Updated: May 6
Broker & CEO
Betts Realty Group
Excerpt from our discussion with her in 2018...
Q: How did you start your brokerage?
A: I started selling real estate in 2003. My husband got his license in 2007 and joined me at Prudential. After losing his union job in 2008, he decided to work in real estate full time. We joined forces as a real estate team working at a franchise.
I always have wanted to go out on my own because I’ve always had a leadership bug. If I had stayed where I was, there wasn’t a leadership path for me.
Q: How did you go about finding your place in this industry? What was the defining moment?
A: A primary purpose of WomanUP!® is to support more women to take leadership positions at the brokerage level. In my case, it worked.
At WomanUP!®, I was surrounded by some amazing women brokers. I was pulled aside by a few incredible independent brokers I had connected with the previous day. They asked me why I hadn’t taken the leap of faith and gone out on my own.
My answer was that I was on such a good compensation plan that it didn’t make financial sense. One of the women looked at me and said, “Really?” I had run through the numbers and felt it would cost more to have my own brokerage. They challenged my thinking by asking, “Will you be able to sell more houses?” and “Will you be happier?”
Those questions really grabbed my attention. As one of these women observed, “Sometimes the bottom line number is not as important as what it does to change you and who you become.”
When my team and I were driving back after the event I asked, “If I went out on my own, would you come with me?” Their response was, “When can we leave?”
After I returned home, my husband and I made a pro-and-con list. The only negative thing on the con list was leaving the people we knew at the brokerage. Everything else about leaving and starting our brokerage was on the positive side.
It didn’t take me long to decide because the wheels were already turning. I just needed to get out of my own way.
Q: What was the best piece of advice that you received when you were first starting out?
A: I was told to get out of my own way and to make sure I have a plan for what I wanted. It’s so important to find really smart people to help you along the way. Surround yourself with a team of experts to advise you.
Q: Where do you turn for trusted advice and guidance?
A: When I’m having a bad day or need advice, I turn to my network of real estate friends all over the country because they know what I’m going through. What’s great is that we learn from each other’s mistakes and are also there to support one another.
Q: What personal achievements are you most proud of?
A: I don’t share this story with many people, but I became a very young mother fresh out of high school. I was supposed to go to college and become a teacher, and instead I had this little person to care for. I really thought I had ruined my life. My husband was going to college and pursuing his sports career and I felt like my life was over. I had to figure it out without the help of a college degree.
Today, I look at my life and I have two amazing children and a very successful career. Someone once told me that “a setback is a set-up for a comeback.”
Q: What types of internal and external obstacles have you encountered along the way to your current role?
A: The most difficult obstacle for me was overcoming the negative self-talk in myself. I work on that every day through using affirmations and positive quotes. I also start my day by journaling first thing in the morning and writing down the positive outcomes I want for the day. Turning off the negative self-talk is the hardest thing I face each day.
Q: What is your best advice for other women who are striving to become leaders or already hold a leadership position?
A: Ask yourself, “Why not me?” There are many people who can see your potential and are rooting for you.