From early on, Sophia knew she wanted to work in real estate, and specifically, under the RE/MAX brand. Growing up, her mom was a RE/MAX agent and once she graduated from high school, Sophia was ready to pursue a similar path. Through hard work and determination, she achieved her goal of becoming a licensed agent and landed her first job with RE/MAX Synergy—where she has remained for the past 18 years.
At the start, Sophia was focused on growing as an agent and gaining experience in the industry—regularly completing 15 to 20 transactions a year to lay a foundation for her business. Once she became a mom to her son, she was able to zero in on what was truly important to her both personally and professionally—creating the best life possible for her family. She was focused on providing her son with a better path to success than she experienced herself.
Despite her determination and success early on in her career, Sophia’s trajectory hit a speed bump. In January 2020, after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a chronic, autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system, she was forced to pivot. Instead of becoming discouraged by her diagnosis, Sophia became even more resolute in reaching the goals she set for herself. Her results are evidence of her resolve:
- Selected for the RE/MAX Top 40 Under 40 in 2019 and 2020
- Four-time member of the RE/MAX Platinum Club, including in 2020
- Increased her commissions by 80% since 2013, with notable YOY increases from 2019 to 2020
Since the beginning of her career, Sophia’s brokerage has continually supported her and pushed her to become better. For example, Sophia recalls her broker/owner, Joe Beauchemin’s, reassuring words during the 2008 market crash—instead of leaning into the uncertainty of the situation, he looked at it as an opportunity to change the way the agents navigated the market. Similarly, upon her diagnosis, Sophia knew that this would be a life change that she would need to navigate and felt confident in doing so with her brokerage and the RE/MAX brand behind her.
In order to continue building her business, Sophia enlisted additional support. She hired her sister as transaction coordinator which helped her delegate her workload. Sophia has since convinced her to get her real estate license as well. Through proper delegation and time management, Sophia has been able to focus on new listings and new business. In the next five to ten years, Sophia is looking forward to growing her business more and helping her sister become a successful real estate agent in her own right. Personally, Sophia is also aiming for the coveted RE/MAX Chairman’s Club.
Sophia also strives to be a positive example for others facing similar challenges, “I want to be a role model for anyone who has an autoimmune disease or any physical or other impairment. It doesn’t define you. You just have to prove to everybody that it’s not going to be a roadblock for you.” For other agents who may be struggling with a major life change, physical impairment or just in need of some advice to help better their career, Sophia recommends the following:
- Time Management is Key: When faced with an obstacle, like a medical condition, time management becomes an increasingly important factor for your life and career. However, it does require more proactive planning. Make sure you’re able to achieve a work/life balance that offers you the proper time to build your business, while not endangering your health. Enlist support, delegate your workload and allow yourself to focus on what’s most important.
- Listen to Your Body and Know Your Limits: With a diagnosis like MS, “you only have so much charge in your batteries.” When you need to take a break, make sure you do. You’ll be more productive in the long-run if you take time to rest and recharge.
- Don’t Give Up On Your Goals: A medical diagnosis or life-altering change of course, does not mean you need to give up on your goals. Give yourself grace in the time it takes and way you achieve them. It doesn’t matter how you do it, it just matters that you do.
- Your Only True Roadblock Is Yourself: The amount of success you’re able to achieve is 100% up to you. The only true obstacle is yourself and the limits you set for yourself.
Sophia credits her success in real estate to always doing what’s best for her clients 100% of the time. For agents looking to achieve their own goals in real estate, she shares the following advice:
- Always remember how important first-time homebuyers are to your business
- All buyers deserve the same amount of time and respect, no matter their price point
- Every transaction matters—client referrals are the biggest steppingstone to having a long-term, healthy business
- You’re never too busy or too good for open houses
Through determination and the proper support behind her, Sophia is not letting her diagnosis stand in the way. The goals that she set early on in her career have assisted in her career trajectory and will continue to be major factors in her continued success as a top real estate agent.