This week, we’re continuing our bi-weekly series that brings the advice, insight, and personal stories of HAAR Board Members to our community. Realtors rarely take days – or even afternoons – off, and we want to thank our entire leadership structure for the work they do to make our organization great. To read Monica Sanford’s and Zach Bingham’s stories, please see below.
Monica Sanford is familiar with relocation as she was raised in a military family, living in many states across the country. Moving every few years and establishing new roots gave her unique insights which she puts to work, helping her clients. She moved to Alabama from California in 2006 and finally found her home. Joining Coldwell Banker Premier, she focused on building relationships with members associated in our Armed Forces and their affiliates utilizing their Relocation Programs. Once established, she found a new love in building homes and has worked with several local home builders as an onsite Realtor. She continues to work with Woodland Homes of Huntsville and is blessed to work with so many Realtors and their customers. Monica is a Past President of the Women’s Council of Realtors, where she realized her desire to become and advocate and voice for the Realtor community. Throughout her career she considers everyday a new experience and is thankful she has an opportunity to serve by giving back to her community. Having served as a Board of Director for 3 consecutive terms, she has decided that it’s time to pass the baton and consider other paths of leadership.
Zach Bingham became a REALTOR in December 2008 and is an Associated Broker with The Pugh Group at RE/MAX Alliance. He was born and raised in Huntsville, graduating from Buckhorn High School. Zach also attended the University of Alabama where he graduated in 2008 with a degree in Business Finance. Actively involved with HAAR since earning his license, Zach has served on several committees, as YPN President and on the Board of Directors. He has also served on AAR Board of Directors. Zach is currently enrolled in AAR Leadership Class of 2019 and is a graduate of Leadership Greater Huntsville, Connect Class 15. Zach is married to Jessica Pugh Bingham, and they have two children, Samuel and Sidney. In his free time, Zach enjoys spending time with his family, hunting, coaching and watching Alabama football and the Atlanta Braves.
What inspired you to get into this business?
Bingham: I always enjoyed real estate growing up as I watched my parents buy and sell properties. However, my own story began when (as I always say) “I married into the business”. I received my license right out of college and went to work with my now wife and in-laws. My plan was to eventually follow my degree and find a job in the Finance world. Well 10+ years later I am still enjoying a full-time real estate career – helping people buy and sell homes.
Sanford: I started my sales career as an inside Sales Representative for a large manufacturing company back in the 80’s. I loved being the person that met customer needs and having a continued relationship of customer service. As I grew with the company, I realized I wanted more control over my time. The Real Estate Industry was improving and I got the itch to become my own boss. That was so many years ago and I’ve never regretted the decision to step out on my own.
What’s the most important piece of advice you would give about your business?
Sanford: The most important advice I would give to a new agent is, You Reap what you Sow. If you treat Real Estate as a job; set objectives and goals and a plan to achieve them. You will do well with your own self-motivation. Find a Realtor that is willing to be your Mentor. Follow them, watch them, emulate them, even if you get paid absolutely nothing. Their experience is priceless and the learning experience has an immeasurable value.
Bingham: To simply treat it like a business. Make it a habit to go into the office daily. Put systems in place to make daily contact with leads, current clients and past clients. Educate yourself so you can learn, grow and develop your skills as a REALTOR.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing a new agent today?
Bingham: Our real estate market is hot and as a result newly licensed agents are instantly thrown into the fire of working with buyers and sellers. While this may seem great and a little like instant success, I would encourage them to take the time to learn the business. Find a mentor, attend office training & education classes at HAAR and look for designations so they are equipped and trained to properly help those who are entrusting them with their sale or purchase. This will also prepare them for continued success when the market eventually changes.
Sanford: Being able to communicate their value to the Tech Savvy buyer that is out there on the internet. You must become the expert and know what you bring to the table to a Seller or Buyer. You are the Professional, be more proficient that the consumer in analyzing and execution