Updated: May 4
Hello WomanUP!® Community!
This week's wonderful welcome is for Bernadette Cole, Regional Owner, EXIT Realty Virginia.
Bernadette holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Financial Services from Wright State University. In addition to this, she is a JOHN MAXWELL certified Mentor, Coach and Speaker; BRIAN BUFFINI Certified Mentor; GRI; CDRS Elite. Whenever educational opportunities are present, she makes every effort to attend, promote and support.
In 2006, Bernadette began her real estate career as an EXIT Real Estate agent in La Plata, Maryland, and is a proven multi-million dollar producer. Prior to becoming a REALTOR®, she has held multiple positions in both sales management and banking.
Only a year and a half into her real estate career, Bernadette opened her own real estate company, EXIT Landmark Realty, in January 2008. Since opening the doors, her company has quickly gained market share and is rapidly growing in a challenging market. Her philosophy is accomplishment through leadership and education and giving back to the community.
Mrs. Cole shares her passion for education with her agents through individual multiple innovative training platforms and programs. Her office has a proven track record of new agent success, producing the Rookie of the Year for Charles County, MD, (2008, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017). In 2018, based on sales production and number of transactions closed EXIT Landmark Realty was recognized as REAL Trends Up and Comers for 2018. Additionally, her offices were recognized by the EXIT International Corporation as Top 25 in Sales Volume, Number of Transactions, and Sponsoring for 2017.
Through her leadership and support, both personally and through the agents in her offices have invested time, energy and capitol to multiple community outreach programs from supporting our military and first responders, to fighting human trafficking and homelessness.
She is married to a retired US Air Force pilot, Lt Col Alex Cole and parent of three children, Marcus, Brianna and Angelina.
Accolades, Organizations and civic commitment:
Keynote Speaker at EXIT International Leadership Summit (2018)
Guest Speaker at multiple Master Broker Summits and Regional level EXIT summits
Chair of the EXIT Mid-Atlantic (MD, VA, DC, DE & WV) Education Committee responsible for bringing National trainers to the area for this regions Real Estate Professionals.
Member of National Association of REALTORS®, MD Association of REALTORS®, Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS®, Womens Council of REALTORS® (WCR)
Member of Charles County Chamber of Commerce
Annual toy drive & stocking stuffing event at her office to benefit Christmas Connection through Children's Aid Society and Toys for Tots.
Annual Books and Backpacks programs supporting those in need throughout Charles County school system
In the winter of 2015, Bernadette personally developed a short notice temporary housing and meal program for over 200 homeless individuals and families during a blizzard.
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Lessons Learned… with Bernadette!
What was your first leadership role? Did you ask/ apply for it or were you recruited?
My first leadership role in real estate was as a Franchisee/Owner of a brokerage less than 2 years after I received my real estate license.
(What was it outside of RE?)
I was a business manager for Lancome Cosmetics. This is where I really started to learn about service and managing sales teams.
Tell us about the journey to your current leadership role.
After years of wanting to pursue a real estate career, I finally received my real estate license in 2006 and opened my first brokerage in January 2008. I was still fairly new to real estate and to the area (my husband was military). We have now grown that office into 3 locations in Maryland and Virginia with over 300 agents.
I am currently serving as VP of our local board (Southern Maryland Association of REALTORS). In addition to the brokerages, I am a trainer and speaker. Spring of 2020, I became the regional owner of EXIT Realty Virginia. I support and oversee the growth of the Virginia Region.
We’ve had Tami on the show and our stages several times over these past few years… she has shared the importance of celebrating one another, collaborating with each other, and how connection is woven into the tenants of the company! I’d love for you to share how you have adapted during the pandemic and focus on the importance of connecting with your agents… and their connection w/ the communities they love to serve!
What are you're biggest lessons learned during this season?
The two biggest lessons I learned this year were around adaptability and the importance of connection. The pandemic made connection such a challenge with friends and family but even more so in business. A huge part of who we are as a company is our culture. We celebrate one another, collaborate together and connect. Prior to the pandemic, much of that was done in-person. We incorporated masterminds to discuss how we were handling clients during the pandemic and we came up with many ways to connect with our clients, our community and one another.
Final words... Being part of this group has been so inspiring and uplifting. It has been particularly helpful during the COVID pandemic.
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