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Meet Trailblazer Makeda Smith

Today we’d like to introduce you to Makeda Smith.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Makeda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a licensed Real Estate Broker in the state of Illinois and the Co-Founder of Smith & Partners Realty Group with my husband Taiwan Smith. I grew up on the west of Chicago in the Austin community, living in a multi-unit building that my grandfather purchased back in the 60s. With 15 years of Real Estate experience in and around the city, my knowledge and expertise have allowed me to develop a solid relationship with peers, clients, local businesses in the area and Fortune 500 clients. My work ethics, integrity and professionalism has allowed me to successfully close over 265 residential transactions resulting in three consecutive years of earning Top Producer with Chicago Association of Realtors. I have earned my own level of respect in the Real Estate, not only for my professional track record and integrity but for having a mindset of community over competition. I have always been the one to share information with other agents within my market regardless of my success in the same Industry. There is enough room for us all to serve others and win.

Life was going great at the beginning of 2017. My clientele was flourishing. I hit the ground running with my marketing and social media campaigns but I began to have some serious health issues that resulted in me having chronic anemia. I would go to networking events and showing appointments unable to make it back without pulling over and taking a nap. It began to affect my day to day. I was always tired although I kept working ad pushing through it just became like fighting an uphill battle and never making it up the hill but exhausted before even getting started. After many doctor visits, I found that I had fibroids on my uterus making my stomach look like I was about four months pregnant.

The final straw came when I hemorrhaged one evening and bled for 10 days until I had to have a blood transfusion and emergency surgery in April. During that time that I was down over the next six-eight weeks. I thought about how we as agents put our clients and family in front of our own health and we become less of the priority in our own lives. So to my fellow Realtors, take care of you first. I also had a epiphany during this recovery time. I started to think about how I was in a business that stopped when I stopped. So, I began to think of other things that I could do to supplement my income that did not require me to be 100% present to make money.

Soon after, Savvy Chicks in Real Estate was birthed from all of the female real estate agents that reached out to me asking for help to grow their online brand to generate more leads in their business because they have seen the success I was having via social media. Savvy Real Estate Agents today know that it will take more than traditional practices to build their online presence in this new world of social media in which we live in.

I teach agent how to do what I do to generate leads in my business by creating a personal brand that can go with them into any industry and automate their marketing techniques. I teach them to write and build a blog, grow their Instagram account, create Facebook ads, create Ebooks, guides, checklists, challenges, contests, webinars and courses for their targeted audience.

It’s been just over a year since starting that business and it has been successful where we just made our first two hires and we are growing daily.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?

It has not been a smooth road, as I have had health issues and setbacks with the market being slow at times but always found a way to make money using my real estate license doing valuations on residential and commercial properties.

I tell women in business to look and see what is being done and do the opposite. What can you do in your market and industry that is not being done to interrupt the normality.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I specialize in the residential real estate sales as a Real Estate Wealth Strategist helping families build wealth and legacies one property at a time.

I am most proud of the things that I was able to accomplish in my Real Estate Career building an online brand taking those experiences and teaching other Realtors.

I think what sets me apart from others is my transparency. I willing to share my struggles, successes, and failures so they don’t have to go through the same.

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I think the biggest barriers in my industry among women in real estate is that we make up about 60% of our market but still make less than men. Also, women of color on average in the real estate industry makes less than the white counterparts but this is changing every single day.

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