Leah Leggett is an agent at BHHS Anderson Properties and was recently named one of NRG’s 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate in Houston.
Did you imagine when you were younger that you’d be a top-producer? I have always imagined my name on real estate yards signs all over Houston and wanted to succeed like the top-producing agents who trained me. I think the more that I imagined my name on those signs and the more I thought about the prospect of being recognized as a top producer, I knew I had to focus on becoming the best agent. I wanted to be a great agent who is known for taking care of her clients and that other agents enjoy working with on transactions. I think by providing superior customer service, you easily become a top agent and I am honored to be one!
Describe your job — where are you located, what types of properties do you work with, what types of clients do you work with. I am a Houston-area Realtor with expertise within the Houston 610 Loop and the edges of the Memorial and Tanglewood areas. I am based in the heart of the city and tend to do most of my business inside the Loop. I work with mostly new construction homes, as I often represent a fantastic Houston builder, On Point Custom Homes. On Point specializes in contemporary homes, so I am very familiar with the architecture features that are in contemporary and transitional-styled homes.
I also work with many first-time homebuyers. First-time homebuyers are my favorite type of customer; I have been very fortunate that many of them call me again when they are ready to sell their first home and purchase their next house, which creates much repeat and referral business. While I primarily work with new buyers and new construction inside the loop, my clients come from all over the U.S. and some are even international. This year alone, I have worked with clients from Houston, Boston, Ohio, Oklahoma, Russia and South America.
Where did you start? My career in real estate began in the marketing department of a large independent broker in Houston. Shortly after, I joined the broker’s developer services division where I assisted with the implementation of new marketing strategies for use in the sale of multi-million dollar real estate projects. As a liaison between the on-site sales agents and the marketing team, my interest and intrigue for selling real estate began to grow.
With the encouragement from the director of the marketing department, who remains my personal mentor, I decided to obtain my real estate license in order to expand my knowledge of the selling perspective. I knew acquiring my license would make me more effective in my developer services role, as I would have more insight into both sides of the selling process. A few years later, I decided to take my marketing hat off and sell real estate full-time.
What makes your market unique? I love that the Houston market has something for everyone. There are so many wonderful neighborhoods, subdivisions and suburbs that all have unique personalities and makes for such a diverse community. From a 1950’s ranch-styled home, to a Heights bungalow, to a new contemporary townhome or high-rise condo, there is a little bit of everything happening in Houston. Additionally, we have such an incredibly strong market compared to the rest of the country.
Despite a downturn in the oil market, Houston’s housing market is holding steady and even growing in some areas. 2014 was a busy year, to put it mildly, as Houston had a record-setting number of homes sold. 2015, while it might not be as successful as 2014, still has an incredibly high number of sales and Houston remains one of the top real estate markets in the country.
What sets you apart? I believe in making each and every client feel like they are my only client. No matter how many deals I am working, I make sure every client receives the devoted, individual attention and customer service they deserve and that I am always available for them whenever they need me. I am dedicated to maintaining excellent working relationships with all of my colleagues, no matter what part of the industry they represent or what troubles might arise during a transaction.
By maintaining a reputation of a realtor who is respectful, enjoyable and hardworking, I have not only been able to grow my business personally, but also provide unmatched service for clients. I was once given the following advice: People will gravitate toward doing business with someone who is easy to do business with. This is my golden rule.
How did you get there? I think my overall calming and patient personality has really helped my career and contributes to my success. When first starting, I thought a successful salesperson needed to have an aggressive disposition and I knew that didn’t describe me.
I am patient. I am thorough. I am informed, and I find it imperative that you respect all parties in a transaction, even when situations become emotional. Often, I find it even more important to remain calm and respectful when those tough situations do arise. I feel strongly that these innate personality traits have helped me become the agent I am today. I am able to give my clients the best service and experience possible, which has been instrumental to my success.
Are you part of a team or are you doing it solo? I work mostly on my own, however, I have a great broker and fellow agents at Berkshire Hathaway Home Services (BHHS) Anderson Properties who are there for me when I need support. Whether it is advice on a transaction or help with a weekend open house, I know I have an exceptional team around me to lend a hand when needed.
What does your admin support team look like, or do you have one? I guess you could say I don’t really have a large admin support team, however, BHHS Anderson Properties has a fantastic staff that is there when I need them. I usually work with the admin team when creating all of my marketing materials for my listings, from a property brochure to an advertisement for various publications to custom yard signs for my builder.
Who are your heroes? I recently read a book about America’s earliest inventors who were responsible for some of the major inventions we use each day: toilet paper, air conditioning, bridge cable wires, Maglite flashlights that our first responders use, etc. These inventors were self-made and, more often than not, self-taught. I don’t know if you would typically categorize these inventors as “heroes” like you would the men and women of our armed forces, but they certainly helped shape our nation in ways that have allowed for further progress in technology and entrepreneurship. Their stories are quite inspiring and I find them to be extremely motivational.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning? What’s the last thing you do before you leave? First, I pour a fresh cup of coffee to get me going! After my coffee, I always start my day by reviewing my list of to-do’s and working on my “plan of attack” for the day. Even in the digital world in which we live, I find it helpful to have a written action item list within eyesight so I make sure nothing falls through the cracks. At the end of the day, I review what I have completed and start preparing my to-do list for the next day.
What’s the first thing you do when you’re off work for the day? I call my husband and come up with a game plan for the evening. We have an eight-year-old daughter, so after work is usually time for dinner, homework help and relaxing family time.
What’s your favorite place to unwind? My favorite place to unwind is the back veranda at my house! It is by far my favorite room in the house, even though it’s outside, and is my go-to spot for kicking back and relaxing.
What areas of your business do you pay personal attention to? What have you outsourced? I really don’t outsource anything, with the exception of the marketing material for my listings, which the marketing department of BHHS Anderson Properties creates. I have a very hands-on approach on all areas of my business and I believe that is what makes me an exceptional agent. As I mentioned earlier, I believe in unmatched customer experience and the only way to deliver that is to have a handle on every aspect of the process. Details are important, so I strive to pay personal attention to all of them.
What do you think is the biggest barrier to success in today’s real estate industry? How have you overcome it? I think Realtors just starting out in the industry, especially the young agents, should understand the time and commitment it takes to become a successful agent. Today’s buyers and sellers want to feel confident that the agent they choose understands the nuances of the market in which they are purchasing or selling.
The best decision I ever made was working as an assistant for some of the best agents in the Houston market. The knowledge I gained through the process was invaluable. I took the time to learn and understand every element of the contracts, soaked up various negotiation tactics and was exposed to real-world situations, both positive and negative, which allowed me to fully understand the potential roadblocks that could arise throughout a transaction. With the knowledge I gained working with top agents, I became truly confident in my marketing, negotiation and client service abilities by the time I branched out on my own. This time also allowed me to grow my sphere of influence and, therefore, my potential client base. Taking the time to understand the market, the industry and learn from those around you is imperative.
How do you deal with stress? When I find myself struggling with stress, I find someone to talk to that can give me a different perspective and/or advice. I find that working through the problem out loud with another person allows me to let off the necessary steam while also finding a path to resolution. Many times that person is my husband, as he is truly a balancing force in my life. I often go to my sister and parents and, while far away, they still know how to point me in the right direction.
If you could change anything about your career path, would you? Why or why not? Absolutely not! My path has allowed me to grow as a person both personally and professionally. I truly believe the route I took– starting in real estate marketing, changing directions and assisting top agents and then finally branching out on my own– is what has given me the full-circle perspective that I have today. I learned different techniques and gained unique perspective in each step and am now able to use that to my advantage when providing insight to my clients. I wouldn’t change that.
Have you ever worked in another city/metro? If so, how did you end up where you are working now? I have not. I moved to Houston right after I graduated college and have been here ever since. I can’t imagine living and working anywhere else.
What’s your favorite thing about working in your community? I think the rest of the United States (and world, for that matter) is finally starting to see what Houstonians have known forever: Houston is such a diverse place to live with so much to offer. Houston has it all, including professional sports, a theatre district, an amazing food scene and, most importantly, great people. I truly love working with all of the amazing people who are located in or moving to Houston. Every day I meet new people from all walks of life and love getting to know why they’ve chosen Houston as home.
Is there an area of your community in which you specialize? If had to choose a specialty segment, I would say new construction inside the loop is my bread and butter.
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