In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Being a new agent can be difficult, especially when you are tackling tough setbacks, and clients are looking to you for help. Lanissa Sudler, an agent with Connections Realty Group in Atlanta, found out early on that showing up for clients means making their needs and concerns your own.
Check out her story of how she learned that sometimes you have to go that extra mile.
How long have you been in the business?
When I was a little girl, I loved going to open houses and eating cookies. I couldn’t wait to see how different the next house was on the inside. Glimpses of how exciting seeing different homes could be came back to me as I matured in life and time went on.
I actually went to school two years ago to get licensed, but I wasn’t serious. I needed something to occupy my mind after a breakup, so I wasn’t all in at that time. I was blessed that I got another opportunity to hear my calling, and this time, when it came back around, I answered the call!
I surrendered and prayed. I buckled down and got focused. Everything around me involved real estate — people, books, the language, groups on Facebook. My whole kitchen table was the real estate lab, and I stayed in that laboratory all night sometimes. I finally got licensed on Nov. 13, 2018.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In a position with more to give. I stay prayed up to allow my spirit to guide me to do the next right thing.
I will still be thriving as usual with my zeal and passion for helping others. Enjoying every day like it’s my last. I know I will have more because I’ve been given more to do, and to whom much is given, much is required.
I know I will be giving back on a bigger level by means of my full-fledged brokerage to empower other agents so that they are living their best life. Possibly, I’ll have a book out as well.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.
How did you learn it?
Nothing about real estate is cut and dried or black and white — there’s a lot of figuring it out. You have to have your client’s best interest at heart, strategize and understand that your client’s needs come first.
I was new in real estate, and toward the end of one of my deals, the appraiser stopped everything and said in the appraisal that the whole house had to be painted. That’s right: $1,400.
I was new and didn’t know what to do. The listing agent didn’t know what to do. My loan officer said, forget it; there is nothing that can be done. I already knew my buyer didn’t have more funds to contribute to painting the whole house just to close.
So I paused, prayed and recalibrated so I could figure this out. One thing I know about myself is I work well under pressure, especially when a deadline is approaching. I researched and researched till I found someone who would be willing and gracious enough to do the work: that’s painting the whole house in two days and get paid after closing.
It was hard. I had so many rejections, but I couldn’t quit! I refused to see my client’s babies cry after being so excited and happy to have their own rooms in their first home. He was a father raising his children on his own, and that’s what drives me and my spirit! I don’t just say it. I do it!
I really make my clients’ goals my goals. Nothing beats a failure but a try. I was led to the most amazing, humble vendor who did the work in two days, had to wait to get paid, and understood that, and I’m truly grateful. The team was happy because the new girl didn’t quit.
Today, I’m clear that this is a healing career. I have been through a lot coming up for a reason. Now, at 44, it all makes sense; it was all supposed to happen to me and for me just to be here to help others. I’m truly grateful to be chosen.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Don’t forget your biggest asset, your biggest wealth and your biggest value is in being yourself! There are plenty of homes and plenty of Realtors, but in the competitive market, no one can beat you at being you, so show up and be your best self!
Editor’s note: This interview was for style, grammar and clarity.
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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, Instagram and YouTube.