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Becoming a realtor or a real estate investor is much less intimidating than it appears. Just ask Darby Britton, a top agent out of Portland, Oregon. Britton started in the field at the age of 18 and worked as an assistant to her mentor for six years before stepping into an agent role. She didn’t come from a financial situation that could open doors for her, so she had to hustle and work tirelessly to build a successful business. Now, with her knowledge and achievements in the real estate field, Britton hopes to help others learn how to make it in the industry with the right drive and mentality.
Britton admits that breaking into the real estate industry was a challenge. She struggled with imposter syndrome and wondered if she was capable of building a business that could allow her to have all the things she wanted out of life. Britton overcame these challenges by connecting with people who already had the career she hoped to achieve and soaked up as much knowledge as possible from them.
She warns agents who are just starting out that it isn’t as easy as just jumping in and selling houses right away. Her advice to new agents is to surround themselves with people who want to see them succeed. “The first three years are about building your database,” Britton says. “You’re building your business and you’re building trust. So find an incredible mentor, someone that you trust, who really has your best interests in mind.”
Because real estate is a versatile industry, Britton also suggests focusing on the parts that bring you joy and outsourcing other tasks, like photography or marketing, to build a supportive community among other professionals.
Britton works mainly on referral but also attributes much of her success to her partnership with Zillow Flex. Zillow Flex has allowed her to expand her clientele and connect her with people from many different economic backgrounds, many who did not have access to the education or resources necessary to help them become homeowners. Through this partnership, Britton developed a passion for making homeownership more attainable and educating consumers on their options and resources.
Britton also gives back to the community. She centers her client events, community outreach and referral-based marketing around nonprofit partnerships with the African American Alliance for Homeownership, the Portland Housing Center and Habitat for Humanity. Her brokerage also has Works Housing, a nonprofit fundraising entity that supports local nonprofits and strives to create a more inclusive and equitable future in the real estate industry.
A final word of advice from Britton is to be your own biggest advocate, regardless of what field you’re in. Everyone is busy building their business and doing their own thing, it’s easy to get lost in the crowd and for people to pass you by. “Put one foot in front of the other and continue to fight for your space in your field,” she says. “Make people pay attention to you.”