Valyn Lyons is the CEO & Broker of the Cole Realty Group, one of Atlanta’s largest Black Female Owned Brokerages. In addition to her home office, Valyn has a second office in her home state of Florida, Orlando. With ambition and vision, Valyn relocated to Atlanta, Ga in 2002. There she obtained her Real Estate License in 2006 and excelled as a full-time Realtor.
Valyn has a vast knowledge of the Real Estate market. As an agent, Valyn was in the top 5% of Atlanta’s Top Producing Agents. In addition to her personal Real Estate Investment portfolio, Valyn has sold New Construction, Resale Homes, and partnered in other real estate investments within the Greater Atlanta Area.
From her years of experience in real estate, coupled with her passion for helping others reach their full potential, Valyn changed roles. She focused her efforts on being the best, Broker. Her mentorship programs and leadership transform 1st-year agents into multi-million dollar TOP Producers. The Cole Realty Group agents benefit from first-hand in-depth training material and programs. Her direct approach and strict business expertise further her success in markets nationally and internationally. The all-inclusive culture of The Cole Realty Group inspires agents. By creating a comfortable yet professional environment, agents at TCRG thrive and see success they had not imagined.
Michele Calloway is the Managing Broker of EXIT Realty Quality Solutions in Metro Atlanta, Georgia with two locations in Gwinnett and Cobb Counties. Her real estate career spans over 19 years, including teaching, consulting and housing counseling. Michele is the Program Director and was instrumental in the development of a down payment assistance program for low to moderate income home buyers in Metro Atlanta. She is a community development consultant specializing in residential home ownership. Michele is a national trainer providing training for consumers, real estate and business professionals. Michele develops user-friendly and resourceful training materials for her students. Michele provides training live and across multiple platforms. She has specialized in Distressed Properties for over a decade. She has worked with mortgage servicers as a REO/Foreclosure specialist. Michele provides leadership with Foreclosure Prevention through her assistance with Pre-foreclosure – Short Sales and Home Sustainability Loan Modification.
Michele is also the Founder and Director of The Institute for Community Pros fondly called The INSTITUTE, a real estate training company in Metro Atlanta, Georgia. Michele is a national real estate educator and speaker to Real Estate Professionals and Consumers. She has instructed for Five Star Institute Short Sale Certification Program. She develops and teaches market niche classes that instruct real estate professionals on real world applications for working First-time Home buyers, Military Personnel, Move-up sellers, Investors, Short Sales, Distressed Properties, and Community Development. Michele offers live and on-line homeownership education classes to consumers.
Early in her illustrious real estate career, Ms. Calloway realized the importance of being actively involved in professional organizations, as they provide her with the competitive advantages of being an informed, educated industry resource and build key relationships. She has been a member of the Empire Board of Realtists, the local Atlanta chapter of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), since 2002. This esteemed organization is the oldest minority trade organization in the country and is committed to advocating for democracy in housing and to creating sustainable African American homeowners. Michele has served faithfully and effectively on the national and local level, as current Vice Chairman for NAREB National, immediate Past President of United Developers Council, a NAREB affiliate and the Empire Board of Realtist immediate past Chairman.
Michele is committed to Community Revitalization, Affordable Housing, Home Ownership and Democracy in Housing. Michele is an advent participant in multi-cultural programs and events locally and nationally. She focuses on offering outreach and homeownership services to the most culturally diverse communities Metro Atlanta, Georgia. Michele is on Education Committees of a wide range of professional affiliations and associations.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:04] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Atlanta Business Radio brought to you by on pay Atlanta’s new standard in payroll. Now here’s your host.
Stone Payton: [00:00:24] Welcome to Atlanta Business Radio Stone Payton here with you this morning. And you guys are in for double the treat. Please join me in welcoming to the broadcast first. Ms. Valyn Lyons, CEO and broker of the Cole Realty Group, and Michele Calloway, managing broker of Exit Realty Quality Solutions. Good morning, ladies.
Michele Calloway: [00:00:48] Good morning. Good morning.
Stone Payton: [00:00:50] Well, it is a delight to have you join us on the show this morning, Val. And I’ll ask you first, just kind of an overview mission purpose. Tell us a little bit about what you and your organization are out there trying to trying to do for folks.
Valyn Lyons: [00:01:05] We are trying to close the gap. We are trying to bring awareness, education, knowledge, and just bring us all together in this industry and an overall understanding of what what’s needed to educate our our brokers are our agents and everyone in this industry to help them bring more homeowners to the table in the and provide more generational wealth.
Stone Payton: [00:01:35] Do you feel like you’ve made some progress in recent months or years on this gap that you’re talking about? Do you feel like you’ve got some momentum?
Valyn Lyons: [00:01:43] Absolutely. Absolutely. With Michel, Sharon and I, all of us together we have Ron included. We we’re helping our agents. We’re helping each other, our brokers. We have. We have.
Stone Payton: [00:01:57] So, Michelle, Michelle Callaway, tell us a little bit about about your work. And yeah, describe for us what what you’re hoping to accomplish.
Michele Calloway: [00:02:07] Right, right, right. So as Val said, we have come together several different brokerages and team leaders have come together so we can work collaboratively to achieve our mission of not only bringing along training new leaders in our community, in real estate, but also to be able to go out and perpetuate and grow this very, very big gap that we have in home ownership. I mean, it’s 30% disparity gap. And so we had to come together. There was no way we could do it one on one. So this is a phenomenon where you see several different companies that would typically people think being competition with one another, not being competition, because our main mission is to to narrow the black homeownership gap as well as to train up leaders that look like the folks that were trying to get homes for. So there’s a familiarity. So there’s an understanding. So we have we’re like minded in that mission and that is the goal.
Stone Payton: [00:03:09] Well, I think phenomenon is probably the right word. Right. I was a little surprised actually when I when I got some of the paperwork and was, you know, looking into doing this show with these guys. I mean, in one sense, they compete in the same space, in the same market. And you guys have not just found a way to collaborate. You’ve gone out of your way to collaborate having you.
Valyn Lyons: [00:03:35] Absolutely. It’s a $2 trillion industry. There is no reason why we we can’t help each other grow and we all sit at the table together.
Stone Payton: [00:03:44] So, Michelle, I’ll start with you, but I’m going to ask you both to kind of tap in on this. Is it say more about this gap? Because I don’t think the average layperson, you know, probably knows as much about it or certainly not the the cause and the potential solution set for this. So I’ll start with you, Michel.
Michele Calloway: [00:04:02] So I’ll talk about two facts. First, when we’re looking at the real estate professional, we know that in terms of black real estate agents, we occupy 6% of black real estate agents in the US and less than 1% of those are brokers. So you have a 94% disparity in the professional side is huge. Absolutely huge. And so when Val says that, you know, when we know how large this business is, well, there’s certainly room to increase that percentage of just the professionals. And then let me jump on the consumer side, the homeowner side, we are lower. We’re 45% home on black homeownership compared to the majority white home ownership is at over 71%. And so we have a 30% disparity in home ownership for the consumer, which is lower than back in 1968 when Fair Housing Act, the law was enacted. So the disparity of both the professional side and the home ownership for the consumer side is just unconscionable.
Stone Payton: [00:05:09] So so Val and I’m operating under the impression that this tracks very well with your with your experience as as well. Speaking of this gap, I mean, let’s talk causes. If we I mean, it’s it’s got to be more than just overt prejudice, right? There’s this more complicated than that. Yeah, right.
Valyn Lyons: [00:05:29] Yes, it is. And since Michel’s talking the numbers, I wanted to tell you what that looks like for myself coming in the industry as an agent. I literally I had a broker, but no one really was hands on and and showed me where to go. So for like a year, I think I sold one mobile home. Year two, maybe for homes.
Speaker5: [00:05:57] Mm hmm. Well.
Valyn Lyons: [00:05:58] As a broker, I had agents, but I didn’t really know what to do. So that’s what that that’s what those numbers look like when you’re in the business and you look like us. There’s no one out there helping us. And now as a homeowner, you’re buying a home. And let me tell you how amazing Sharon and Michelle Exit Realty are. So when you’re a homeowner and you get to the table and you don’t have enough funds, what do you have, Michelle? That you all.
Michele Calloway: [00:06:33] Created our gap fund, not the one on the on our title, but they.
Valyn Lyons: [00:06:37] Wrote a grant called The Gap Grant. And see, those are the things that we’re teaching brokers like ourselves to do that you’re able to write grants to help homeowners. When you get to the table and you’re short, you can have a gap grant to close that gap at the table. And so those are things that are out there that we’re able to do and teach. So homeowners come to the table and sometimes they’re short. And I’ve been an agent and had to find down payment assistance because you still want to buy a home, but sometimes you don’t have down payment. So that’s what those numbers look like, right?
Stone Payton: [00:07:17] Yeah. Yeah. Now, with all of this great work that you’re doing now, you know, just for our listeners who may trip over this thing, you know, three years from now, we’re just coming into the spring of 2022. From my perspective as a layperson, the real estate market is nuts. My my oldest is, you know, like been turned down like for eight or ten offers. And so has that impacted you guys in a in a good way, a bad way? Or is just that’s just part of the deal and you’re rocking right along.
Michele Calloway: [00:07:49] Well, let’s let’s pick up on what Alan was saying about gaps. It is even it is more exaggerated now in this market because of the fact, as you were saying, even in your family, your child has been beaten out by maybe eight deals. And so what happens is that let’s go back and tie some other things together about those numbers. So one of the challenges for many times for our homeowners in the black community is the down payment is value. And so they may be going for programs that are due, include a down payment assistance or some of those type of things. And it becomes increasingly difficult to compete in this market when you have specific type of programs that are needed to be able to buy your home because the homeowner is going with those who may have liquid cash to be able to add to the transaction and which is more difficult in our community. So when we tying all of that together, the market and our efforts with closing the gap and making sure we create more black leaders, brokers, team leaders is to show our agents how to work with the consumer in our community with the financial challenges and maybe even credit challenges that do affect their ability to compete in this very aggressive market, the seller’s market, as it were, that we have going on today. So all of those things tie together. You can’t really move that homebuyer to be competitive in our market if you don’t have the black real estate leaders learning how to help them make those changes and make those and compete, I was able to tie that together.
Stone Payton: [00:09:34] Well well, you know, it makes all the sense in the world. And again, you know, for the layperson or the person that doesn’t find themselves in that situation, I mean, this is you know, I hope it doesn’t frustrate you, but it’s new information, right? We just don’t think about that kind of thing. So this this Closing the Gap live thing, it sounds like a great topic for a for a conversation at the barbershop or over a drink. Hey, we ought to do this someday, but but getting it off the ground has to be a whole nother thing. Tell us a little bit about how you got this, how you how you got some some some energy behind this and got it launched. That must have been an interesting process.
Valyn Lyons: [00:10:15] Well, we we have we started a group of us, five of us. Ron Hutchinson is our mentor and he has a group of us that he coaches and trains. And then so that’s our initiative. That’s how our initiative started. And Sharon and show Exit Realty, Ron and I, we started that initiative with two years ago.
Michele Calloway: [00:10:38] Michel Yes. It’s going two years now.
Valyn Lyons: [00:10:40] Yes, that’s right. That’s our passion. This is that’s how it started. So Danny and I were talking about just having a network event and just bringing agents together to network and give them a little bit of this knowledge just a little bit. And then Ron is my bully. I remember the.
Valyn Lyons: [00:11:01] Bully has a bully.
Michele Calloway: [00:11:03] Yeah.
Michele Calloway: [00:11:05] The bully. Yes.
Valyn Lyons: [00:11:06] So I asked him to help me with this networking event that was supposed to be very small, a couple agents, and it took it and birthed a life of its own, out of passion from other people like myself. Danny Just everybody that was there, you, Kyra. Sherry Everybody that was on the stage and participated. Cheryl I mean, I just can’t go on and name I can’t even remember everybody that showed up, flew in and gave their time and their knowledge and their expertize. It really birthed a life of its own. I can’t tell. I stood on the stage, I looked around and I burst into tears because that’s what happened. When everyone heard what we were doing and what we were trying to share. They saw the need as well. It was aligned vision and they knew it. But yes, we started two years ago. The initiative was two years ago, but this was literally a networking event and all of our sponsors are all of our supporters saw it as well. It was much needed and it was it’s a movement.
Stone Payton: [00:12:18] Well, it certainly sounds like a movement. And you just mentioned sponsors. So you have found other entities, other individuals that are willing to to put some weight behind this as well. Yeah.
Michele Calloway: [00:12:30] Yeah, that’s absolutely true. Yeah. So one of the things don’t. It’s like Vallance said, like mindedness. It’s it’s a universal law that you begin to attract things and people that when you have a clear idea that think the same way and you know how it goes when you buy a car, you see that car everywhere in front of you. And it’s only because that’s now in your front, your front view, it’s no longer in your rear view. And so I think that’s what happened to all of us. It was that we all had a like mindedness and you just began to become like a magnet. When Ron was talking about Valens thought about having a networking thing. At the same time, I’m talking to him about we wanting to do a broker roundtable because I’m in an educational space and I’m like, We need education. He goes, Wait a minute. I have and at this time rally and I did not know each other. We just we were the conduit. The commonality was Ron Hutchinson and and he’s like, wait a minute, I have someone over here that’s thinking it may not be called the same thing, but you are moving in the same direction. And he was really instrumental of saying, We need to create a group that I can help. I’m helping all of you anyway. So why don’t we help each other and come together, bring your resources, bring your friends, other agents that may not be in our network at that moment, bring them into the network and let’s expand this. And and so, like I said, collaboratively in terms of vision, Ron is he is the vision business bully that. Will push you.
Michele Calloway: [00:14:22] Don’t talk. If you talk about it.
Valyn Lyons: [00:14:26] You’re gonna be very afraid.
Michele Calloway: [00:14:30] Yeah. So it’s a beautiful thing.
Michele Calloway: [00:14:33] It’s real, but it’s real. Stone It is real, really.
Stone Payton: [00:14:38] It sounds to me like we could all use a little, little bit of Ron Hutchinson in our lives. So shout out to.
Valyn Lyons: [00:14:44] Everybody needs needs a bully.
Stone Payton: [00:14:46] Yeah, it’s an interesting observation that you make and it’s it’s very consistent with my experience as well. When you do get a group of like minded people together and open your mind to a to a domain, a topic, a challenge, answers or potential answers really do just start to surface everywhere, don’t they?
Valyn Lyons: [00:15:09] Yes.
Stone Payton: [00:15:10] I loved. Okay. I want to back up a little bit and I’ll I’ll start with you, Michel. I’d love to hear a little bit about the back story. How did you find yourself in this career? What was that like, a straight path. And you were playing a real estate agent as a girl, or was it a little more circuitous than that?
Michele Calloway: [00:15:30] No, I had a twisted path. No, I didn’t go straight into real estate. It was a second career for me, actually. I came out of computer support, but it became, for me, a passion because I come from New York City and I was raised in the Bronx, New York, as an apartment dweller. So coming moving to Atlanta and back in 84, to start my adult life, I saw black folks really being able to own homes. It was a different landscape than coming from up north where most of the black community you’re. I’m not saying that you didn’t you didn’t have black community that owned homes, but it’s just a different kind of a metropolis. And you had mostly apartment dwellers. So to come to Atlanta and then you see this whole different lifestyle. I bought a home myself back then and I decided that I want to make sure that everyone who would want it home would be able to buy a home. And so I became connected with a group called the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, which is the Black Real Estate Trade Association. And it’s been around for 75 years. They’re called realtors. And that was because historically black agents could not become realtors, you know, in the past.
Michele Calloway: [00:16:50] And so they began to be my training ground, to be an advocate for homeownership, black homeownership. And that got me to becoming a real estate agent. And the rest is history. 20 plus years for me in real estate and to becoming a broker over ten, over ten years, 12 years, and to becoming a black. The first of two black franchise owners for Exit Realty Corp, which is an international franchise real estate company. So my, my, my road is very twisted, but it came from becoming from an apartment dweller to a homeowner, a first time home owner, and being led by that by a black real estate leader. So this is as valid says, you know, we tie it all together our history that it’s much. Easier to convert homeowners when they are talking to people that look like them. They say this can be done. It may be a little tough, but let me show you and take your hand and show you how to do it. And that just became what my whole passion has been about for the last 20 plus years.
Stone Payton: [00:17:53] So I am so glad I asked. That is interesting. So valid. How about how about your background?
Valyn Lyons: [00:17:59] Well, I wish I wish my road was so was as intentional. But I’m originally from Florida and I used to ride down Bayshore and look at the houses and I’m like, I want to get inside those houses. So I decided I wanted to sell them. So I got my real estate license originally in Florida, but I didn’t do much with it, so I moved to Atlanta. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. I modeled and did nails in Tampa, moved here, worked for an investment company. So at that investment company, they always talked about real estate, real estate, real estate. We did portfolio management. I started a Post-Construction cleaning company. Real estate was booming at that time, started it by my desk. So I was in those houses managing my my company and I’m like, I want to sell these houses, too. So I got my real estate license. I think it was 2006, 2006, I believe so started selling real estate at that time. But real estate was not booming anymore. It crashed. I crashed. It crashed, it crashed. I got my real estate. At the time it crashed, houses was $6,000. All of those beautiful houses that I sold were now vandalized and abandoned, and everything was a foreclosure or a short sale. It was a really, really, really tough time to be an agent. I was writing 25 offers for every client. Wow, I have to do. I fought through it. This is what I wanted to do. It was very, very, very hard. I thought I fought hard. I stayed in the game. I learned everything I could. I connected with everyone.
Valyn Lyons: [00:19:45] My now husband was my client and he was an investor. I learned how to flip property. I learned everything about investing and rehab. We we did everything together. I then moved into new construction. That’s when I started my own brokerage because I wanted to just keep my money. So I never intended to be a broker. I never intended to own my own brokerage. At that time, I had multiple communities. I was doing resale and I was flipping properties. I had like 35 properties. I was running all over Atlanta. So then I got out of new construction. After a few years after dominating that business and killing it, I was like, okay, did that. I met someone and she asked me to be her a mentor and saw that I could duplicate myself. And I was like, Wow, this is after being in business for about ten years in real estate, going through the short sale, foreclosure, dying during that hard time where everything was. They were birds and homes. I mean, it was bad. Bad. You guys know what I mean? I mean, I was selling 6000 duplexes, so I met someone. I duplicated myself in her and I was like, Wow, I know what I’m talking about. She’s my top producer. She’s sold 5 million in the first year, 8 million in the second year. I did it again and again and again. And I saw a need. I saw this became my mission and my purpose. And I fell in love with this. And from there I became this broker. It was my calling. And that’s that’s where the story is.
Stone Payton: [00:21:28] Well, I got to say, for both of you, I mean, you’re both such such a light and in over the airwaves, I’m sure, and certainly in this conversation, it’s clear. I mean, you guys have so much energy around this. You have so much passion for what you’re doing. Clearly, this is both of you are finding this to be incredibly rewarding work. I’d like I’d like to hear from both of you, and I’ll start with you, Val. What are you enjoying the most? What are you finding the most rewarding?
Valyn Lyons: [00:22:01] Most rewarding for me is to see my agents grow. I actually go back in their Instagram and look at them when they first started and now and I send it to them and I smile. And you know what I what else is rewarding when they send me text messages and they’re like, Ballon, do you know how much I sold and do you know? And they send those to me, or when they pick up their new car or they bought a house or they tell me how happy they they are. I love that like that is. My reward to see them grow and shine and how happy they are and what they do for their families and how I impact their lives and how I know they’re impacting the lives of others because they tell me the stories of their agents and I literally like I sit back and I watch it all and I know that I did that like I had I stuck in and I got the webs on my back and I carried the load and I did all the meetings, I did all the meetings.And. I did all the paperwork, and I did.
Valyn Lyons: [00:23:12] I did it.
Stone Payton: [00:23:13] Oh, that is great. How about you, Michelle?
Michele Calloway: [00:23:17] Yeah. There’s nothing like watching someone that was just coming out of school that knew that. Absolutely nothing. And you see them turn around and you’ve trained them. They’ve you’ve been able to provide programs that help them build, start building a career. They have production or someone. We’ve had several people who were part time agents working a full time job. That, through the efforts of what we’ve put together at our company, have been able to become full time and have a sustainable business model that they can look at supporting their family. And I have single mothers who work part time who are now full time agents and can count on what we provide for them to grow their business, to be able to take care of their their children. And I’m very, very big into education. So one of the things that was important to me that I get joy out of is to be able to have a business situation. I call it the umbrella. And I say to my agents, this is where your gas pump is and that you are built. You’re the CEO of your individual business, and we’re here to supply that gas line for you that you can keep coming to plug into, to pump, to keep going back out there, to do your mission.
Michele Calloway: [00:24:36] And your mission is to take care of your family first and to uplift the communities that you serve and be the trusted advisor. And I see this manifested. I just like Val and I really enjoy us moving into those leadership positions in our companies where we can provide those services that many, many other and I’m going to say other black companies don’t have the ability to do. And that’s what we’re trying to make sure that we’re able to do. And that gives me so much pleasure to be able to offer what I wasn’t even able to get. You know, when Val, our story started sounding similar in some ways because there are certain issues that happen in our community. So when we are able to step out. It just brings a peace of joy when you’re like, oh, my God, I, I took the welts on my back. I was there during the short sales and the foreclosures. I was there when people’s doors were closing during the pandemic. We made it, but it’s for our agents to be able to flourish and grow. And there’s nothing better than that in the world. It’s nothing better.
Stone Payton: [00:25:40] You know, we were talking a little bit earlier in the conversation about like minded people. And it it brings up for me this whole idea of ethos and value system and focusing on what’s important to us and metrics that matter, that that kind of thing, as I understand it, to be part of the pilot program for this, you know, Closing the Gap live thing. You had to already document or demonstrate that you were already both of you already involved in supporting nonprofits and good causes around town. Could each of you speak to that a little bit, but a little bit about, you know, what drove you to do that and some of that experience, but also why it was, you know, why it was so important to the organizers that you already sort of had had that under your belt.
Michele Calloway: [00:26:30] Yes, Don. So what’s really was important that not only you were about business because that’s one sided, but because part of Closing the gap well before it was closing the gap was that we wanted to make a difference in our whole community. And so for you to come to say, well, now, because there’s a business opportunity I’m interested in the community was a nonstarter. You had to already demonstrate that it wasn’t going to be just good talk to say, well, I want to help train up leaders and so they can make good in the community. You have to already demonstrate that. And then what the plan was and the exchange was, if you already had your your hands in your community and on your business, we’ll help you to increase that and do better with that. And so one of the phenomenons of that is that both of our companies and we’ve even collaborated together to even be more powerful to the nonprofits. But increasing your business model, how was that going to affect and be able to help us do more, give more back to the nonprofits that we were already helping before and add on which we have done very successfully? Doubled, tripled, quadrupled giving in the last six months to new to new nonprofits and the nonprofits we were already working with. So we already had to have our hands in the community so that we could only do more. We can show the ecosystem. And I want to put that word out there. We have a very big ecosystem and that includes the nonprofits and the for profit. So that means your mortgage companies, your attorneys, your inspectors, your movers, your landscapers and the nonprofit side so that just go ahead and hit someone. Our ecosystem. How that’s so important, what we’re developing.
Valyn Lyons: [00:28:22] Oh, my goodness. Yes. I mean, in terms of like even with like for me, I like to have my my clothes and attorneys, my my inspectors, everyone that we work with. It’s important that we build that strategically. Our color, our strategic partners are preferred lender lists are even down to the photographer that we work with, that we build that infrastructure and make sure that it’s strong and that we’re we’re referring that business throughout our community.
Stone Payton: [00:28:53] So I got to ask you guys and again, you both are just so bright and passionate and inspired. I mean, what a great way to spend a monday morning. But you’re human. So I’m going to ask each of you to share wisdom, Val, and I’ll I’ll start with you. But when where do you go for inspiration to to recharge the batteries? Is it reading? Is it travel? Part of the answer is probably Ron Hutchinson.
Valyn Lyons: [00:29:19] My inspiring I love to travel and I have these two little people that’s under two years old and they drive me insane. I had to keep one of them out of my bed so I can get on here this morning. So annoying. Let me tell you what she did to me last night. She took this power nap late in the middle of the day, so she wasn’t sleeping last night. So she just kept poking me in the eye and in the nose and in my mouth to like 1:00 in the morning, she would not let me sleep, so I had to turn my back on her. It was like, Leave me alone. My grandchildren are my absolute joy and I do love to travel. And I feel like once I get a taste of travel and I gave my my grandkids as much as they I feel like I’m so old when I have them because they’re so heavy and they wear me down. I do the airplane and everything, but yeah, I’m ready to do it all over again. Once I get ga ga in, I’m ready to do it all over again.
Stone Payton: [00:30:20] How about you, Michelle?
Michele Calloway: [00:30:24] Yeah. I also love to travel, you know? So what I do love about our business today, you can travel. And because of Zoom, internet and everything, you can be anywhere and still take care of what you need to do. So you never know where where we are. So I do get a lot of peace from that, but I have a niece that is a college student and she is my heart and joy. Because of her. We are actually putting together a Summer Youth in Real Estate Initiative and those kinds of things where I blend in what I do to be relaxed as along with my mission, like it melds into one that’s a relaxation for me because I just feel like everything just fits together. I don’t have to compartmentalize. It just all flows very seamlessly. And that just brings me a peace that’s like how I want to. That’s what I’ve been striving for and that’s the direction I want it to go. And like whatever I’m doing, wherever I touch it just, you know, can add a light to. To something at. The same time I’m enjoying myself. Vacation for vacation at the same time while I’m doing something good. Love it.
Stone Payton: [00:31:37] It sounds like your discipline is much more of an integrated lifestyle than achieving a balance or giving equal effort to these compartments. That’s.
Michele Calloway: [00:31:48] Yeah, that’s a lot of work. I think we just kind of let it all meld together. If that wins over in Europe, then she’s looking at, you know, she might be looking and putting some business deal together. But at the same time, she’s happy. You’re sitting.On the Riviera like. Let it all blend together.
Valyn Lyons: [00:32:03] Yes, I definitely work more in Europe because it’s 5 hours ahead. I realize when I come home I get nothing done here being on the same time. If you think about it, you can’t do much when you’re moving in the same time as the world, you know, 5 hours ahead. I get I get so much more done because you guys are 5 hours behind.
Michele Calloway: [00:32:22] Yeah.
Stone Payton: [00:32:24] Interesting perspective. I think that’s great. So I do have kind of this is a bit more of a tactical question, but I’m kind of from the sales and marketing world in the professional services business. How does the whole sales and marketing thing work for a real estate agent? Just occurs to me that it could be, you know, kind of a crowded, competitive space. How does the whole sales and marketing thing work for someone who’s out there in the trenches, you know, helping people buy and sell real estate?
Valyn Lyons: [00:32:56] In terms of.
Stone Payton: [00:32:57] Like is it a is it a lot of networking? Is it advertising? Is it relationships?
Michele Calloway: [00:33:05] I just it’s all of that. Is all of that.
Valyn Lyons: [00:33:10] You know, it hasn’t started from day one. I mean, everyone’s getting on social media, but I believe in Michelle. I don’t know if it’s the same for you when I think of like how we used to do it with mailers. And I always like to go back. I’m an old school girl. I’ve been over 14 years and I always when I teach my agents, I’m like, I like door knocking. I like when I have an open house to go with the neighbors. So I know everybody goes to social media and like to do a blast and do stuff like that. But I’m so old school, I like to knock on doors. That’s how I had 15, 15 people at my open houses.
Michele Calloway: [00:33:50] So we we do a combination, actually. That’s why I say all of it, because I’m teaching, you know, and what I say and I’m, you know, been out here a minute. I’m like and I say to them, do not. Because what happens is that your younger agents start thinking only social and then your older ones think only tactical. And so what I say is that let’s we have to do a happy medium. So it’s some of it all I’m teaching that, no, you cannot not do videos and no, you have to do some social media postings and you have to engage because that’s a force for me. That’s not natural. I have to make myself do it. But at the same time, guys, we’re getting out there. Like you said, Val, we’re door knocking. You’re making sure the whole street knows that you’re having an open house. You want to have an open house because you want to. There’s goals behind that. So really, I think the winning combination is when we start using all of those old school and new schools together, it’s not one or the other. Like, Oh yeah, you can only get that mix when you have people like us who have been in the business 15, 20, 25 years where we only had one way before, but now we’re in another world and we say we see the balance of the balance of bringing it together. Yeah, I think that’s when you see like because most of both of us have been in the business 15 plus years. So we’ve lived through, you know, doing both.
Stone Payton: [00:35:14] Well, the work that you, too, are doing is just it’s inspiring. It’s incredible. Please keep up the good work and and let us know. Let those of us in the business community and other people that would like to think that they are like minded, you know, let us know how we can help. And one of the things I want to do before we wrap, I want to make sure that our listeners have an easy path to go learn more about all this and to reach out if they ever want to have a conversation with with you or someone on your on your team. So let’s make sure we do that before we wrap it. And I’ll start with you, Val, and whatever you think is appropriate, whether it’s a, you know, website, email, whatever, let’s make sure that these folks can connect with you.
Valyn Lyons: [00:36:02] Yes. If they want to find out about our initiative, you are like minded. Follow us at Closing the Gap live dot com. That’s where you can find out about our mission, our next live event, where it will be located. And if you want to sponsor or join us or be a part of it. Closing the Gap Live. You can follow me or contact me at the realty group dot com that’s the co realty group dot com or I’m at Val in what am I am the real broker of ATL on Instagram. The real broker of ATL on Instagram.
Stone Payton: [00:36:34] Thank you. Fantastic. All right, Michelle, how can we connect with you?
Michele Calloway: [00:36:39] Yes, also, same closing the gap like dot com. And then specifically for me, you go to Exit Realty Quality Solutions within SE dot com and that’s Facebook is the same exit realty quality solutions and my IG is Exit Realty cuz. And you can find me in those ways. Oh, my. Phone number 7706726069.
Stone Payton: [00:37:09] And a group of people who may very well want to reach out and have a conversation that might include agents that are looking for a for a brokerage home. Is that accurate?
Michele Calloway: [00:37:18] Absolutely.
Stone Payton: [00:37:19] Okay. Fantastic. Well, it has been an absolute delight having both of you on the show. I hope you’ll come back some time and maybe, you know, give us an update on everything from the Closing the Gap live to what’s going on in your individual businesses. But you have made this a marvelous way to to invest on Monday morning. Thank you both.
Valyn Lyons: [00:37:40] Thank you for having us. Thank you.
Michele Calloway: [00:37:43] Been wonderful. We can’t wait to come back.
Valyn Lyons: [00:37:45] Yes.
Stone Payton: [00:37:46] All right. This is Stone Payton for our guests this morning and everyone here at the Business RadioX family saying we’ll see you next time on Atlanta Business Radio.
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