Hello WomanUP!® Community!
This week's wonderful welcome is for Desrie van Putten:
A longtime resident of the Fresno/Clovis area (since 1996), Desrie van Putten began her real estate career in 2010 when she joined Guarantee Real Estate’s Fig Garden office. In 2015, she was promoted to Sales Manager. In 2017, Desrie, together with Sandy Darling, Sales Manager, successfully merged the Fig Garden and Flex offices into what is currently the Guarantee Real Estate Fig Garden office, providing support and leadership for almost 100 agents. In November, 2019, van Putten accepted the position of President of Guarantee Real Estate, Central California’s leading real estate brokerage, specializing in selling single family homes, condos, PUDs, vacation homes, cabins, lots, land, commercial, agriculture, and income-producing investment properties in Fresno, Madera, Tulare and Kings counties. The Guarantee name--going back 100 years as Guarantee Savings--has played an integral part in making homeownership a reality in the Central Valley.
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Tell us about the journey to your current leadership role? Were you recruited or did you ask for it?
2010 - licensed and joined Guarantee Real Estate after looking at several local brokerages. Became part of Sandy Darling's all-female Guarantee Fig Garden office in Fresno. Sandy and the amazing women in that office took me under their collective wing and mentored me. My official mentor was Genevie Puente, who has since passed on. She was a firecracker. During my first meeting with her, she told me she hoped I was smart and a hard worker because she didn't have time for stupid people! LOL. We bonded immediately. I still have the notes I took during my meetings with Genevie those first few months on my shelf in my office. She knew the business and even better she knew the city. She had worked for both the city and the Fresno Archdiocese. She drilled into me the duty we owed to our clients and the importance of being thorough and looking out for their interests. A couple of years later--maybe less--Sandy Darling asked me to help mentor other new agents. I loved it. Soon after that Guarantee's recruiter, started a brand new office with what at the time was a new "flex work" concept. Agents were expected to work in a paperless environment with no assigned desks or computers. They were to bring in laptops and personal devices and sales meetings were video recorded. It also meant that "men" were also in what had been our all-female space. So we had two offices and office concepts sharing one space. I was intrigued and since I sat on the "border" of the two offices I would listen in on their training and began attending both office sales meetings. I was in the best of two worlds--experienced sorority and coed techie. Andy saw my interest and mentoring of the Fig Garden newbies and asked me to assist him in mentoring his new Flex agents.
In 2015, our founding CEO, Scott Leonard along with the Sales Manager of the new office asked me to become the Assistant Sales Manager because the Sales Manager was being promoted to General Manager. When he took over as President/CEO I was promoted to Sales Manager. Very shortly after that I was tasked, along with Sandy Darling, with merging both offices into one. Working with Sandy was the best!!
In 2017, we officially merged the two offices together and moved into a brand new space. Yes, it was challenging because they were two very different work cultures. But I truly believe that part of the success came from the fact that Sandy and I had so much respect for each other, we worked together for the good of everyone.
In July of 2019, the then President/CEO stepped down and Scott came out of retirement to serve as interim CEO. The last thing on my mind was doing anything more than enjoying my Sales Manager role, selling a little real estate and traveling with my husband whenever we got the chance. I had hired a Buffini coach the year before and was focused on just improving my performance as a manager, encouraging the agents in my care to also grow and develop their skills, and growing personally.
In September or October of 2019 however, I was approached by the Interim CEO and asked to consider taking over Guarantee as President. My first two responses were absolutely not. He then asked the regional CEO for Home Services, our parent company, Rosey Koberlein to speak with me. I gave her 5 reasons why they might not want me to take the position. She asked me to give her some time to respond. We chatted several times after that. My biggest concern at the time was my office and my agents. I loved the agents I worked with and had invested a lot of my heart and time and energy to building a positive and productive culture. My husband and I discussed it at length, and considered the impact it could have on our lives and plans. He was also considering taking on another role in his career and we both decided that as blessed as we were, we should both go for it and serve. Thankfully, HSOA honored my most important request which was that I be allowed to choose my replacement as Sales Manager of the Fig Garden office. That was one of the best decisions I made. He has been fantastic and has gone above and beyond me, for which the agents and I are extremely grateful!
What advice do you have for other women considering stepping into a leadership role like yours?
Invest in your own personal development! (She LOVES to mentor on this, so let’s dig in!)
Health. Don’t ignore the vessel
Spirituality. How do you start your day? 5-5:45am UP. Mantras, Prayers,
Grow a thick skin.
Get a personal board of directors made up of friends, family, successful and skilled people you can trust to tell you the truth!
Add in list from 2017 presentation!
We have all heard it said, but LEARN the lesson that you cannot please everyone.
Have a clear vision of where you are going… and GO!
Beware of the snipe in the room - legitimate criticism
What is your most treasured advice from a mentor?
Curiosity before judgement. Courage is doing it while you're scared. Trust your instincts.
Was there anything else you'd like to share during our chat?
Guarantee Real Estate has long been passionate about our Good Will Network. Our agents--voluntarily--donate portions of their commissions to local nonprofits and we match their giving. I've been on the board of our local Fresno Pregnancy Care Center for almost a decade. I love the work of the Central Valley Community Foundation whose mission is to help the underserved in our Valley, so I’m a member.
Central California Food Bank - Hunger Hero Campaign: https://ccfoodbank.org/get-involved/hungerheroes
Connect with Desrie:
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