In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
As broker-owner of Raleigh, North Carolina’s Realty World-Triangle Living, Shawn Britt has been a top producer in her market for decades.
Learn how this engineer traveled an unusual path to the real estate industry and how her journey has taught her that the only thing you can truly count on is change.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the business for 21 years. I received my license in 1998. I attended North Carolina State University where I earned a B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in business management.
After college, I worked in outside sales with Motorola and was used to working and going to school. I was bored at night and got my real estate license since the real estate industry was something I had been around for years [having come] from a family of builders.
After a year and a half, I went to work with Nu Horizons electronics in the semiconductor division so I could get back to my hometown. I spent the next four years working as a part-time Realtor while working a full-time, 9-to-5 job, until I realized that selling 50 houses a year demanded my full focus.
In 2001, I devoted myself entirely to real estate. It was the best decision I ever made.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Working with my team, focusing on sales, marketing, team training and client satisfaction.
I plan to continue to leverage the latest technology advancements along with almost 30 years of expertise in real estate to forge local, national and global resources that best serve my clients.
Our team results are focused on making every client’s experience exceptional. Our relationships and network will always be our greatest tools and will continue to grow through targeted marketing and referral-based repeat business.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate? How did you learn it?
Expect the unexpected.
In 2006, I was part owner of a construction company, and we agreed to carry the construction loan on a $3 million home we were building for a “friend” because their money was tied up in other business deals.
We were assured by their banker they could close at the end of 2007, when the home was to be completed. Well, we all know what happened at the end of 2007: mortgage crisis.
This buyer was self-employed and could not get a loan. So, I put the home on the market, and thankfully, it sold 12 months later.
Once you think you have seen it all, something new will happen. Whether it is a change in contracts, law or even just a unique client situation, there is no way to predict what’s ahead, so we have to be prepared for every scenario.
Real estate was far simpler when I first got into the industry. The contracts were only single page with very few options or addendums, and now everything has expanded, from the legal parameters to the moving pieces of escrow and title.
The bandwidth of knowledge we are required to have is exponential compared to years past.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Slow down. Learn the basics. Surround yourself with a mentor [and] a strong business and financial planner. And don’t let your pride and ego get in the way of asking questions so you can learn the right ways to build a successful business.
Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!
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