A few days ago, I found myself driving through two different neighborhoods in Spring, taking new listings in the same places where much of my business started 10 years ago. Two of my first listings (outside of the FSBOs and Expired listings I converted) came from an investor introduced to me by my friend, Dwayne Sawyer (mentioned in my last post). This investor â€“ Leland Anderson â€“ trusted me (and Dwayne) enough to put all of his business with me. He purchased foreclosures, rehabbed the homes, and allowed me to list them. I learned so much from working with him, from dealing with HUD homes, making online bids, climbing around disgusting attics and garages, to the value of where to put oneâ€™s rehab money. Two of his first purchases were in the very neighborhoods where I have recent listings, and provided me with another trip down memory- and â€śTHANKFULâ€ť Lane.
After about a year in the business, I received a hand-written note from a high school student who lived in my neighborhood named Ryan Writt. He asked if I needed any help because he was interested in learning about real estate. At that time I did not know how I was going to pay Ryan, but I knew I needed his help. Ryan made a huge impact on my first couple of years without even realizing it. He proved to be a fantastic assistant, and set the bar high for any future assistants I might hire.
When Ryan graduated from high school and left for SMU, I was in a quandary. I did not know how I was going to have time to absorb all of the tasks he had taken off my plate. I sent out an email to some of my mom friends to see if anyone knew of someone looking for part-time work. My friend, Kristen Moquin, responded that she would like to have a little part-time job. It was an easy hire! That was nearly 8 years ago. Kristen grew from my part-time assistant, to a full-time licensed assistant, to now being the Lead Agent on my team. She has become one of my closest friends, a constant supporter, and encourager. She pushes me forward when I have been afraid to move. She has stood by my side through some very rocky times over the last 8 years, and I am so very thankful to have her friendship and support!
As my business developed and grew, I knew I needed to leverage myself and develop a team. The Renee Buckhoff Group was formed officially in 2013, and I moved from Coldwell Banker to RE/MAX. Making a dramatic move in any business comes with a great deal of risks, and this definitely had its share. But this move also came with a great deal of rewards! I am grateful to the agents who have worked with me on my team, and the agents I have been able to help propel forward to their next level.
Shortly after the formation of my team, I hired a licensed assistant â€“ Kristin Vinson. Kristin suffered through the very steep learning curve, and took on the tasks my team and I needed her to perform in short order. She has been with me now for 2.5 years, and I am incredibly grateful for her contribution. She works hard to keep our transactions on track, and all of the paperwork correct. When I decided to open a brokerage, I talked with Kristin about her next level. She now fills the position of Director of Agent Services for RE/MAX Elite Properties, not only serving my team, but all of the agents who call RE/MAX Elite Properties their real estate home.
The decision to change directions and open RE/MAX Elite Properties did not come easily for me. Working as a team lead, qualifying for the RE/MAX Diamond Club for 2 years in a row, and the RE/MAX Hall of Fame my first year with the company - I had a great thing going! Everything was working well. I knew I could continue on that path for the next 10-15 years and retire at some point with a fantastic career in real estate. But something nagging in the back of my brain would not let the thought go. My husband, Patrick, and I discussed it at length. We contacted our pastor, Micah Sutton, and our prayer partners, asking them to pray that we would have wisdom and Godâ€™s divine direction in our lives. If this was the path I was supposed to take, I wanted to know with clarity. I continually prayed that the doors would close if it was not supposed to be. The doors continued to open, and so I moved forward. Even though my husband has a crazy busy career as a Commercial Broker, he immersed himself in finding the right location, negotiating the lease, and taking care of all of the things to build out an office that I had no clue about. He has been my greatest advocate and constant ally. I simply could not have done this alone.
It is a scary step to leave the comfort of a great office, where I had support, a wonderful Broker (Peggy Rudlolph), friends (too many to name), and a really good business. But it felt like the path I was supposed to take. And now as we have finished our first month, I do have a sense of peace that Godâ€™s hand is on this business. I do not want to lose sight of that. I am so thankful for the agents who have taken a leap of faith with me to come with me on this journey. To our RE/MAX Elite Properties Charter Members, I say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart! My team - Kristen Moquin and Melissa Browning; my staff â€“ Kristin Vinson and Melissa Sanchez; my group of agents â€“ Rocky Mitchell, LeAnn Pantalion, Beth Hanlon, Sheryl Prescott, Amber Dickey, Andrea Adams, and a few others that I canâ€™t name yet because they are currently wrapping up other businessâ€¦.. My heart is full of gratitude! You have all made an impact on my life. Now, letâ€™s see what the next chapter holds!