Wanda Charles admits that she was nervous about taking the next step. After three years with Ebby Halliday, and an additional 12 years in real estate before that, she had decided to switch from individual agent to group status.
When the Wanda Charles Group debuted in October, it placed sixth in transaction volume for groups under the Ebby Halliday umbrella. The next month, it moved up to fifth, and then nearly forth by year’s end. In January, Charles relocated from Frisco to a recently opened Ebby office in booming Prosper.
“It was definitely hard for me to leave where I was in the Frisco office, but at the same rate, this is a huge opportunity for me to be a voice and grow a team here,” Charles said.
With the addition of agents Logan Hawkins and Amanda Williamson, that team has now expanded to five. The first person to join was Bethany Hart, whom Charles had worked with for several years.
“I’ve always wanted to be an agent that is well-rounded, and I believe that you should hire your weakness,” Charles said.
Charles’ self-identified weakness was her ability to effectively cover a large geographic footprint without sacrificing service. Many of her clients tended to be in North Dallas and points beyond. Hart, on the other hand, had more connections in central and Southern Dallas. Together, they give the group a strong presence throughout the city.
The most unexpected team member may be Brantley Charles, Wanda’s son. She was not initially supportive of his decision to forego college for real estate. Charles put him in one of the toughest training programs, but he was still not deterred. Today, among other projects, Brantley has handled several transactions for clients relocating for the nearby Toyota headquarters.
“He’s done phenomenal,” she said.
Charles’s tenure at Ebby did not start off well. During her first six months, she dealt with personal adversity including the death of her mother. Despite not being at her professional best, her colleagues remained supportive while she got back on track.
By 2016, her sales had increased to around $15 million. The following year, they were pushing $25 million.
“Typically agents will increase $1- 3 million per year from what I’m told,” Charles said. “We went up $8 million, which was unheard of.”
Grateful for the support and guidance she received, Charles hopes to provide the same to her team.
“I’m laying the foundation so that when a new agent comes under me, I want to make sure that I’m not burn and churn,” Charles said. “I’m investing in them and empowering them, but I’m also doing that in such a way that the loyalty is there.”
Charles said moving to Prosper has been an exciting experience. Many of her Frisco clients were already looking in that direction. She has worked to establish relationships with the school district, local businesses and recreational sport leagues in hopes of becoming the real estate face of Prosper. The Wanda Charles Group has already become a sponsor of the high school band, hosted a Super Bowl party at the town’s first bar, and helped sponsor 15-year country singer Grace Tyler, who will soon be competing on American Idol.
When tasked with creating a slogan for her group, Charles chose, “real estate relationships that prosper,” because it reflected the goals she had, and it sounded similar to a biblical verse on prosperity. The slogan also includes the town’s name, a place Charles is very happy to be.
“It’s exciting to see Prosper. It has that small town feel and people really are trusting us,” she said. “Our clients are really liking the things that we do differently, and how we are making it really more of a service and experience.”