I got my real estate license in 1998 and went to work for a local residential company in my small town in MS. I started in February and everyone told me not to expect to make money my first year. I made $42,000 that year and thought I was rich! I loved real estate and was a top producer as far as sales and listings.
After about three years, I decided I wanted to do land and I took out a 1/3 page ad in a prominent hunting and fishing magazine, paid for out of my own pocket, with my broker’s permission. I knew nothing about land but started getting listings and was very successful. Around 2005, I started getting offers from land companies. I finally accepted an offer to go to work for one of the top land franchises in the country. This was in June of 2006. My income tripled, and in 2007, I was the National Agent of the Year and did it again in 2009. I bought a franchise in 2010 and soon after had agents coming to me to go to work.
Before coming to National Land Realty, I was kind of in a slump and unsatisfied with the way things were going but didn’t know of any other land companies that I would want to work with or for. I finally realized that having the “brand” was not all that. I saw our corporate group once a year and that was it.
I had to ask myself what I was getting for those royalties I was paying for out of every sale. I didn’t know what I wanted at the time because I didn’t know there was any other company that specialized in land worth considering.
I have always been a hustler and a workaholic and loved what I do, but I was losing some of my enthusiasm and needed a boost. I was not making the money I was used to making and my company was not very progressive. I wanted and needed more but struggled to understand exactly what that was. I had never had any real training or structured office environment to pattern after. All I knew was to work hard all the time.
I was frustrated, dissatisfied, and felt there wasn’t much to look forward to as far as my business went. I felt like I wasn’t living up to my potential and that there had to be more for me. I was on my own and didn’t have much support, leading to feelings of disillusionment with the franchise business.
I was just going along as best as I could, working as usual, making sales, trying to help my agents, and doing my best to be a good broker. I didn’t know there was any other option available to me until I got an email one day from Ronnie Richardson asking me when I would be around for lunch.
Ronnie and I didn’t really know each other at all. Other than his name and that he sold land, our paths had never crossed. I was intrigued and wondered what he could possibly want to meet with me about. I am always willing to listen, so I went. Within 15 minutes, I was in! He started telling me all about National Land Realty, which I had never even heard of. It was like a light bulb came on in my head: here’s what I’ve been looking for!
I had a lot to consider, so I was trying to proceed slowly and carefully. The main thing, other than my franchise, was my agents. Most of them had been with me for years, and I feared they would leave.
I had to figure out what to do with my franchise and if my agents were going to stay with me or if I was going to have to start over. All the agents I had at the time had come to me in one way or another, so I had never had to actually go out and recruit agents. I also wanted to make sure I could keep all my listings. I had to start over one time before, and I didn’t want to have to do it again.
I asked Ronnie to come to my office and tell my agents and office manager all the things he had told me about National Land. He and Mark Lewis came and met with all of us. Every one of the agents stayed with me and I was thrilled!
The move to National Land Realty has been incredible. It meant we would be able to utilize their extensive tools, support, education, technology, resources, etc., that we never had before. It was a whole new world that we never even knew existed!
Suddenly we had a support system we never had. It meant we gained access to endless training opportunities, and new ways to effectively get listings in ways we never had previously. We now have networking and marketing opportunities and new ways to make money and enjoy what we do while working with other land professionals.
My team of agents is making more money than ever before, which makes me so happy. NLR has a system in place that allows me more time to do the things I am better at than doing all that “office stuff.” My admin does a lot of things I used to have to do, which kept me from doing what I do best: selling land!
It made my life simpler and gave me a feeling of pride to know that I am a part of an organization that I believe is a cut above the rest. It gives my agents opportunities they may not have had before.
The transition has gone very well for us. At National Land Realty, we don’t want to have the most agents, just the best ones. We don’t want to be the biggest brokerage, just the best. An agent looking for somewhere to make the last stop in their career should take a serious look at National Land Realty. There is no other brokerage that has what we have.