For Sale or Service?
Jeannie Wilson is a real estate broker with Berkshire Hathaway Florida Realty in Winter Park. She oversees sixty agents and has been with the company since 2013. She is a wife, mother of three, and a strong believer. Most recently she has completed The Gotham Fellowship.
Introduced to Gotham by an alum and fellow real estate agent, Jeannie dove into the program. “I was intrigued with the idea behind the Gotham Fellowship in taking the gospel and using it as we become culture makers in the work force.” Although initially overwhelmed by the program, she admits it is one of the best courses she has ever taken. In a recent phone interview Jeannie also said, “Gotham has changed the way I view everything, not just my work.”
Before officially becoming a Realtor, Jeannie was involved with selling a few of her own homes over the years. It was through these experiences that she noticed a lack of service oriented real estate agents, which ultimately lead her to the For Sale by Owner route. God used these occasions to reveal a talent, if not yet a passion. After successfully maneuvering and orchestrating these various sales, Jeannie’s husband signed her up for real estate school. Annoyed with her past bad experiences she was reluctant to pursue it, but after prayerful consideration she asked God to open the door if this was where He wanted her, and He did. However, just because you follow God’s leading doesn’t mean things are going to go smoothly or necessarily look like what we expect.
Over the years Jeannie recognized that many people get into real estate so that they can be their own bosses, which is where she noticed the prominence of certain idols—the pursuit of money and ego. As a broker in charge of sixty essentially independent contractors, this mindset led to a lot of personal and professional frustrations as she strives to lead, grow, and encourage both new and old agents.
Jeannie attributes much of her growth as a leader as well as the recent success within her office to her experiences with Gotham. It has helped recalibrate the way she views not only her position but also work as a whole. “Gotham changed my thinking and now my vision… my purpose is that God put me in this leadership position.”
After seven years of being a broker with Berkshire Hathaway, God has continued to open doors and use her to teach and inspire others. As a member of the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, she periodically runs the new agent orientation, and this provides the opportunity to bring attention and emphasis to service mindedness. Her experience and faith fuel Jeannie’s passion for serving others through real estate and teaching her agents how to be service oriented. Her underlying motivation is always to focus on, “the Great Commission rather than earning a commission.” Jeannie also says, “I stress that this is not a sales job rather this is a service job. Our calling is a high calling because it is about serving one another and in doing so we help grow our community, create more jobs, grow our city, grow our state, influence our nation, and impact the world through real estate. I really believe if you nail down service and the great commission of, ‘love others as you love yourself’ that the monetary commission will follow.”
Part of the Gotham Fellowship is the Cultural Renewal Project. Each participant is asked to analyze their profession and industry especially from the vantage point of idols. Furthermore, consideration must be given to how the Gothamite intends to work towards crushing those idols or at a minimum not perpetuating them. As previously mentioned the two idols that Jeannie identified were the pursuit and love of money and ego.
One way that she has already attempted to deal with these idols in her own office is by holding group meetings and collaborations. This promotes a sense of community in an otherwise independent framework where she encourages her agents to be candid about their successes and their failures which promotes an attitude of camaraderie among themselves, professional growth, and accountability. Through these meetings she has been able to serve her own agents more closely, encourage them specifically, and lead by example.
What had become an extremely challenging and frustrating job, Jeannie now sees because of Gotham that she has an opportunity to serve her people everyday. “The Gotham Fellowship Program gave me a new filter by which I understand and see my work,” said Jeannie. She goes onto say, “I realize that what I do does truly matter… We are all put on this earth to work. God gives us gifts and talents and He puts us where He wants us to be. We have a huge responsibility to grow, build, take care of, and tend to whatever role we find ourselves in. Everything we do is to be to the glory of God. This is His Earth, it’s His kingdom that He has built, and we are the caretakers of it.”
Emily Matteson, a bamboo farmer, aspiring travel writer, and a millennial with a fresh voice on important matters.