Jan joined Sibcy in July 2012. We asked her to tell us about life as an agent.
So why did you decide to become an agent?
I’ve always enjoyed touring homes—not to mention reading house design and decorating magazines and watching a lot of HGTV! When my two sons were young, I was interested in real estate, but put it on the back burner because I didn’t want to be away from my kids and work nights and weekends. But the idea had stayed in my head. Actually, several people were nudging me into real estate—my husband, a friend in my neighborhood, even a service provider who was an agent on the side.
Now my kids are grown, and there was nothing to hold me back from pursuing a career in real estate. So I decided to sink my teeth into it. I wasn’t sure I was cut out for this business, but I thought, you won’t know if you never try!
What was it about you that made everybody think it would be a good fit?
I think it was just my attitude and presence—I guess my personality. I’m cordial and have worked in customer service work for a bank. There, I loved building relationships with clients and getting to know them. I even balanced checkbooks for elderly with dementia. I tried to not just nurture relationships but actually build a friendship.
What was it like to start a career in a real estate?
Scary! I was treading in the unknown. Until you start, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s a real learning process and there are some struggles along the way. With every stumble though, there was a growth process involved and lessons learned. In every failed deal, every client problem, I learned something. I have to look at it that way—this business is certainly not as easy as it looks on TV!
So I worked to resolve each problem and overcome any obstacle. I consider myself a process-oriented person. I focused on understanding the contract language and using the tools and resources available to be fully prepared. I put everything together for each part of the process: I carry a special box in my car for open houses and off-site client meetings. It contains listing and purchase contracts, extra addendums for contracts, swiffer dusters to clean before an open house, graphite to put in a locking mechanism if a house-key doesn’t work, you name it. Still, in my first year, I had more failures than I could ever have expected.
In fact, my first deal wasn’t until my second year. There were days I’d sit in weekly office meetings literally fighting back tears, seeing all these listings and sales that weren’t working for me. I decided to give it one more year. If I didn’t close a deal, I’d walk away. Then suddenly it happened….a neighbor contacted me. We successfully listed and sold their condo in a few short weeks, which gave me the confidence and momentum to continue with my real estate career.
Fortunately, through it all, my team here was fantastic. Sibcy is a family business and I feel that support. My managers are available for questions anytime, even nights and weekends, if necessary.
What made you choose Sibcy Cline?
My husband says it best: Sibcy is a marketing machine! It’s homegrown and family-owned. Something about that and their roots in Cincinnati appeals to me because I come from a local, family-owned florist business where everyone in the family worked. Many Saturdays, I sold flowers at our Findlay Market stand. Keeping those family-owned and operated businesses alive is important to our country and our economy.
I also like how Sibcy does business. Everyone in leadership knows us by name. I’m pretty loyal to Sibcy!
What’s an average day like for you now?
Every day is different—that’s what’s so fun. In the morning, I check my phone to see what’s come through overnight. If I’m not scheduled for a client appointment, I text or email clients, or reach out to prospective clients. Often, I’m scheduled for phone duty at the office. I generally work from home, but there’s a benefit to going into the office and having that connection with others. I get to bounce ideas off of agents or managers. I learn something new every day.
What’s the best part of the job?
While commission is nice, this business is all about people. With every closing, you’ve built another relationship and hopefully made someone really happy. Then, by staying in touch with former clients, you hope they remember the service you provided them, so they refer you to people they know! That has actually paid off more than anything for me: personal referrals from former clients, friends and relatives. I’ve worked with some clients three times already in just six years. They might lease, then buy, then build a bigger home. Somebody securing a lease for a year can evolve into a successful sale at the end of their lease if you maintain a strong and friendly connection with them.
But the very best part of this job is seeing your ecstatic client! It’s touring a home and seeing a client’s eyes light up because they see the perfect home and they know it. Sometimes I already know it’s the perfect house for them, but seeing them figure it out and having that “ah-ha” moment is huge! Every agent has experienced that moment and it’s truly exciting. You see it again at the closing table. There’s an exhilaration in knowing you’ve overcome all the hardships and roadblocks and placed your client in their ideal new home.