Realty Executives Associates
Serving East Tennessee
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Realty Executives Associates
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Moments That Made Her with Leona Skiles- Realty Executives Farragut
Welcome to this month's edition of our Moments That Made Her blog, where we learn more about the moments that impacted successful women within our brokerage. This month, we get to hear from Leona Skiles, top agent based out of REA Farragut.
June 2019- I was given an ulimatum at my full time catscan job of staying over night or going to get my kids...I of course chose my kids and walked out. I took a leap of faith into real estate the next week. Being a single mom of 2 precious little girls that were 5 and 7 at the time...real estate gave me the freedom to be present for everything for them and I was able to take them with me...I never had to choose what mattered most.
I have been on my own since 15 so I have always had at least 2 jobs from restaurants to organ donation and now real estate and entreprenuership...I appreciate all the people that believed in me and helped me believe in myself.
By giving me a chance...I never wanted to let anyone down...showing up and loyalty has always been important to me.
Not a quitter!
5. Looking back, what is your favorite real estate memory or moment?
Oh my goodness there are so many things to be grateful for in real estate. It has brought me my tribe of close friends and connections, it has allowed me to be a mom first, it inspired me to start my own business, it has strengthened my faith by showing me over and over that in being my true authentic self business always comes right when I needed it...whether it be from an old neighbor from childhood to people I worked with at the hospital, all the referrals and now repeat clients. But my favorite moment recently would have to be sitting on St Pete Beach watching the sunset with my ride or die real estate tribe accepting my first million dollar contract... 5 years of climbing and recreating myself after divorce in that moment I could finally breathe, I knew it was all going to be ok and I had made it for me and my girls.
5. What advice would you give other agents in this industry?
Real estate is all about relationships and connections.
Leona Skiles | March 2023 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 10255 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, TN 37922
Defining Why with Dylan Martin- Realty Executives West Hillls
Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Dylan Martin, a team leader and REA top producer.
I have a number of great friends and a couple of family members who are agents - they planted the seed. But, ultimately, I decided to jump into this career after selling my family home. It was a pretty tough decision and a very difficult process for our family at the time, and I realized how important and impactful this work can be. We intersect families just like mine at their highest points (like adding a new family member or getting a promotion at work) and at their lowest points (like a death or divorce), and I felt a calling to be the realtor in the living room during moments like that.
The most obvious answer is my family. They really do motivate me to give my best at work, at home, and in the community.For me, another layer to this question is to make the biggest possible impact on our industry and the people within our industry. I just want to be a part of creating the most kind and people-focused industry in history. I don't say that as if I came up with that idea, there are already so many kind and people-focused realtors who are crushing it - but I'm inspired by those who embody this, and I want to do my part in making sure the public think of us in this way - I think that's more valuable than one's market knowledge and/or production.
I jump into endeavors that I'm not 100% ready for. Don't get me wrong, I try to be at least 50% ready, maybe a little more, but the temptation for me is to try and forecast the outcome of any endeavor out to 100% certainty, and then I get discouraged before I even start. So, to challenge myself, I just go for it. It's a little bit like turning right at a red light. You have to just commit and GO - you don't have to wait on the green light.
Set boundaries. Don't let real estate become your most important role in life. It's just one of the roles that you have in life, so don't let it overshadow all the other roles that are arguably way more important. At my dad's funeral, literally no one brought up his career accolades, they all talked about what type of friend and father he was. Make sure you set aggressive and challenging goals in those roles as well - what are you doing to become a better spouse, parent, friend, neighbor, community-member, etc. Your behaviors will follow your values every time, so if you want balance in your life, work on allocating value to all of the roles you play in life, not just your career... Balance will just sort of happen after that.
Dylan Martin | Feb. 2023 | email@example.com | 124 N Winston Road Knoxville, TN 37919
Defining Why with Tyler Fogarty- Realty Executives West Hillls
Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Tyler Fogarty, team lead of the Fox & Fogarty team and REA top producer.
Both my mom and dad have spent most of their professional careers in Real Estate. However, growing up, my parents didn’t tell me what they did every day. I knew it was Real Estate only because I would call a real estate office to ‘page’ my dad to let him know I was going to spend the night at Jimmy’s house. There was no formal introduction to this business and I was completely in the dark on their work life through childhood, high school, and college. Probably for the better!
I had plans to move to Chicago after college. I had job interviews and a roommate lined up. It was summertime 2007 - I still had one semester of school left and my mind was already working towards getting started in the real world. I decided I would get my Real Estate License that summer and work for a few months in a real business environment for some experience before I graduated and made the move to Chicago. (Naïve, young Tyler didn’t know RE can’t provide real business world experience as it’s nothing like any other office environment you could work in!)
I was licensed by August and Rusty Ensor helped me sell my first home in September. One deal was enough to pique my interest big time. I felt I was getting a formal introduction to the business, I understood the economics side (I had an Economics Degree), I had a natural local network to tap, the paycheck was nice, and it seemed fun and flexible. I worked part-time that fall while finishing school, then I decided to make this my full-time career.
I showed up at the office 9am on January 1st, 2008 to work my first full day in my new exciting career in Real Estate. The market promptly crashed a few months later and sparked one of the toughest economic environments in a generation. Beautiful. On top of that I had no sales skills, no financial IQ, no savings, no business training, and no real work ethic. I went completely broke in 2009 and wrote the last dollar out of my checking account. I cried in the plumbing section of a Home Depot while looking at prices of new water heaters. While on a client call.
I thought several times that year about quitting and becoming a bartender or waiting tables. I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t quit other than survival seemed to be this puzzle that I knew I could figure out if I spent enough time and energy on it. I started putting in the long hours, like the reallllly long hours. I figured out first how to work hard. Even today I keep a couch in my office because I slept at the office many times from 2009-2013. I started digesting business books and finance books and sales books. And I started bothering the older, more experienced agents for their tips. There are several agents at REA right now (and some not with us anymore) I owe a major gratitude of thanks for helping push my career growth curve along.
Over time the motivation shifted. At the very beginning it was – solve the survival puzzle. How do I survive in this business and make it to next month or next year even?
Then once some momentum got going, the motivation was – solve the growth puzzle. How do you push or pull things in the right way to keep on growing?
Then I had kids.
Today the motivation is – This is my career. I’m good at it, I’ve built a business. Now how do I manage my career in a way that provides a great life for my kids? I need to be able to spend time with them. I need to be able to save money for them. I want to demonstrate how to be a hard worker, how to be a good leader, how to make smart decisions, how to make tough decisions, how to manage your emotions. I want them to see me getting better every day. I want to curate relationships that enrich our lives and I want them to see the importance of maintaining good relationships.
The challenges are everywhere. Obstacles are in every facet of our work life and personal life. There is no shortage of competition internally and externally. The trick, I think, is to focus on only a few areas you want to improve.
I do this primarily through written goals and a tracking system. Whether it’s Nutrition, Fitness, Finances, Fun, Friendships, Sales, Marketing – any area I want to push – I make written goals and put together a simple system to track it.
Then after putting in some work, I celebrate the progress 1st and foremost. Focus on the positive and don’t be so hard on yourself for not doing better. Then set a new goal, tweak your system, and track again. Rinse and repeat.
Slow progress is fine. My target is to be a little better version of myself than I was last year.
Said best by Naval Ravikant:
A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love.
These things cannot be bought - they must be earned.
Tyler Fogarty | Jan. 2023 | firstname.lastname@example.org | 124 N Winston Road Knoxville, TN 37919
Defining Why with Carrie Doughtery- Realty Executives Farragut
Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Carrie Doughtery, an award-winning agent at REA Farragut.
My career in real estate began in early 2006. I was in my fifth year of staying at home with my kids, with a goal of staying home until they were in school. I failed at that part. After five years, I was ready to transition back to work, and my former career wasn't really an option. I taught high school English and speech and the goals that I had for myself were quite lofty. My Bachelor's degree is in Rhetoric, so I always wanted to teach my students how to write, how to research, and how to document sources in their written works, so that they could go to college fully prepared. To teach writing, the after-hours commitment was quite intense, because you then had to read and grade everything that the students wrote. After a horrific first year of teaching, I left the public school system and went to a private school system, only to discover that I didn't like that either. At the private school, however, they invited me to be an assistant in the Development Department, organizing and executing fundraising events for the school. I enjoyed that, so I decided to pursue my Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration, and then worked at Illinois State University as their Director of Development for Student Affairs. I traveled the states, meeting with alumni, soliciting scholarships for the University's first-ever capital campaign. I loved it, but I couldn't go back to that career while still having young children at home. That's how and why I chose real estate.My background in education and development seemed to perfectly fit the skill set needed to begin a successful real estate career. I chose a small shop to hang my license, and Tom Biggs mentored all new licensees on the industry. He taught us how to generate our circle of influence, how to manage and nurture prospects, and ultimately how to structure and build our businesses. He taught us that if we created a strong marketing plan for selling homes that we would get listings and then the listings would generate buyers. He was right. As I am now completing my seventeenth year in the industry, the majority of my clients are repeat clients or referrals from repeat clients. I love that.
I wake up every day with a desire to experience life to the fullest. A consistent description of me has always been "highly energetic". I work hard, and I play hard. My husband and I have many hobbies which include boating, kayaking, 4-wheeling, and motorcycling. And if it's up to me, we rope in as many sunrises and sunsets as humanly possible, because they bring me back to center. When I'm centered, everything in my world runs better.
I challenge myself every day to try to do better and be better at *everything*. When I stayed at home with my kids, I always said that I wanted to "wear the cape." I wanted to be great at being a mom, being a wife, and being a Realtor. When I was building my business, I put in grueling hours. There were so many less tools when I started that now save time. A 16-20 hour work day was normal for me for many years, and I still put home-cooked meals on the table, taxied children to activities, did laundry, cleaned the house, paid bills, planned vacations, and the list goes on. In 2012, I started to break down. I couldn't do that pace anymore. I woke up one morning and went to work literally 6 feet from my bed at my roll-top desk. I had 16 homes under contract. I had the files all laid out on my bedroom floor. 16 contracts, 16 negotiations, 16 home inspections, 16 repair negotiations from inspections, 16 repair lists, 16 appraisals, 16 different lenders and title companies and agents. My brain was exploding. I was failing at wearing the cape. It was then that I knew I had to buy back some of my life. It didn't matter how much money I made, if I had no time to enjoy it.
I became a small 4-person team at that time. . . me, an assistant and two buyers agents. Together we were incredibly strong, but not without growing pains. Since that time, I've just used my gut to manage my business. Right before Trump got elected, I felt the housing shortage come on, and I didn't think I was going to be able to sustain the team. We ultimately disbanded, and I went back to being a solo agent again. That was the right decision.
Advice for new agents juggling the family load and work load: Value Your Time... especially when working with buyers. It's ok to ask for the buyer's lender information prior to showing them a home. It's ok to ask them to contact your lender of choice. It's ok to ask them to drive by a property prior to you showing them the property. It's ok to ask them questions to gauge how serious they are as a buyer and whether breaking from dinner will result in a sale or a missed opportunity to have dinner with your family. If you are doing something with your family and the business CAN wait, then let it wait. And ALWAYS Trust Your Gut. It's ok to say no. It's ok to drive past and not go inside. And it's always a good idea to tell someone where you are going. I would also recommend finding a real estate friend to cover for you while you are on vacation or are in situations where you can't get there. I forged a relationship with a veteran agent and it was invaluable. He covered for me for years, and I gave him clients when I was too busy to handle them. It worked out.
Defining Why with Aaron Fowler- Realty Executives Maryville
Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Aaron Fowler, team lead of the Fowler Hall Group at REA Maryville.
Various interests and networks in my life created a great opportunity for me to jump into this business. I started to dabble in real estate shortly after graduating college by investing in rental property with a business partner. I ended up working in a role for the county government as a Property Assessor for several years and learned a tremendous amount about market trends and the valuation of real estate in our area. The motivation to get my license came after countless requests from friends to help keep an eye out on real estate opportunities while working in the field as an assessor. Running my own business was something I had ambition and drive to do. The timing and experience created a unique opportunity for me to transition into this business and grow rapidly
My why is most certainly my family and having the freedom to enjoy life. Fortunately I was able to make sacrifices and invest in myself and my business prior to having little ones. My focus has shifted as our family has grown and it makes me grateful for the timing of the opportunities I have had.
A successful person is someone who has sincere humility and recognizes the things that matter. A successful person makes something of themselves through the pursuit of knowledge, hard work, and integrity. Someone who has experienced it is a good listener, they share credit, they remember their roots, they help others acheive goals, they show the janitor the same respect as the CEO. In my eyes, success is truly a mindset. A person who has very little but is grateful is far more successful than a person who has a lot but lacks humility.
I challenge myself to become more efficient with my time in all aspects of my life. In business, I can be a perfectionist to a fault and am in constant competition with myself. The end goal is to provide a top notch service to clients and help those who work alongside me to achieve goals that would not have been possible without working together. It is a constant challenge to create and fine tune processes within our business so that we can operate efficiently and these goals can be met at a higher level.
Find the balance. Ambition and strong work ethic are key attributes for a productive agent. Of course sacrifices are inevitable especially early on. When a bit of good fortune is mixed in, this business can easily consume your mind. However, work/life balance should be at the top of the list of priorities. I would advise any agent with a large work load to let go of some control. There will never be another person you can hire who does it the "exact" way you do. Step out of your comfort zone and teach someone, support them, help them problem solve. Challenges will always be present. Life will become far more enjoyable long term when all of the pressure is not on your shoulders. Getting caught in the rat race and not devoting attention to yourself or your family will cost you time that you will never get back.