Chairman’s Club member Monika DeRoussel, who started her RE/MAX career as a new agent, is a daily runner who’s put herself far ahead of the pack. Here’s how.
By Heather Shoning
New career. New city. Knew no one. Relocating to the Cincinnati, Ohio, area and launching a real estate career in 2006 could have been overwhelming for Monika DeRoussel. But as an avid runner and youth running coach, she understood what she had to do: just keep going forward – viewing the business as a marathon, not a sprint.
Over the next 10 years, that approach and resolve lifted DeRoussel into the industry’s elite – the RE/MAX Chairman’s Club and Top 100 rankings.
The Sales Associate at RE/MAX Preferred Group in West Chester, Ohio, offers these insights for others in the race.
- You’ll Get Out What You Put In
DeRoussel runs every morning and thinks about her day, planning for what lies ahead. She uses the time to build her energy, enthusiasm and attitude before heading to the office. She’s in her car by 9 a.m. and stays out and about all day. She focuses her attention on showings and closings – and keeps going until the job is done, even if it means a 10 p.m. appointment.
- Find Your Stride in Marketing
When you’re building name recognition, it’s smart to use traditional tactics such as billboards, mailers, networking and even grocery cart ads, DeRoussel says. But you also need to find the one track that best suits your particular marketing style.
“Find the system that works best for you, be it mailings, networking, Chamber of Commerce meetings, golfing or something else – and own it,” DeRoussel says. “For instance, golf wouldn’t work for me. No one would want to be my client based on my performance on the golf course!”
What does work for her is staying involved in her church and local community through sports and coaching. These activities allow her to see her network of friends, past clients and potential clients on a regular basis in a social setting, where friendly conversations replace straight marketing as the business driver.
- Straightforward and Steady Wins the Race
“I use a lot of data. I evaluate the property, the updates and local home values,” she says. “I price homes at their value, at the price that will sell.” She’s not afraid to lose a listing because of pricing.
“People always want more money, but my job is to price the home correctly and get it sold,” DeRoussel says. “I tell people the truth. I don’t promise something I can’t deliver.” Her listings close in an average of 40 days at 98 percent of the list price.
“My past clients tell people, ‘Call Monika, she’ll tell you the way it is.’” This honest approach to home values makes referrals a cornerstone of her business.
After helping one local businessman sell a tough property on a corner lot and then purchase a new golf community home, he told her that out of all the agents he’s used in 17 moves, she was the only one right on target with the pricing. She’s received eight referrals from him since
- The Hardest Part is Starting – Without Stopping
In her first year, DeRoussel sold just one home. It was a rough start, but she didn’t let it get her down. She kept going and never gave in to the thought of quitting.
She encourages up-and-coming agents to do the same: Never give up.
“Faith is important to me,” she says, “and if God chooses to close the door on a potential listing, I accept that there’s a reason for it. I just move on with my work.”
In other words, she’s always running forward.