With Williamson County Association of Realtors
Over here at Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (WCAR), we value our ladies in leadership, and it just so happens that all four leaders on our executive committee team are strong, successful women in real estate. This month, we sat down with these incredible leaders to talk all things life, real estate, being a business owner and being a woman in leadership.
Kathie Moore, WCAR’s current 2023 President, got started in real estate twenty-five years ago. Brandi Thigpen, our President-Elect, got started in the real estate industry in 2014 as a Transaction Coordinator and eventually became a Real Estate agent and then Broker in 2020. One of our other leading ladies, Secretary Treasurer Jennifer Bickerstaff, found herself in real estate twenty-six years ago. Our immediate Past President, Misty Woodford, has been in the industry her entire life. She is a third-generation Realtor®.
So, what does it take to be a lady in leadership in 2023? Well, we were pleasantly surprised to hear that the real estate industry is female-dominant. You might be reading this as a woman in another industry where being a leader or starting your own business is met with a slew of obstacles. The ladies at WCAR are no strangers to these challenges, and they have advice for women looking to start their own businesses.
So, below are recommendations from each woman on how you can successfully start your own business, in any profession.
“You are the leader of your own business – seek guidance from people who are smarter than you, surround yourself with mentors who are where you want to be someday and be a sponge, get up early and work harder than you have ever worked for any boss, and at the end of the day, rest well and hit it hard again the next day. My parents always said, ‘The early bird gets the worm.’ I developed a habit of being up by 5am to start my day.”
“Define your business idea and create a plan. Explore what sets you apart from the rest, and don’t be afraid to brag – humbly, of course! – about yourself. Build your network. Networking is essential. Meet with anyone and everyone you know and let them know about your new venture. Make sure you are financially prepared. Stay committed and adaptable. Don’t be afraid to fail, and if you do, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and try again!”
“In any business, have a Business Plan first – even becoming a Realtor.® It is much more competitive than it was twenty-six years ago when I got into the business. As a successful Realtor®, you ARE the CEO of your business... In Real Estate, I would recommend having a significant amount of savings prior to starting your career (at least six to nine months). You should research how much it is going to cost just to get started, i.e., Real Estate School, Errors and Omissions Insurance, licensure fees, monthly MLS fees, Board membership, and continuing education, just to name a few. You need to budget for your signs, lockboxes, marketing and branding yourself and your listings, just to mention a few. You also need to understand you are self-employed, you will have to pay quarterly income taxes and you will need to make sure you have health insurance if you don’t have other options. Most importantly, you need to understand the time commitment. Realtors® work weekends, holidays and evenings to accommodate your clients’ schedules.”
1. Research – know all aspects of what it is you are getting into
2. Build a nest egg/emergency fund/savings account of at least nine months of living expenses. Starting a new business is hard in any industry. You need to have money set aside to live on so you can appropriately pour yourself into building your business without worrying about how you are going to make money to live on.
3. Engage mentors
4. Build a client base on the foundation of relationships and trust
5. Be involved in your community and your profession
Each of these women have successfully built a business from the ground up and set themselves apart as respected leaders in their industry. Not only this, but each of these ladies wear more than just a “Realtor®” hat. Many of them are juggling various roles from family, relationships, parenting, secondary businesses and more. When speaking with each of these women, they all said the same thing when juggling their various roles – prioritization. Whether it is a to do list, a planner, an app or an assistant, prioritizing all tasks is a must for these women. These ladies recognize that in order to show up as the best version of themselves in every area of their lives, they must be proactive about prioritization and setting reasonable boundaries.
These extraordinary women bring so much wisdom, growth and insight to the Association. Our Realtors® are beyond blessed to have them leading us and affirming the value of a Realtor® in our society. At WCAR we know the value of a Realtor® and we certainly know the great value of the ladies on our leadership team. To learn more about WCAR, visit wcartn.org or follow us on social media, @wcartn, to help the next generation of Realtors® and homebuyers pursue excellence and success..