Howard launches new business
When you’re a commercial fisherman, you need to stay alert to stay alive and to approach a task with a zen-like precision. You also learn fast to work as a team on a boat and that the entire experience builds character.
And when you apply that knowledge to quite possibly your clients’ biggest purchase of their lives, you end up building an empire that becomes bigger than yourself.
And if you’re Deb Howard, it’s constructed with real estate and Escrow specialists who are, in your eyes, better than you are at what they do.
Once a commercial fisherman in Alaska where she grew up while her father was an air traffic controller, Howard looks at the big picture with the confidence, passion and experience to know this kind of synergy works to the betterment of the client.
“It’s all about the customer. That’s our absolute mantra,” the mother of two said with first-hand knowledge. “Buyers require a lot of hand holding and a lot of time.”
Howard has a mission statement, regular meetings with her staff, recreational retreats and educational workshops – the latter being a priority.
“If you don’t have your finger on the pulse, you’re behind,” she said.
But it’s Howard’s enthusiasm and razor-sharp wit that people recall in the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce’s Business Person of the Year for 2000.
Howard, 47 – a fixture in South Lake Tahoe’s world of real estate for over two decades, popped a champagne cork at midnight Jan. 1 and that day, with her husband’s blessing, started her own full-service real estate business – Deb Howard & Co.
It was a seamless transition, with no break in between from her commitment with Coldwell Banker. There, Howard was a successful independent contractor. She logged over $20 million in gross volume sales last year.
This time, instead of “being all things to all people,” she’s learned to pass the ball to her specialists.
“Did we have a break?” Howard yells back to her staff in an arresting humor.
She believes Deb Howard & Co. will probably double that amount in its first year.
To meet Deb Howard – the listing queen – one would know how and why.
She is a firecracker of energy and principles – someone many who know her hope her essence rubs off on.
Now she’s also known for her creative logo consisting of a row of cyclists on a tandem and marketing concepts, ideas that rattle out of her head with the ease of an advertising agency guru. Compliments on these concepts have come out of the woodwork from the community far and wide.
“If you apply certain business concepts, you’ll be a success. But, more than that, I love what I do. I have a passion for it,” said Howard, a people person who’s honed how to be a good listener.
“I’ve learned to be introspective,” she said of a trait picked up as a survival mechanism while living in the Tundra – one of the most remote regions of the world.
Howard discovered how to listen to nature. She also found the meaning of honoring diversity by living around a predominant Native American community.
“I learned to respect people for who they are,” she said. “You’ve got to meet in the middle. They know when you’re truly interested in them.”
To meet up with Deb Howard & Co., it helps to have an appreciation for a knock-’em-dead view outside the window of her Lake Tahoe Boulevard offices across from the Bank of America. She can be reached at 530-542-2912.
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After a period of dry, warm weather, winter returns this week to Lake Tahoe.