Smart and resourceful, Annie Pennington has taken a lot of the lessons learned as an educator and applied them to her career as a Realtor at Nathan Grace. Not only does Annie have the dry sense of humor that we just eat right up, but she’s hardworking and patient, too. And did you know that she’s an expert in lakefront living? Keep reading for that.
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Jump to read more about Annie Pennington, who came to the real estate industry from her 4th grade math class. We’re not kidding!
CandysDirt.com: So, where are you from?
Annie Pennington: I was born and raised in Houston, but don’t hold that against me. I went to college in Austin and then made my way to the Big D, so I’m a Texas girl through and through and proud of it!
CD: So, how did you get into real estate? What’s your specialty?
AP: I had been a middle school English teacher for a couple years and was currently teaching 4th grade math. Eventually, I got bored not working in the summer but needed a break from teaching. I started the process of getting my license in May and by July I had my first listing. I ended the summer with happy clients and earned more than I did in a few months of teaching without having to discipline kids – I was hooked. That’s not to say I don’t love parts of teaching, I enjoy working with kids and continue to tutor and substitute teach when I can.
Customer service is my specialty. I’ve enjoyed all the price points and areas I’ve worked in, from leasing to vacation homes, and don’t want to limit myself by focusing on one type of client or property.
CD: How do you stay sharp in a challenging market?
AP: Without a doubt my brokerage, Nathan Grace, keeps me on my game. They have acquired such an amazing, experienced group of people that are continuously keeping us up to date on strategies to navigate such a crazy market. There are constantly different pertinent workshops to attend, and the environment is so collaborative; if you don’t have the answer someone else will and they’re willing to share.
Also, I am a part different networking groups that connect with each other about off market listings and listings that are coming on the market soon. Having access to these groups provides a great advantage to my clients, especially in a climate like this one.
CD: Where is home for you in Dallas?
AP: East Dallas, aka “The Lake and Garden District.” I love the sense of pride and community in East Dallas. We lived off Henderson for a while and loved it, but live closer to White Rock now. I’m the one jogging around the lake getting lapped by the grandparents running with weights on.
CD: And you drive a … let me guess, Range Rover?
AP: Right now I wish! These potholes are killing my little Lexus IS250.
CD: What’s your favorite ‘hood in Dallas and why?
AP: Lower Greenville is my favorite for eating out and grabbing a drink; I’m a sucker for a cold drink on a hot patio. And I love the architecture in the area, the mix of Craftsman and Tudor-style homes. Residents take great care of their neighborhood and I love that it has stayed true to its original character and charm.
CD: What was your best/highest sale?
AP: My best sale was with a client who previously had a bad experience with a Realtor. She was convinced all of us were simply salesmen and was only using another one out of necessity. By the end of her transactions she got more than she expected for her house, loved her new home, and we had cultivated a friendship lasting long after closing.
CD: Likewise, what was your most challenging or memorable transaction?
AP: I’m in the middle of a transaction for a client purchasing a second home, a lake house in some territory with which I was unfamiliar. Since my goal is to provide the absolute best service possible, I had to get to know a market that I knew nothing about. It has been a little challenging to get myself up to date, but hey, I’ll never complain about hanging around a lake! Candy, let me know if you like lake living, I’m a new expert! [Editor: We’ll be in touch! 🙂 ]
CD: Tell us: What was the most interesting thing to happen to you while working with a client?
AP: I’m fortunate in that all my clients have been amazing to work with. Now showing them houses can get really interesting. There are random things you stumble upon that you just can’t prepare for, like the teenager watching adult movies in the attic-turned-office. I’m afraid that will stick with my elderly client for a while.
CD: How quickly have you ever turned a house?
AP: In this market, I’m pretty sure everyone is turning them quickly. I’m more proud of my ability to take a home from shall we say, “less-than-ready to list” to show-stopper status. That is one way my teaching experience has helped; once you learn how to honestly communicate with parents about how to help their children without offending them, you’ve mastered that dialogue of constructive criticism with anyone, even the toughest client or agent on the other side of the deal. And they are so grateful to you in the end.
CD: How much did you sell last year?
AP: I like to put it differently: How many happy clients did I have last year? Plenty, and I am on track to have many more this year.
CD: What words of wisdom do you often share with clients?
AP: Right now it is the buyer clients that need the most advice. In a market like this it can be discouraging for them when homes are getting upwards of 10 offers the first couple days of showings. But I assure them that I have never had a client be unhappy in the home they end up purchasing. It is important for buyers to be decisive when they are looking. Because homes are moving so fast they need to know their budget and “must haves” ahead of time. Sometimes it takes a buyer losing a house to realize they really do need to listen to their agent on price and terms.
For sellers, I remind them that they can’t get emotional, they have to remain objective and take all the feedback they get without taking anything personally, which I realize is tough. But we will get through it all together.
CD: If you ever change careers for an encore you’ll…
AP: I’ve always been interested in journalism and love to travel, I’d be a travel writer with a cool blog. Know anyone with tips on how to create a successful blog? [Editor: Ha! We’ll keep our eyes peeled. 😉 ]
CD: Do you have a second home? If so, where?
AP: Not yet. But if I keep on selling them to other people it will happen soon! Can I interest you in a lakefront home? I did mention I’m a new expert, right?