The “rock star real estate agent” is a cliche that everyone seems to lean in to, but what is it like to meet one in real life? Share Ross, bassist of the ’80s metal band Vixen and back up for a who’s who of rock star royalty, spends her time offstage doing deals as a South Florida real estate agent with eXp Realty.
As a Gen X hair band devotee, I was thrilled to sit down and chat with this iconic performer. Find out how she mixes a thriving career in music with an exciting new career as a real estate agent — and the unexpected ways those skill sets crossover.
How did you get into music and, eventually, playing with Vixen?
My mom was a musician so I started playing piano when I was 4. It was understood that I was going to be a classical pianist. She explored a lot of avenues within music and got into playing upright bass, so I was drawn to that sound and really liked that part of a musical group.
When I became a teenager, I wanted to be in a rock band, but my favorite bands like Led Zeppelin or Cheap Trick didn’t really have one. I decided I would be a bass player instead.
I played in a lot of bands as a bass player and was a session player for artists like Helen Reddy when I started out. I moved to LA and started looking for bands; it was the ’80s, so Sunset Strip back then was quite a scene.
I auditioned for Vixen totally randomly. They were just a local band — nobody had really heard of them yet — and I called them to ask about something else. They had fired their bass player just 10 minutes before my call. That was one of my more auspicious moments of excellent timing.
What was the coolest show you’ve ever played?
Probably the coolest show was the moment that we stepped onstage to play our very first arena show ever. It was a European audience — they go crazy — and there were around 12,000 people or so. That would have been 1987 or ’88, opening up for the Scorpions.
I remember us just looking at each other thinking wow. It’s such a huge stage, and you have to run across the whole stage to get from one microphone to the next. There have been other gigs that were cool in other ways, but that was really huge and memorable.
Tell us about some of the people you currently tour and perform with.
Vixen does fly dates, which allows me to work as a real estate agent. I don’t get on a tour bus anymore. Vixen’s last gig was opening up for Vince Neil. Our next show is in a month opening up for Vince Neil at a casino in New Mexico. Then, there’ll be a gig at a festival in Minnesota.
I play with Joe Elliott from Def Leppard in a band called The Down ‘n’ Outz. I’m the only American and the only female. We have a third album coming out in October, and this is the first time that the songs have all been written by Joe. I’m playing bass and doing backing vocals, so I am excited for that to come out.
I love working with Joe; he’s a great guy and a hard worker. He’s up before everyone else and working before anyone else has gotten out of bed.
I also create music with my husband Bam Ross of Dogs D’Amour. He and I had a band called Bubble for well over a decade and toured all over America, England and Japan, then decided to change direction musically.
We recently released an album called Twin Flames Radio. Very ’70s rock influenced — a bit of Bowie, T-Rex, ELO, Mott the Hoople — we’re wearing our influences on our sleeves.
I have an amazing transaction coordinator and am part of the Saperstein Group, which allows me to have everything covered when I’m away. That’s how I am able to continue performing.
How did you get interested in real estate?
I have always been interested in pursuing real estate. When I lived in LA, I talked to people there, and they turned me off when they talked about floor duty.
We moved to Florida several years ago, and I met an agent, but he was not very enthusiastic; he made it sound horrible, so I passed.
Two years ago, my very dear friend Avery Carl, who just won rookie real estate agent of the year in Nashville, and her husband Luc Carl, one of the best-known DJs on Hair Nation on Sirius XM, called.
I had developed a roster of clients as a life coach, but I was ready to make a change and do something else. Avery and Luc said, “You’ve gotta get your real estate license”. I got it in a month, and I haven’t looked back.
When I first started out, I went with a brokerage that wasn’t a good fit for me. I didn’t know how to get leads or how to launch. My first year in real estate I did two transactions.
Then, I went to eXp, and everything really exploded for me. I joined the Saperstein Group, so I’m with Paul Saperstein. His whole way of doing business is so in alignment with the way I want to do business.
I’m a super techy person, so the tech side with eXp really works for me.
Everyone is supportive; it’s a very give-back, cool vibe with a lot of integrity. The support has been literally off the charts. I’m closing my 15th transaction for the year in two days and have three more under contract.
I just met with a $1.6 million potential listing. I mostly get my own leads, but the support I’ve received has allowed me to grow very quickly.
When people find out I’m a Realtor, they assume I have big rock star clients, and people hire me because I was in Vixen. It’s funny because I get my clients from the hustle and entrepreneurial mindset.
I know how to make business happen and get busy. There was a lot of wheel spinning at first, but now I’m smarter about how I go after business.
Do people recognize you or know about your rock star alter ego?
I believe it’s all about the client, so I don’t really talk about myself. I don’t bring it up unless they ask me something very very specific, which hasn’t really happened.
At closing, if I feel it’s appropriate, I’ll give them a signed CD or 8-by-10, but only if they’ve made a comment about some type of music or something and if it has come up naturally.
One client turned out to be a big, big Vixen fan, but she had no idea who I was until we closed. Another one of my clients is 79 years old and had never heard of Vixen, but now she watches all of our videos on YouTube and shows them to all of her friends in the condo community.
What do you bring from your music career that helps you as a real estate agent?
For me, the whole “rock band thing” brings with it a lot of misconceptions.
Everyone thinks that it’s one big party. For us, it was like being in the army; we were handed an itinerary, and we were expected to be wherever we were supposed to be — interviews, signings, photo shoots. On time and on task.
We have a joke: “There’s no crying in rock ‘n’ roll.” You don’t feel good? Sore throat? Headache? Too bad. There might be somebody who drove seven hours for that concert, and you are not going to let them down.
That’s the same vibe and work ethic I bring to real estate.
The other piece is learning how to talk to people. Having met fans all over the world, record company execs, radio station people — I had to get out of my shy shell.
“I’m just a shy girl from Minnesota. Not anymore, you’re on MTV.” That has made me pretty fearless about going in and introducing myself. I never assume that someone knows who I am.
I haven’t had a day off in, I can’t remember when. When clients hear I’ve been gone, they assume I’ve been on vacation. I don’t correct them. I want it to be about them.
Considering your qualifications, what do you think makes a ‘rock star’ real estate agent?
My definition of rock star is somebody who goes out of their way to be extraordinary in every aspect of their lives. It’s rising up and going above and beyond. Be the concierge. Be the best real estate agent that I possibly can be.
That’s going to get better over time. I learn something new on every deal. I ask a ton of questions and never assume I know everything because that would be impossible. It’s just like music — there’s always more to learn.
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr