I am currently licensed in Maryland. I have been licensed since March of 2005. I started my real estate career at the tail end of the “bubble” after 15 years with Sears Holding Corporation in the DC area. I noticed the lights go out on the market on July 8th 2005. Phone stopped ringing, showings stopped on all my listings and interest rates where threatening to increase to a whopping 7% (did people forget the 80s?) For a newcomer in a failing market, I feel that my production was well above your average agent. I had to pull everything I knew about marketing and relationship building together to make it a success. I built up my internet presences for the Frederick market as well as my name/brand recognition through other types of media. For the few years that I was an active agent, I generated $12.2 million in sales on 38 properties.
In 2007, my previous management skills were noticed and I was offered a position in the Mt Airy Long & Foster office as the Assistant Manager. I was still able to sell real estate, but felt that I shouldn’t compete with agents that I was supervising and my personal sales suffered. That was OK, I was able to focus on the success of the office and help the 38 agents reach their goals. My primary roles were expense management, agent training and problem solving.
An opening in the Deep Creek Sales and Rentals office opened up in 2009 for the General Manager. I was promoted to that position in September 2009. This office had been a very productive office but was falling on hard times as the resort market was suffering and expenses were out of line. Morale was low as the locals spread rumors of closing the last of three Long & Foster offices in the area. As an “outsider,” I had to make a tough quick transition into the very tight knit local community. I resorted to one of my passions to give back to the community by volunteering my time with many organizations; Garrett County Board of REALTORS©, Chamber of Commerce, Deep Creek Lions Club, Garrett Relay for Life and Northern Garrett High School Girls Soccer Coach to mention a few. While building community relationships, I still had a task to turn the operation of the business around after a turbulent exit of a previous rental manager. The resort rentals side of the business was not something that I was accustomed. The hiring of a new knowledgeable rentals manager who was very customer service oriented was right on time. I was able to focus on improving morale and aligning the expenses with the business. From 2009 to 2011, I was able to reduce expenses by 55% and increase profitability by over 800%. This was no easy task when your marketing area involves an area within a three to four hour drive reaching 22 million consumers in major metro areas like Baltimore, Washington DC, Northern Virginia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, OH. All the while, keeping morale up, training and introducing new ideas for improvement to the operation of the office. 2010 we developed and launched a new website that enhanced customer experience in searching and reserving vacation rentals. The creation of a new resort interface and real estate site improved our web presence in a very competitive market and alleviated the pressure to continue traditional marketing mediums like print, direct mailings and billboards.
A realignment happened in 2011 and my sole responsibility was to the sales side of the business while the rentals department went to another division. This allowed me to focus on the agent. I focused heavily on training and improving self confidence in their skills and ability. Classes ranged from Continuing Education, self promotion, marketing, use of technology, social media, psychology of selling and any new product that was available. Expense management continues to improve as well as agent productivity.
I can proudly say that through my coaching, mentoring and teaching that I have retained more than 92% of the agents in both of my offices. As for the other 8%, most of them retired happily from the business.
New paragraph to add to my career. The Long & Foster branch that I was managing was purchased by Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales in August 2016. This young innovative group has made a great success of their vacation rental business and I am now part of their future plans for a very successful real estate company.
Awards/Accomplishments during my real estate career
- ePro designation
- ABR 2006-2007
- FCAR Chair of Ethics & Cultural Diversity Committee
- FCAR Co-Chair of Affordable Housing Committee
- Frederick Relay for Life Chair 2006-2009
- At Home with Diversity certification
- Long & Foster Leadership Academy 2007
- FCAR Volunteer of the Year 2008
- MAR Leadership Academy 2009
- MAR Shining Star Award 2010
- Manager Award for Most Improved Productivity 2010
- Manager of the Year Award for Combined Capture Rate 2010, 2011
- Garrett Relay for Life Chair 2010-2011
- Garrett County Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year 2012
- GCBR Board of Directors
- Chamber of Commerce Marketing Committee
- Heritage Area Marketing Chair
- 2016 GCBR Vice President
- 2017 GCBR President
- Oakland Revitalization Steering Committee
- Jan 2017 deactivated Pennsylvania license