We recently sat down with one of Bean Group’s top performing agents, Lee Ann Ashley Parks, and asked her some questions about her experience working in the real estate business.
How long have you been in the real estate industry?:
What did you do before becoming an agent?:
Waitress, Admin for Portsmouth Radiology and IBM in Essex, Vermont.
Why did you choose a career in real estate?:
Love working with people and having the flexibility of not working in an office from 9 to 5.
What is your favorite thing about the industry?:
Fulfilling people’s dreams of owning a home – the “American dream”.
What attracted you to Bean Group?:
Professional, well-respected, marketing, technology, compensation structure, and non-competing Broker.
What areas do you service, and how do you know the region?:
Southern Maine and Southern New Hampshire.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment?:
My biggest accomplishment was getting a landowner in Durham to convey part of his farm. The process took over 7 years. The lodges in Durham now sit on this parcel of land. My clients were Peak Campus out of Atlanta, Georgia.
Outside of work, what are your hobbies and/or what do you do for fun?:
My sons are one of my main focuses outside of real estate. They play competitive hockey throughout New England, and have even been to Canada and Lake Placid. I enjoy spending time on the water at our camp we own in Vassalboro, Maine located on Webber Pond.
What’s the most unusual thing you’ve seen during your career in real estate?:
I had a listing appointment at a home where the owner’s teenage son had every type of deadly spider in aquarium-style cages that lined one side of his room floor-to-ceiling.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced in the business?:
My biggest challenge I faced was in 2007-2009 when the market was collapsing and I became a short sale specialist. It was difficult seeing families lose their homes due to the market, health, and employment issues.
What’s the latest strategy that you’ve added to your business?:
Really focusing on my past clients and customers and having a more hands-on approach – focusing less on technology.
How many hours a day do you work?:
What’s a challenge that you’ve faced in real estate that you didn’t expect?:
Zillow. I did not realize the impact the company would have on real estate when I first got into the business.
Looking back, is there anything you could have done differently to attain success in real estate sooner?:
Being disciplined and working your database. I feel that is something I struggle with but has the greatest rewards, because your past clients are the ones who know how you are at representing their real estate interests. Following up with them is key.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting out in real estate?:
I would make sure they have six months to a year worth of money to live on prior to committing to real estate full time.