Above: Malinda Howell and Carolyn Rosson, vice presidents of Brokerage for the Ebby Halliday Companies
This article first appeared in Real Estate magazine’s special-edition Women in Real Estate issue. View the entire issue here.
With 20 years of experience in real estate, Sherri Johnson—CEO and founder of Sherri Johnson Coaching & Consulting—knows a rockstar leader when she sees one.
“They’re the ones out front,” says Johnson, “helping those around them change their lives for the better.”
They’re top female executives like Carolyn Rosson—vice president of brokerage for the Ebby Halliday Companies—and Meighan Wise—team leader of the Wise Real Estate Group (#WiseMoves) with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Indiana Realty.
Having built careers that are nothing short of unbelievable, Rosson and Wise continue to raise the bar, helping other women realize their true potential.
“I have achieved nothing on my own, but only through others who have lifted me up to be the person I am,” says Rosson, who is committed to making a difference in someone’s life each and every day.
Having recently celebrated her 40th year with Ebby Halliday Companies, Rosson can’t imagine being anywhere else.
After deciding that she needed to branch out and find a new path at the tender age of 21, Rosson walked into the Ebby Halliday office that was located right across the street from the apartment she was renting at the time and asked to meet with the manager.
And she hasn’t looked back since.
“It’s the type of career that takes you over. It got my heart and my soul, and I immediately knew that I was in the right place,” says Rosson, who quickly realized that one of her passions was helping agents feel both confident and assured in their role.
Raised by parents who instilled in her the belief that she could do anything she set her sights to, Rosson points to voicing her desire to take the helm at an office whose potential wasn’t being realized as a pivotal moment in her career as a leader.
“Anytime someone who is driven and passionate about what they are doing realizes the impact they are having on the people, the community and the industry, it fuels them to do more,” says Rosson.
While it took her two years to completely turn the office around, the community began to notice.
“Top-producing agents from other offices were calling my agents to ask what was going on and inquire about the woman leading the office,” says Rosson. “This gave me the fuel and energy to do more.”
Still one of her greatest joys, Rosson goes on to explain that, at the end of the day, it all boils down to her family. Her “why.”
“A lot of women believe that if they have kids, they can’t follow their heart and do what they want to do,” explains Wise—who also points to her family, specifically her children, as the motivation behind every decision she makes.
With a passion for helping others, Wise—mother to 10-, seven- and four-year-olds—has perfected the elusive work-life balance we’re all striving for.
Striking out on her own to create Wise Real Estate Group a few short years ago in order to balance out the demands of both her life and career, Wise orchestrated the entire process so that everything went down the way she wanted it to.
Determined to overcome roadblocks and challenges, Wise’s experience in the industry played a large part in her team’s development and her approach to ensuring that everything is crystal clear and transparent.
“I want to always feel like I’m doing a great job at what I’m doing, and I never want to be stretched too thin,” explains Wise, who credits the principal at the school where she was working as a guidance counselor for pushing her to get her real estate license.
A true leader in every sense of the word, Wise points to her determination as a key factor in her success.
“It’s been a crazy year, but it’s worked out 10 times better than I ever thought possible,” says Wise, whose team closed 200-plus units in 2020 (at press time). Prior to COVID, their soft goal was to close $73M, but they ended this past year closer to $80M.
“I didn’t realize going into real estate that we could have as much of an impact in so many ways on clients, teammates and others that we can inspire,” says Wise, who points to her greatest accomplishment as pulling the trigger and launching her team.
“Even if you don’t have a perfect plan, and you don’t have everything figured out, it’s best to just do it,” says Wise, who encourages real estate professionals across the board to jump in the deep end and stop holding themselves back.
“I’m proud of my team and the fact that we’ve been able to grow so successfully in such a short period of time,” she says.
While the future is looking brighter than ever for the Wise Real Estate Group, not only does Wise have her eye on continued growth, she is also pulling out all the stops by empowering women to achieve more than they ever thought possible in both their personal and professional lives.
“I don’t know exactly what the future looks like,” says Wise, “but one thing I know for sure is that I’m going to enjoy the ride.”
Enjoying the ride is the name of the game for Rosson as well.
“I’m still here, and I still love what I do,” says Rosson, who made a promise to herself when she first got started that she would leave the company the day she was no longer having fun.
A key player at one of the largest real estate companies in the country, Rosson envisions a future where she continues to play a role in mentoring women.
“More often than not, women have to work harder, especially in leadership roles, so I’d love to be more involved in a mentoring capacity,” she says.
Changing lives one day at a time, Rosson and Wise are paving the way for future generations of women to step up to the leadership plate and have a prominent seat at the table.
For more information, please visit www.sherrijohnson.com.