Elizabeth Newlin, Realtor®, CSE, ELC, MIATM.
Quite an impressive list of designations, especially considering she’s the only real estate agent in the world who holds them.
Don’t go running for NAR’s website to look for classes, however, because I’m pretty sure they don’t offer the chance to obtain the “Certified Sparkle Examiner,” the “Expert-Level Cartwheeler” or even the “Master in All Things Mothering” designations.
Or, call her the “Certified Expert Master, for short,” Newlin jokes.
A Weekend Class Does Not an Expert Make
Those designations were self-bestowed after Newlin helped a buyer on a short sale deal. It seems the listing agent assured her that all would go well because she holds a CDPE. She then proceeded to ask Newlin to instruct her buyers to deposit their full earnest money with title, immediately, and to “have the buyer start inspections and appraisal as soon as possible,” Newlin said on her blog.
It turns out it was the agent’s first short sale, yet she was passing herself off as a certified expert to both her client and Newlin’s. The whole ordeal prompted a frustrated Newlin to claim, “Yes, I pretty much want to create a class and call it ‘Designations are as Important In RE as a Coach Purse to My 18 Year Old Cat.’”
If you’re getting the idea that Newlin has no problem speaking her mind, you’re right. To illustrate further, ask her what she’s all about.
“I’m a real estate agent, and a mom – 47 percent of one and 53 percent of the other. I’m not telling which is which,” she begins.
“I have a compulsive need to confess my embarrassments and failures. I love Pinot Grigio and bacon equally. If someone would just make a Pinot Grigio with bacon top notes I would stand in line to buy it,” she concludes.
Writing is Boring?
Newlin began her real estate career five years ago after realizing that her writing career was boring her “to death,” as she put it.
“I had my degree in creative writing and photography and I was a technical editor, working on technical manuals. It was horrible and boring,” she confessed.
“I was watching one of those shows about real estate agents and I thought, ‘You know, I can do that. I like people and I like houses and what I’m doing now is horrible,’” Newlin said.
She ended up in real estate school, taking night classes while she was on maternity leave. “That was during the peak when everybody was getting a real estate license,” she explained. “I did a couple of deals really quick right after I got my license. I made these huge paychecks, so I quit my job,” she concluded.
Unfortunately, she quickly found out that practically nobody gets two huge deals within weeks of getting a license, but she bounced back and stuck with real estate.
Today, Newlin’s marketing plan is based on a Facebook and blogging model that has propelled her real estate practice to 100 percent referral-based.
Not surprising considering this woman is a people magnet.
“I write a humor blog. It’s weird because people think that a real estate blog should constantly be showing your knowledge of the market and I never do that.” Newlin explained. “I’ll write a couple of posts about things you should know about real estate but I always do it tongue in cheek. For the most part I just write ridiculous stories.”
Ridiculous? Newlin is the mother of three sons – 5, 8 and 12. Now, it’s been a long time since my kids were that age, but when I read her blog posts I feel like I’m right back there with the rug rats – especially this post.
Newlin is relatable. And not just to her peers, but to any woman who has juggled a career and a family.
“They [her clients] trust me because I’m genuine, and I think people believe what I say because I have no problem saying what I think, at all times, so that makes them trust me with real estate too, which is funny, but it totally works,” she said.
The Fabulous Facebook
Some agents “get” Facebook, and some don’t. Newlin not only gets it, she has mastered it.
“I have a huge following with a ton of people that I went to high school with who just read it because they think I’m funny and they know who I am,” she explained, and went on to joke, “They refer people to me because they think I’m funny, and it really has very little to do with whether they think I’m any good at real estate.”
Give This Woman a Cape
When she isn’t busy being a modern-day Erma Bombeck, or shimmying down a balcony to rescue her clients who went to check out the balcony at a listing and got locked out of the house, or fleeing a vacant listing with another buyer and his kids because of strange goings-on in the garage, Newlin still finds time to spend with her three sons – and time for herself.
“I have a million hobbies,” she said. “I take ballet classes and I take trapeze classes. I like to hike, and I hiked the Grand Canyon this year; it’s an amazing experience, I recommend it to everyone,” Newlin said.
The one misperception about real estate agents that Newlin would banish if she could is “the slimy stereotype,” she began, “that idea that what we’re trying to do is talk people into buying or selling a house. That’s not what we’re all about,” she concludes.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, Newlin loves her job. “I like the people and I like the flexibility. I like that I take my kids to school and I pick them up every day. I hated working in an office where it was the same every day. Sometimes real estate makes my head explode because it can get so crazy, but I’m never bored.” And neither are her clients.