Beyond Real Estate: A Company Built on Human Potential with Tami Bonnell, International Co-chair of EXIT Realty Corp
Sharon Lechter, renown speaker and best selling author, was recently joined by Tami Bonnell on the Women Investing Network Podcast. Tami Bonnell has been a pioneer, paving the way in real estate and successfully breaking through a lot of glass ceilings.Tami is International Co-Chair of the EXIT Realty Corp, a top woman in real estate and a passionate leader, working tirelessly to empower other women.
An Irish Work Ethic and an Early Start in Real Estate
Tami grew up in an Irish household where a solid work ethic was the number one responsibility and expectation, so she started working from a very young age. Her first job at twelve years old, believe it or not, was cleaning houses for a new construction company, and she soon turned this endeavor into a business. She would be dropped off in a subdivision and then clean from house to house. This led to her selling her first house when she was only thirteen years old! At the time, she was inside a new house, scraping the windows. The buyers came in for a final walkthrough and noted that the wall between the dining room and the kitchen was still up. They had wanted an open concept, so everybody was yelling and arguing, and when they finally left, the angry builder put his fist through the wall. As Tami took him to the hospital, he was complaining about people not paying attention to all the details and how important it was to avoid errors caused by disorganization. Soon after, Tami was selling houses for that same builder and got paid $500 for the first house she ever sold, as it was legal to sell on site for builders without having a real estate license. And that was her very early introduction into the world of real estate.
Prior to becoming part of EXIT, Tami was instrumental in building three major brands. She helped them create small business plans to get started and showed them a road map to follow. Tami’s introduction to real estate at a young age combined with this foundation in finance and business helped guide her to the path she’s on today. Seeing that real estate can be more organized and watching people run it more like a business, Tami discovered the place where her passion lies and that’s how she arrived at where she is today. By bringing her business expertise to the table, Tami helps mitigate the disorganization that often happens in real estate and provides a pathway for people with a system for success.
Growing on the Road to Success
Tami highlights the importance of focusing your vision and knowing what you want, why you want it and more than anything, how bad you want it. Being open and willing to grow goes a long way on the road to success. Her early experiences selling homes provided the foundational understanding which allowed her to have empathy for others in the same position. Her journey continued, giving her knowledge and understanding of what it takes to build a brokerage, and then what it takes to build a brand. Tami wisely advises:
“You’ve got to work your way up and not miss too many steps on the stairway if you’re going to have a solid foundation.”
Sharon also had very early exposure to hard work and the world of real estate. At ten years old, she was cleaning out rental properties between tenants for her father. This led to her path on the educational and investment side of real estate with a foundation built from hard work. One of Sharon’s passions and personal missions is making sure real estate agents remember to invest in their own investments and to build personal wealth. So many agents live paycheck to paycheck and don’t take advantage of the great opportunity they have to build personal wealth.
A Company Built on Human Potential
Tami became the International Co-Chair of EXIT Realty this past September. The company has tremendous growth plans and is focused on helping others grow. The most unique thing about EXIT Realty, is that it is a company built on human potential. Tami and the leaders at EXIT want people to grow and to rise, not just in their real estate or in their business life, but full circle in their entire life.
“Putting people first has been a rewarding focus for the company. In any business, you need to find a need and you have to fit the demographics of where you are. The need and the demographics fit our business model incredibly well during the pandemic and also now with The Great Resignation. People are really asking themselves: what do I want? What do I want my legacy to be? What do I really want to have? Why am I doing this?”
Tami believes that a lot of these questions have led people towards their company’s door. During the pandemic, there was a real opportunity to invest in real estate with incredibly low interest rates, but now we’re seeing a nationwide housing inventory shortage. There is still an enormous amount of pent up demand, which led to emotional panic buying during the pandemic with a significant percentage of buyer’s remorse. According to Tami, this shifting landscape and lack of inventory will lead to new varieties of investment, including shared housing, fractional housing, and different opportunities as far as mortgages go. But from the investor side, there’s always opportunity — you just have to make sure that you pay attention to where those opportunities are. Tami always advises people to have the 30,000 foot view, the 2,000 foot view, the street level view and then a perspective on yourself. What are you good at? But where could you really focus and concentrate your efforts?
Real estate professionals need to set accurate market knowledge as a priority, but must also have really personal knowledge of the people they are representing. Tami believes that part of the responsibility of a professional is to ask the most effective questions to their clients: what is your plan vs what we are facing in the market?
Sharon agrees, as she always tells people: high emotion, low intelligence. That is something we’ve seen a lot of from both investors and homebuyers; people buying homes are afraid prices will go up and so they just jump in without looking at the fundamentals. Even though the agent wants to make that sale, it is important they educate their buyers, so they are confident they are making wise decisions. This is where the role of a professional real estate agent with the best training available is crucial and that is exactly what Tami and her team at EXIT Realty Corp have set out to do!
Connect with Tami by texting TAMI to 85377 to get her mobile business card and contact info. Learn more about Sharon Lechter at SharonLechter.com. Listen to the full episode on the Women Investing Network Podcast!