SVP, Business Services and Operations, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate
MY GREATEST STRENGTH
Since I started in the real estate business in 1987, I have had the opportunity to gain experience in almost every facet of the industry, including serving in volunteer leadership positions for the local, state and National Association of Realtors. This has served to help me better understand the needs of our customers and identify ways to improve the level and quality of service that we provide to help agents grow their businesses.
My parents have always been the individuals who have inspired me the most. Both are immigrants to this country, with limited formal education but an unbelievable work ethic. Despite the fact that they did not attend college, my parents worked very hard to ensure that all of their seven children would and did obtain a college education.
HOW I MOTIVATE OTHERS
I have always felt that if I work hard enough I can achieve anything, and I try to help others understand the same for themselves. I focus on listening to others, giving them opportunities to stretch their skills, and being their biggest supporter when an opportunity arises. Above all else, their work reflects who they are and that is the bottom line for all of us.
OUR GREATEST CHALLENGE
The quality of the public school system, and the high school dropout rate in the inner cities, has been, and remains, a major concern for the African-American community. Obtaining a decent paying job without a college degree is difficult—it is almost impossible without a high school diploma.
HOW I GIVE BACK
When I owned my own real estate and mortgage company, many of the clients that we served were members of the African-American community. We made sure they understood the process, which can be daunting and complicated. I have always tried to make a difference by being actively involved in my local association of Realtors, where I was president for two terms and treasurer for one. For the state association, I served as president for one term and as treasurer for three. I also served as vice president of committees at the National Association of Realtors.
Be deliberate in how you solve problems. Any issue can be resolved with careful thought and the right process. Sometimes you can make a situation better just by your initial reaction.
Always believe in yourself and your abilities. Recognize your weaknesses, and work to improve those areas. There are people along the way who will help guide and mentor you, but you have to seek them out and express your ambitions to them. Your hard work will inspire others to want to support you along your career path.