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Ige Johnson, broker and owner of the Ige Johnson Group and RE/MAX Generation in the Houston, Texas, area, has been on a moonshot trajectory over the past few years. Since entering the industry over 16 years ago, she has consistently ranked among the top RE/MAX agents in Texas, and was named RE/MAX broker/owner of the year in 2020.
No small feat, that accolade in real estate comes on top of her success in the beauty industry, where for the past five years she’s thrived as an owner of the Glo Beauty Bar & Suites in Humble, Texas, just outside of Houston.
The superstar Texas agent will be speaking at the 25th Inman Connect New York among a stellar lineup of other industry leaders. Inman recently caught up with Johnson to speak about the luxury market in Texas and her work outside of real estate in the beauty industry. What follows is a version of the conversation, edited for brevity and clarity.
Inman: What are some of the most challenging parts of breaking into the luxury market?
Ige Johnson: Getting into the luxury market is really about the clients, so positioning yourself around the right people is the biggest thing. I’m really big as far as community involvement, things of that sort, so when the mayor has different events I’m there. I’m also part of a high-end women’s car club — it’s just being intentional about positioning yourself around people that can spend that kind of money.
What advice would you give an agent trying to break into the luxury market?
Be intentional. That’s really how you get into the luxury market, you just have to be very intentional about ‘this is the niche, this is what I want to do’ and placing yourself in that environment. Definitely know the market and get your certification. The education that you need for your luxury certification helps because that kind of helps you to know things to look for in luxury homes that are not in standard traditional homes. There are more pieces in the puzzle when it comes to luxury, so I think the biggest thing is education.
The Houston market is super hot right now, where do you think it’s headed?
I think we’re still full steam ahead — at least I hope so. I have one [listing] right now — we’re doing negotiations — and I get to $3 million and there are multiple offers on it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a $500,000 home or a $3 million home, we’re still seeing multiple offers. There are still more people than ever moving to Houston. Coming from other states, what you get in Houston versus what you get somewhere else, it’s a huge difference and people are loving that so our market’s still thriving. So with the way of the world post-pandemic, people are now able to move and they can relocate to wherever. So, I don’t think our market is going to slow down anytime soon. I think we have a little gold mine down here.
As a team leader, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned about leadership?
Personality [plays a major factor.] We all know that everyone’s different, but how you teach one person is different than the way you may teach or talk to someone else. So one of my biggest things is just really understanding people and teaching them and putting them in the positions that work best for them. I never hire just because there is a position that needs to be filled. I always like to hire the right people and put them in the right positions where they enjoy it. One thing that the agents and my staff say about working for me is that it doesn’t feel like work. They say the hardest part about what they have to do is figuring out what [clothes] they need to put on every day, I love it. They said, ‘if you just give us uniforms we’ll be fine.’
You also have ventures outside of real estate, including one in the beauty industry. How did that get started?
I’ve always been into beauty, high fashion — it’s always been a love of mine, and I’m one of those people that does what I love. Love is the highest vibration, so if you’re doing what you love you’re going to be successful. With the beauty industry, that opportunity presented itself eight months after I bought the RE/MAX franchise.
The young lady who owned the tanning salon next to RE/MAX wanted to sell. I had an idea a couple of years earlier to create this oasis for people to come to — they can just walk in and the place is beautiful. They can get everything done: hair, makeup, massage, facial — it’s like a one-stop shop of just luxury. So I poured the love of luxury that I have into The Beauty Bar and it’s been a great success. We just celebrated five years, so it’s been exciting.