Owner Patti Jennings is proud that her company, Norman Realtors, has won a top honor yet again in the Bartlett Express Readers’ Choice Awards. For 2017, the real estate agency was named Best Overall Business.
The company opened in 1985, and Jennings came to Norman Realtors from Century 21 in 1996. She made partner around 2000 and bought the company from Jim Norman 12 years later. Today, she is training her son, 23-year-old Jonny Jennings, to take over the business someday – buying, selling and managing properties for clients.
“Everything in the real estate world, we’re like a one-stop shop,” she said. “We can handle it all – get them to the mortgage company, find the house for them, list the houses, get them all through closing. We work with a lot of investors. We sell real estate, we property manage and we do home improvement.”
The great public school system in Bartlett, the city’s excellent police department and the municipality in general make selling in the city easier than ever, and a listed house can sell within hours, Jennings said. Of course, Norman Realtors also operates throughout the Mid-South.
The business has changed as needed over the years. During boom times, it’s had as many as 45 agents, but it felt the pinch during the 2008 recession that devastated the economy. Today, the company has 14 agents and is still going strong. That longevity, despite the tough times, has kept Norman Realtors as a leader in Mid-South real estate.
Another plus for the company is that most of her employees are also brokers, which means they have a higher level of experience and education compared to real estate sales agents and affiliate brokers. Most of Jennings’ agents have 30 or more years’ experience.
“We’re all Bartlett people, and people just know us,” she said.
When she hires, she looks for someone with industry knowledge who also has an outgoing and likeable personality to fit in with her seasoned employees and the company’s longtime customer base.
“You get along with your clients,” she said. “It becomes a friendship.”
Originally from Memphis, Jennings had made Bartlett home since the mid ’80s. She didn’t have her heart set on a particular career until her father suggested real estate. Jennings loved it from the start, and she has an immediate answer when asked what it takes to be a good Realtor: “Sell for the career, not the commission.”
That means to have long vision about working with current customers and their future generations. She has sold to some of the same families for more than 30 years now, to their children and grandchildren.
Jennings said she “never meets a stranger” and enjoys interacting with families and helping them find homes.
Her real estate career has enabled her to make a good life for herself and her four sons. For others who may be considering this line of work, Jennings advises them to really commit if they are serious about it.
“The real estate business, you have to just go in full blast – give it your all,” she said.
CAROLYN BAHM is the editor of The Bartlett Express. Contact her at (901) 433-9138 or via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.