ImageStacey Peto is DHRE’s top producer. She has been an agent with Desert Heritage for 4 years, and works primarily with investors, as well as traditional clients, in both the Phoenix and Tucson markets. In addition to being an active agent, Stacey also works in the office a few days each week recruiting and advising other agents. Her background is in education and marketing. She lives in Central Phoenix, has a passion for music and has an adorable greyhound named, Johnny Four Paws. The following is an interview with her regarding her experience as a REALTOR.

How did you get started in the real estate industry?

Real estate was not my first career choice, but it’s one I’m proud to have made. I have a B.A. in Political Science from The University of Arizona, which I did not use until after a brief time of marketing for a local preschool chain. I enjoyed marketing, but had a strong desire to become a teacher. I taught American Government to Junior High and High School students for 3 years, when I was asked by my father to partner in his real estate investment business. I was very honored by the idea of working for my family, and jumped at the opportunity to become a REALTOR, wherein I could help strengthen an already successful business.

Were you an immediate success?

(Laughs.) Absolutely not! I jumped in at exactly the “wrong” time: 2007, right when the market started to crash. The first couple of years were extremely frustrating and I was worried that I made the wrong decision. However, the commitment to my family and encouragement from them kept me going. I’m so glad that I stuck with it through the tough times. I’ve learned so much and I believe that the struggles have made me a stronger and better agent.

What mistakes do rookie agents make?

(Laughs.) Anything that you can imagine! I think that new agents come in with the idea that there are piles of clients just waiting to be scooped up at any given moment. It’s sort of true, but there is a LOT of work involved. In order for someone to be successful in our line of business, real estate has to be a full-time job. There are thousands of agents out there, and you have to work very hard to make yourself stand out above the crowd, and make people want to choose you to represent them. New agents need to take the time to create a business plan and actually stick with it. They need to get out in to the world, make new friends and partnerships and network. No one is going to spoon-feed anyone leads, no matter which company they work with.

Speaking of companies, why did you choose Desert Heritage Real Estate?

Oh, that’s easy! I met Teresa Cole, our Designated Broker, during a class presentation at AARE (Arizona Academy of Real Estate), before I got my license. She seemed very “real” and down-to-earth. I didn’t feel that she was giving me some sort of sales pitch, and I could tell that helping others was her true passion. There is so much that our company offers that others don’t: free continuing ed, free CE hours, a broker who is available pretty much all of the time, a wonderful support staff, a family-style atmosphere and social opportunities. Most importantly, though, is the flexibility, encouragement and support that is provided in allowing you to build your business however you want. I truly appreciate the value and uniqueness of DHRE, and wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.

What mistakes do veteran agents make?

I think that becoming a “veteran” in any career field has potential to create flaws. People work hard to be successful, but tend to stick with a routine that is comfortable, which can be dangerous for business and hinder future success. It’s important to grow with the world around you, become aware of and utilize new marketing strategies, new technologies, and continue educating yourself about the business. It keeps you fresh and motivated, which is also reflected in the work being produced.

This all sounds like a lot of work. How do you maintain a well-balanced life?

It really is a lot of work, but being successful in any aspect of life isn’t easy. I was raised with the idea of, “Work hard, Play hard,” and it’s a concept that I truly believe in. It’s easy to get sucked into a world where you work all of the time, but you can burn out very quickly that way. I’ve learned to create a structure for myself. I’ve adapted business hours and stick to it. After 6pm any night of the week, it’s MY time to spend with family and friends, doing anything I want, or absolutely nothing if I want. It’s fantastic!

Is there anything that you’d like to say to agents who aspire to have the kind of success that you’ve experienced?

Sure! Believe in yourself and your life’s purpose. Create a business plan and stick to it as much as possible. When things get frustrating, take a breather and go pet your dog, play with your kids, or have a cup of tea, because there’s always a solution to any problem out there. Surround yourself with positive people and support networks that are happy to help you along the way.

We’d love to have some feedback from our readers, too! In the comments section, please provide one tip to your fellow agents that helped you to succeed in your business!

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