Women in Small Business: 5 Questions with Rebecca Weiner
Title: Realtor/Team Leader
Business: Melissa & Rebecca Team at Long & Foster (http://www.longandfoster.com/RebeccaWeiner)
Rebecca Weiner has spent more than 20 years living and working in Washington, D.C. and the surrounding neighborhoods. A few years back, she made a big leap and switched careers from publishing to real estate, giving herself more flexibility and control of her career. Rebecca is raising two boys, and killing it in real estate. Her first year in the sector, she received the Top Producer and Rookie of the Year Awards for being the top new agent for Long & Foster's Maryland, Virginia and DC offices. She is someone whose passion and business savvy I admire greatly.
1. What led you to owning your own business?
I worked for 10 years in publishing and advertising of magazines and travel books, but I was always passionate about the real estate market. I executed a few of my own transactions, and my friends and family kept encouraging me to get my license. I was managing a DC office of account executives and editors but I was ready for a change. I specifically wanted something that encouraged deeper relationships with my clients.
After I obtained my license, a client, now good friend, asked me for help purchasing his first condo. I absolutely loved working with him in a field I loved and realized how beneficial my negotiating and marketing skills were in the real estate world. I took a leap of faith, and consider myself extremely fortunate. The freedom of being my own boss was also a revelation. It's a lot of responsibility, especially the emotional responsibility I feel to my clients, but it's extremely rewarding. It's exciting to grow and expand, and now that I have a complete team we can help each other achieve more together.
2. What is your business philosophy?
I never let the financial reward cloud my judgement or impact relationships. Our company tagline is "doing real estate differently," and what that means to us is that we put our relationships with our clients first. I’m not just trying to sell a house. I want to make sure that when a deal is done, whether it takes a month or a year, everyone comes away from the table smiling. I’m involved in a very important and sometimes stressful part of my clients’ lives, and I truly hope to become a part of their lives outside of our real estate dealings. That’s why I ultimately left advertising; I got hooked on the relationships I was forming, and the amazing feeling of helping people navigate an exciting but challenging experience. I find that as long as I have this attitude, the team will succeed.
3. What have you learned about yourself by owning your own business?
I do not do well relinquishing control. I realized that my way is just one way to get things accomplished, and it is all right to do it differently and still achieve the same outcome. It took a lot for me to be able to trust others to help me, and sometimes it still does, but so far I have not been disappointed. I also learned that no matter how many hours I work, I will still have more to do, so sometimes it is ok to turn off the electronics and take your family to dinner.
4. What has been the most surprising thing for you?
I'm constantly surprised by how creative this business is. In DC especially, nothing is black and white; every transaction is different and unique, and with every deal I learn a new way to think outside the box.
5. What advice would you give to a woman starting a new business endeavor?
Do what you are good at, because no matter what you do, when it is your own you will work a TON to make it successful. Make sure you love it, so when you work 80 hour weeks, you are doing something that keeps you going. Oh.....and it is never bad to hire someone to help you in work OR home. No one can do it all!