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Inman contributor Brandon Doyle is interviewing 100 of the best and brightest minds in the housing industry this summer. His mission is to share dazzling advice from experts to help you better position your career development in any market. Check out his interview with Marci James, and learn her secret to keeping passion and purpose aligned throughout her brilliant 20+ year career in real estate.
Marci James, a marketing consultant and 25-year veteran in the field, epitomizes a unique blend of resilience and passion. Presently spearheading several outreach initiatives for the National Association of Realtors (NAR), James embraces her roles as a mother, grandmother and ardent lover of the great outdoors in Colorado.
“From brokerage marketing and start-ups to large tech companies, my journey has taken me through various corners of the industry,” she reflects. “This broad spectrum of experience has granted me a multifaceted perspective and an in-depth comprehension of the industry and its patrons.”
James’ commitment to the real estate industry extends beyond her professional life. She finds immense joy in working with young members, particularly those starting out in the Young Professionals Network (YPN). “They are our industry’s future, and I can tell you our future is bright!” she exclaims.
Advice for a changing industry and changing demographics
Like many, James recognizes the challenges the industry currently faces with a slowdown in the market. However, she sees this as an opportunity for agents to pivot and discover new possibilities. “As the market shifts, there are always new opportunities that open up. Be observant, look for those, and be ready to pivot if you see something,” she advises.
James further emphasizes the importance of leveraging data to understand shifting demographics. “Baby boomers may not be your target market, but they have been the biggest demographic of sellers recently. How can you get to know more of them? How can you target them with your marketing? Leverage data to help you target them,” she suggests.
In the face of adversity, James’ resilience shines through. After being part of Realtor.com layoffs, she swiftly landed on her feet, using the experience as an opportunity to share advice with others affected by layoffs.
“Leverage your relationships. The day I found out I was being laid off, I was on my phone texting my contacts who might know of opportunities,” she shared.
Having it all, at any age
While James’ career is notably impressive, it’s her personal life that deeply impacts her professional approach.
“I’m really proud to be a working mom and grandma. I have three granddaughters, and my hope is that I’m showing them that a woman can have it all, at any age. A close family life and a vibrant, fulfilling career,” she proudly states.
Drawing from her rich background in the industry, James advocates for a proactive approach to market shifts. “Our market conditions shift and change all the time. Leverage those changes to your benefit. Stay nimble, and be ready to pivot if you see an opportunity,” she advises.
James’ dedication to the industry is encapsulated in her appreciation for the hardworking agents who make the industry what it is. “I have never forgotten that I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for the hard-working agents out there who don’t have paid benefits or four weeks of paid vacation. I am always looking for opportunities to give back or shine a light on them,” she shares.
Her dedication to fostering the next generation of real estate professionals is reflected in her endorsement of NAR’s YPN program. She encourages young agents to join or even start their own local YPN chapter, hailing it as a “breeding ground for leadership and engagement.”
A testament to the power of resilience, adaptability and passion
James’ unwavering dedication to her career, combined with her deep-rooted commitment to her personal life, paints a vibrant picture of balance and fulfillment.
In her nurturing of young professionals, her ability to pivot in the face of market slowdowns, and her resilience in overcoming professional adversity, James exemplifies the best of the real estate industry. She embodies the principle that success in real estate is not only about transactions and numbers but also about relationships, adaptability, and a deep understanding of market trends and dynamics.
James’ story serves as an inspiration to both newcomers and veterans in the real estate industry. Her emphasis on leveraging data to understand shifting demographics, her advocacy for agent support systems such as the YPN, and her encouragement for agents to stay nimble in the face of market changes, all underscore the importance of staying adaptable and forward-thinking in this industry.
Above all, James reminds us that the heart of the real estate industry lies in its people: the hard-working agents, the aspiring young professionals, and the countless individuals and families who look to this industry to help them find their homes.
In James, we see a powerful blend of professional acumen, personal resilience and a heartfelt dedication to supporting the real estate industry’s most valuable asset — its people. As we navigate the shifting landscapes of the real estate market, James’ story serves as a beacon, illuminating the path to success through adaptability, data-driven insights and a deep-rooted passion for the industry.
Brandon Doyle is a Realtor at Doyle Real Estate Team — RE/MAX Results in Minneapolis and co-author of Mindset, Methods & Metrics – Winning as a Modern Real Estate Agent. You can follow him on Twitter.