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In the U.S., March is recognized as National Women’s History Month. Throughout the month, companies and individuals focus on the contributions that women have made to our history. The world of real estate is no different, as many women have contributed to and developed this field into what it is today.

In the most recent Secrets of Top Selling Agents webinar, four women shared their stories of how they grew their real estate careers into the powerhouses they are today. Marki Lemons-Ryhal, Wendy Papasan, Sue Adler and Shannon King are all well-known throughout the real estate industry both for their market knowledge and their ability to inspire others to pursue their own real estate goals. During our uncertain times, these dynamic women offer sustainable and positive solutions to those looking to keep their business moving forward.

Embracing Change with Positivity
Sue Adler runs a Keller Williams team that has been the top in the country for the past 15 years. In 2020, her team did $225 million in sales, which is unprecedented during the time of the COVID shutdowns. Adler shared that one of the main ways she and her team were able to accomplish this was by cutting expenses by shifting from focusing on marketing to focusing on calling past and present clients. In addition to this, her team members went above and beyond by performing acts of service within the community, which earned them recognition.

When it came to showing listings, because the pandemic shut down in-person tours, her team created digital listings, so consumers were still able to search for their next home. Another virtual tactic Adler’s team used was hosting open houses through Zoom. Through these open houses, they generally saw 30-40 registrants at each event. They also created virtual home-selling workshops, in which a thousand people enrolled. These attendees then became their pipeline, because they were looking to sell in the near future. A final piece of advice from Adler was to look at your leading indicators to see what types of leads you have coming in to prepare your team as much as possible.

Building Wealth Through Real Estate

Wendy Papasan is the leader of the Papasan Keller Williams group in Austin, Texas. In her segment, she gave listeners four fundamental habits in order to build wealth. According to Papasan, “one in three REALTORS® has saved nothing for their retirement.” Papasan tells a story about how, twenty years ago, her husband attended a real estate finance class with Mo Anderson. When he came home from the class and told Papasan that they needed to start tracking their net worth. This was their first step to becoming multi-millionaires.

She says the first fundamental habit that has helped them reach their wealth goal is tracking their net worth—”everything you own minus everything you owe”—every month in a spreadsheet. Papasan’s second habit is to pay your investment fund first, which means taking an amount from your commission check and putting it into your investment account before putting anything into your savings. Her third fundamental habit is “say no to say yes.” This means saying “no” to the material things you want right now, so you can say “yes” to the more important things you want later. Papasan’s final habit is to become financially educated, especially since this is a skill most people are not taught. She recommends Psychology of Money and The Simple Path to Wealth for those who are wanting to learn more about finances, investments and acquiring wealth.

Developing Passive Income

Shannon King is the master of establishing and building her business in new locations, as she has travelled and become licensed in multiple states and in Europe. In her segment, King stressed the importance of creating an exit strategy, which means determining where you want to be by the end of your career. Her way for getting to this strategy is to find your definition of success, whether it’s how many days until you’re able to retire or living a life that you don’t want to take a vacation from and figure out your big picture goals.

Another tip is to design a business that creates passive income. King does this by maintaining contact with her sphere through phone calls and holiday cards and, in return, these people call her for referrals, which generates passive income. In addition to this, King recommended investing time in thinking about your brand name so it can be transferable in the future when you’re ready to retire. She mentioned that it is crucial to create strong partnerships and build relationships across cities so you have contacts in multiple places. King shared that, whenever she moved, she identified her exit strategy by finding an agent she clicked with who she would want to leave her clients with when she left the area. Her final tip was to create a lifestyle in which you’re working with your target market, connecting with agents who will send you referrals and generating a passive income, while still being able to live a life you love.

Pivoting in the Face of Uncertainty

Marki Lemons-Ryhal, keynote speaker and best-selling author, built her empire on educating those in the real estate and marketing sphere. When the pandemic caused shut-downs of all speaking events, Lemons-Ryhal took this as an opportunity to “emerge better.” During this time, she published twenty-three publications, four of which became international best-sellers. In addition to this, she collaborated with and raised $50,000 for “THE 77” and created a scholarship fund for African-American females in underserved communities. She also created a real estate clothing line in collaboration with another agent. Lemons-Ryhal’s message was to face times of uncertainty and think about how you can use them to focus on both what’s important to you and how to generate forms of passive income. She told listeners to think about what’s needed in real estate and your community and how you can collaborate or get involved to make that happen.

To watch the full interview and learn all of these women’s top tips and secrets, you can join the Secrets of Top Selling Agents Facebook Group here. For more free real estate education, including best practices, visit the Secrets of Top Selling Agents website.

Joe Sesso is director of Sales and national speaker for For more information, please visit