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ACREres panelist shares keys to success in real estate

Photo credit: Ed Willcoxon

ACREres panelist shares keys to success in real estate

Industries: Residential Real Estate

Markets: Statewide

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Rita Jensen is part of one of the top producing residential real estate teams in Mississippi. 

Based in the Jackson area, Jensen was introduced to the real estate industry when buying a home for her family after going through a divorce. 

Supporting three children, and working as a bank teller, Jensen's real estate agent, who was also going through a divorce, began trying to convince her to change careers. 

"Come to find out, she owned the real estate company," Jensen said. "It took her about a year to convince me to come to real estate and make a lot more money." 

Jensen, whose Lee Garland & Rita Jensen Team is the No. 1 team in Central Mississippi, will serve as a panelist at the Alabama Residential Real Estate Conference & Expo on May 4 in Birmingham. 

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Jensen has not only weathered the storm in her personal life to become a top agent, but she has weathered the economic storm that came a decade ago when the housing market crashed. We recently caught up with Jensen, who shared some tips on how to remain successful in real estate. 

"You’ve got to watch the market," Jensen said. "You’ve got to pay attention to what’s going on, not just in this state, but across the country. Typically it hits Florida, California and Arizona before we get it."

It's not just about preparing for a downturn. Jensen said relationships and communication with clients is key no matter what the economic climate may be. 

"You’ve got to work your sphere of influence," Jensen said. "Those are the people who know you, and you’ve got to get on the phone. You can’t be afraid of the telephone, and you can’t be afraid of a no or a rejection. You just say no and move on."

Jensen and her business partner also have a very aggressive marketing strategy, which includes radio, television and even ads in local movie theaters. 

"That’s all expensive," Jensen said. "My marketing budget is probably more than what most agents make every month." 

Jensen said one area many agents fall short in is communication with clients. 

"You’ve got to call those sellers, at least once a week, even if you have nothing to tell them," Jensen said. "Set them up from the beginning at the listing table, and say ‘I’m going to be calling you, and sometimes I’m not going to have anything to tell you’ and that’s a hard call for a real estate agent to make...I drill it into my team constantly that it's the relationship that you're building." 

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