recently-opened Eva Pendley Realty. Pendley ran the business for nearly 20 years in Forsyth County. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

A new business in Forsyth County has a familiar name for longtime residents. 

Eva Pendley Realty — which deals in residential realty — was recently opened at 214 Canton Road, Suite D in Cumming by the namesake’s granddaughter and her husband: Heather and Jason Roland. Heather Roland said her grandmother operated the company for nearly 20 years and left a big legacy to live up to.

“She was very involved. She was very, very well-known in the county as one of the main, local real estate agencies in Forsyth County,” she said. “It’s kind of daunting, because she was such a hard worker and was so well-known, and I just hope that I can live up to that legacy.”

Heather Roland said the realty company was first started by her parents in 1976 before her grandmother took it over in 1983.

Eva Pendley ran the business until about the year 2000 and was still a common sight at the company even after she could no longer work due to health conditions. 

“She got Alzheimer’s and they actually kept it open. She had a gentleman that worked for her, the broker, and he would go pick her up every day and take her to the office. She would sit on the couch, and they would kind of go through the motions for her because that was her life for so many years.”

Jason Roland said he has gotten some response from longtime members of the local housing industry.

“It’s kind of funny, because of the business I’m in, I know some of the closing attorneys around here who have been here for a long time,” he said. “When they found out about it, they were like, ‘Oh really, I used to close for her back in the early ‘80s and go to Christmas parties she would throw.’  And things like that. The response has been really neat.”

Both Rolands said they believe the community would rather go to a local business with a familiar name rather “instead of these big corporate names with agents with 200 or 300 agents moving in and out.”

“They want to see something that’s a little more hometown feel, I think,” Jason Roland said. “Even though this is a county of 210,000-215,000 people, even in places like that you still want to see things that remind you of 20,30,40 years ago.”