Brown and Brown Real Estate
Excerpt from our conversation with her in 2018..
Q: Would you briefly describe your current business model?
A: We are a boutique brokerage. We currently have eight full-time and two part-time agents. Our Success Manager, who also runs our front office, is our only employee. We have an eclectic group of agents; one of our agents is a custom home builder and one is a part-time agent that works in construction.
Q: How did you start your brokerage including how you chose your brand?
A: I worked for another brokerage for several years and I was the office mentor. I really enjoy training agents, getting to know them, and seeing them succeed. When that brokerage was acquired by a larger company, I decided to look for something different.
My husband asked, “Why do you want to look for a different brokerage? Real estate is your passion and it’s something you love to do. Open your own office. Just do it!”
We talked about it and the following week I opened my own business. I already had my broker’s license, so I was able to move forward quickly. I’ve been in business for four years and have never looked back.
Q: In your opinion, what are the top three things you need to run a successful brokerage?
A: You have to have passion, a strong vision for your company, and you need a team that believes in that vision. My vision is to remain a small boutique company. Ultimately, I would like to have at least 25 agents who are here for the long term and who specialize in serving the first-time buyer market. My goal for Brown and Brown is to be the company that people think of when they are ready to buy their first home.
Q: What excites you about leading your company?
A: It excites me to work with my agents and to watch them succeed. My agents are all relatively new. None of my other agents have been licensed for more than eight years. My agents are excited, hungry, and they want to do the right thing. It’s so exciting to see them give the keys to a new homebuyer for the first time.
Q: Where do you turn for trusted advice and guidance? What are your recommendations for those who are just starting out?
A: I’m involved in the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and I turn to my WCR sisters for guidance. When I first started my brokerage, I went to a national WCR meeting and met several broker/owners there. I had conversations with them and built those relationships, and now whenever I have a question, I can call any of those women for advice.
To build those relationships, you must become involved. If someone asks you to participate, do it. If someone asks to have coffee with you, take the time and go have coffee. You may learn something from them and they may learn something from you.
Have conversations with people and get involved in as many industry organizations as you can.
Q: What types of obstacles have you encountered along the way to your current role?
A: My biggest obstacle is my own self-doubt. Sometimes, I start to question and ask myself, “What am I doing?” or “Why am I out here on my own?”
To overcome that, I sit and meditate. I will visualize myself being successful as well as why I started my company in the first place. I will also listen to motivational podcasts. That helps me re-center myself and get back to where I need to be. If all else fails, I’ll turn the radio up loud and dance. That always gets me going! Sometimes I just get in my own way. When I realize I’m doing that, I’ll call one of my friends in the industry and they’ll help put me back on track.
Q: What did opening a brokerage do for you? What doors did it open that you didn’t even know existed?
A: It opened my eyes to the industry. I’d been in the business for several years, but I hadn’t participated in any of the professional organizations and hadn’t attended any of the C.A.R. or NAR meetings. When I opened my brokerage, it made me aware that I needed to be on top of the issues in real estate. I started participating at Women’s Council of REALTORS® and attending C.A.R. and NAR events. I participate for the knowledge and to be able to share that knowledge with others.
Q: What was the most important life lesson that impacted your career?
A: The lesson is that life is short. I used to just be consumed by my work. I didn’t spend the time with my family like I needed to do because my focus was always on work. Then, my mom had a stroke and I became her primary caregiver. That made me realize that I needed to slow down and look at what’s really important. Not only can I still work and be successful, but I can have time with my family as well.
Q: What personal achievements are you most proud of?
A: When my dad was ill, he made me promise him that I would take care of my mom for him. I was able to keep my promise to my dad, and I feel like that is my biggest accomplishment—to have done right by my dad and my mom.