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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, June 30, 2017

Fresh start a big win for Keller Williams' Booth




Lisa Booth, an agent with Keller Williams, became a Realtor in 2015 after becoming unhappy at her previous job. - Photograph by David Laprad

Lisa Booth was on vacation but she was not a happy camper. Waiting for her at the end of her holiday was a job she no longer wanted. As she tried to relax and enjoy her time off with her family, she couldn’t shake the thoughts of how miserable she’d become at work.

For Booth, a vivacious, fun-loving person who seems to always be on the cusp of smiling or laughing when she isn’t already there, this was a problem.

Booth’s mind also kept drifting to the home she and her husband had purchased when they learned she was pregnant with their second child. She had loved the process of hunting for a house for their growing family and the subsequent purchase of their new domicile - it was new and exciting and their agent had made the experience a pleasure for them - and she wanted to become a part of that world.

Booth wanted to become a Realtor. “I told my husband, Josh, ‘I’m going to do it.’ He was onboard immediately,” she says.

When Booth returned to her job as a medical assistant in a doctor’s office, her fresh resolve got her through each work day and then to TREES, where she surreptitiously attended night school. Although doing both at the same time wasn’t easy, especially with a five-month old son at home, Booth was determined to at least try to make the transition to real estate.

“I was going to get my license and then see what happened from there,” she says.

Booth wanted to leave her first career as much she wanted to launch her second one. Although she liked her employer and co-workers, she had risen as far as she could in her field without furthering her education. Also, she was making as much money as she was going to make. More than that, though, she had come to realize the medical field was not for her.

Booth’s foray into medicine was precipitated by a medical emergency. As she sat in a doctor’s office following a miscarriage, a young woman wearing student scrubs came into the room to attend to her. Booth asked where she was going to school; after leaving the office, she went directly to the school and registered.

As Booth talks about her duties as a medical assistant - prepping patients, preparing charts and typing up prescriptions - her voice grows monotone. Despite her heart not being in her work, she took pride in doing her job well and rose to the head of her department.

Six years later, she wanted out.

“I wanted to be available to take care of my children or go on a field trip with them,” Booth says. “I also wanted the opportunity to make more money for my family.”

Booth also wanted a fresh challenge in life. “Work had become repetitive. I felt like I could do it in my sleep,” she says.

Booth joined the team at Keller Williams Realty on Premier Drive Upon after earning her license in late 2015, but didn’t quit the doctor’s office cold turkey. Instead, she made a gradual transition from her medical job to real estate.

Her first transaction, however, was a harbinger of good things to come.

Booth hadn’t even stepped foot in Keller Williams yet when her mother asked her to sell her house. There was just one issue: It was December and her mother had already hung Christmas decorations.

“Mom took down her decorations, I called a photographer and then she put the decorations back up,” Booth says, smiling at the memory. “I left the office after putting it on the market and hadn’t even made it as far as Sonic on East Brainerd when someone called wanting to see the house.”

Booth received a cash offer off that showing and sold the house in three weeks.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that was easy!’” she says, laughing. “But it’s never been that easy again. That was just my ah-ha moment that showed me I was doing what I was supposed to be doing.”

During the following year, Booth enjoyed more joyous transactions and endured a few tears (including one nightmarish six-month ordeal during which members of the same family who lived on adjoining properties tussled over a building they both claimed was theirs). But she gained momentum by drawing on her sphere of influence, and in November of last year was able to leave the doctor’s office and begin focusing on real estate full-time.

Booth couldn’t be happier. “I love it. Every transaction is different and has its own hiccup. I just have to figure out how to get through it and bring everyone to the closing table,” she says.

Booth also needs to stay productive since she’s no longer receiving a regular paycheck. To that end, she’s placed herself under the tutelage of a mentor at Keller Williams who’s teaching her the skills and techniques she needs to succeed. From generating leads to turning leads into sales, Booth has put what she’s learned it into action.

Between the mentoring and drawing on her sphere of influence, Booth is exceeding her own expectations. When she was getting her feet wet in real estate, she set a goal of one closing a month. The month she left the doctor’s office, she closed five properties, and she’s had a steady flow of closings ever since.

Booth even has closings already lined up for July.

She attributes her success to coming into real estate at a good time and having a lucrative sphere of influence that’s continually expanding as her clients refer her to others.

“I have to keep going and generate leads that will produce closings two months from now because no one else is paying me,” she says. “I’m on my own.”

Although real estate is more work than her previous job ever was, the enjoyment and satisfaction Booth is deriving from her new career make every ounce of effort worthwhile.

“I’m loving this, even through the hiccups and stressful moments,” she says.

Booth is especially grateful to have the flexibility she desired when she was locked in to an office job. She went on all her daughter’s field trips this past school year and even attended Muffins for Mom at her son’s daycare. To Booth, this hard-earned perk is just as nice as the boost she’s been able to give to her family’s financial well-being.

“If it’s Saturday and I have five houses to show, my little girl comes with me,” Booth says. “She loves it. Every time she sees a sign in a yard, she thinks we’re selling another house.”

Booth isn’t even on vacation and she’s a happy camper. She’s grateful for the way real estate has enabled her to turn her career around. She’s doing work she loves. And each day brings fresh opportunities and challenges – as well as rewards for a job well done.

While Booth deserves a pat on the back, she gives one to her husband instead.

“If he’d said, ‘We can’t do this,’ I would’ve said, ‘That stinks but I understand,’” Booth says. “But he encouraged me from the start, was great with the kids while I was in school and never expressed any concern about me giving up a regular paycheck or fear about me failing.

“I’ve worked hard and I’m proud of myself. But without his support, I’d still be working at the doctor’s office, dreading each new day.”