One of the joys of life and friendship is having the opportunity to watch extraordinary women grow and come into their own as the years progress. I have the privilege of knowing many fabulous women who are doing amazing things and am excited to feature them periodically in my new “Extraordinary Women in Focus” article series.
Renée Haney was an intuitive choice as my first focus subject because of her impact on my life. We share a mutual love for nature, physical activity and adventure that has fuelled our friendship.
Our time together is often spent confiding dreams and our desire to invest in personal growth to serve our chosen paths better. Renée is a REALTOR® who brings joy to everyone she meets. As a writer, I felt compelled to introduce the remarkable aspects of what I have learned about my extraordinary friend with the world.
Renée Has a Dream
In Renée‘s thirties, when her children were young, she would get up early and spend time observing her faith by prayer journaling. She poured out her dreams on paper, and a career in real estate was top of her list. The idea of getting out into the world to meet new people and help them find their dream homes, along with the excitement and fast pace involved in negotiating purchase deals under tight deadlines, was appealing. Renée even found herself routinely searching online home listings in those early years.
As many mothers do, she found herself needing to contribute to the family income in creative ways that allowed her to be available to her young family’s needs with an eye towards the time opportunity that would present itself once they were in school full-time. Renée gained some sales experience and confidence through some multilevel marketing ventures and teaching jewelry-making classes. None of these businesses felt like an ideal fit, but Renée was unfazed. She was sure she would find her way to her ultimate dream, and she set a goal of getting there by her mid-forties.
My mom is an extremely hard worker. Whether at home making dinner or at work closing deals, she is always on the move.
When we were little, my mom stayed at home while my dad worked. We were a family of six with one full-time income. When we needed her less, she decided to get her real estate license and get serious about building her career.
Having struggled with grades in the past, naturally, she was worried. Not only did she manage to pass all the exams, but she also exceeded the cut-off mark. She was so proud of herself. We all were.
Fast forward to now, where she is successfully landing deals. She is earning money and just finished having her dream kitchen installed. She is the definition of hard-working, and I had to learn this from someone. My mom is smart, kind, energetic, creative, outgoing, compassionate and truly extraordinary. She inspires me.
Renée‘s Transition into Realty
The journey to our dreams is rarely a straight line. Little did Renée know that in November of 2014, her long-desired ambition was going to present a point of entry.
Renée was earning part-time as a house cleaner, and an acquaintance hired her to clean her home, which led to being offered an opportunity to paint. This happened to be a “right place at the right time” moment as her client-friend met with a woman who was opening a realty business and looking for entrepreneurial women to join her team.
Seizing the moment, Renée asked to be included in their luncheon. She was so taken by the team concept presented by Kim Zdunich that she decided right then and there that she was going to take the bold step of getting her real estate license. Renée asked if there was a spot for her on Kim’s team when she passed her exams and, thanks to Kim Zdunich’s recognition of potential, was invited to join.
Renée was so nervous that she did not tell anybody about what she was doing because she was genuinely afraid she would fail the test. She signed up for the first course with the money saved from her house-cleaning jobs and gave herself a month to write the exam. Once learning that she passed, she immediately signed up for the next exam to keep up the momentum in case she lost her nerve. Even with these signs of success, Renée kept her plans private to avoid setting expectations and possibly facing disappointment if her progress was sabotaged.
For six months, Renée worked cleaning homes, cared for her family and studied constantly. All her diligence paid off when on July 24th, 2015, she received her real estate license and joined Kim Zdunich at Key Solutions. The very next day, she covered for Kim, who needed a vacation, by hosting an open house. This was exactly the kind of challenge Renée was longing for, and even though she was run off her feet, she was exhilarated by the whole process.
Renée is full of adventure and energy. She has a caring heart and strives to help those around her. Her smile radiates this message to everyone she meets. She embraces who she is. Renée loves to laugh.
It may surprise people who have met and gotten to know Renée Haney that her biggest obstacle was a mindset of not thinking she was smart enough to have a seat at the REALTOR® table. This is a common insecurity battled by women, like Renée and myself, who have not followed the traditional post-secondary educational path but it is exactly that, a mindset. Successful women everywhere bravely quiet the internal voice that tells them this lie and they forge ahead to do great things.
Renée is a wonderful friend full of light and energy. Her genuine and sincere heart comes through in all she does.
Renée‘s Realty Journey
Property Mom & Vision Realty
Kim and Renée left Key Solutions in February 2016 to open a realty company called Property Mom. Renée reminisced about the fun they had and expressed gratitude for her time on Kim’s team. Ultimately though, Renée craved growth opportunities, including more support from a larger pool of experienced agents. In December of 2017, she made the courageous choice to move out of her comfort zone and join a larger company called Vision Realty.
The Verge Team
In this new, expanded environment, Renée discovered and bonded with a core group of allies with similar aspirations for personal and team growth. This group is called the Verge real estate team, comprised of Isaac Verge, Darin Schiller and Sara LaPorte, and others. Renée recalls how helpful they were. She loved the freedom of independence while enjoying the support of so many quality people around her. It set her up for a year of solid growth as a REALTOR®.
Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty
In October 2018, I happened to be on a personal trip with Renée when the Verge team of three moved to a company called Keller Williams Lifestyles Realty. The moment she heard that they had left, Renée was eager to join them, and once again asked for what she knew was a good opportunity for personal and professional growth. She was elated to be accepted into their group.
When asked how success in the real estate business has impacted her life, Renée shares that it has given certain freedoms to her family that they’ve never had before. For many years, they lived under a strain of financial struggle and difficulties.
Real estate has also allowed her to connect with many people from all different life spheres—a true diversity of personalities.
“I’ve been able to help people, and that gives me a lot of satisfaction,” Renée shared, “Working in real estate has caused me to push myself and to grow, identify and become more and more the person I want to be. It has helped with my confidence, and it has helped me with personal development for sure.”
Renée is the sweetest woman. From the first time we met her three years ago in March…we felt such a wonderful connection with her. Renée is a rare gem of a sweet, kind, funny, caring person who has a great outlook on life and makes you feel comfortable in her company.
My husband Dave and I met Renée while house hunting in the area. She was very professional and helped us to find the right place for us.
Renée has a magnetic personality.
We enjoyed monthly dinners with Renée and her husband, John, until Covid ramped up. We miss them both and look forward to seeing them hopefully soon. I really could sum up this tribute to Renée by saying, “she’s a keeper.”
Renée‘s Practical, Actionable Business Goals
Renée’s business goals change each year, but this year, they are to close 30 real estate transactions, to earn $150,000 and obtain at least one rental property.
Helping the Community
Renée appreciates that Keller Williams Lifestyle Realty gives back to the community in a variety of ways that she gets to be a part of along with her team. She particularly enjoys Red Day which is Keller Williams’ annual day of service. Since they are a newer company to Windsor they’ve only had a couple years to celebrate locally. She is really proud of their past venture with Windsor Homes Coalition when they literally help build a whole new food bank division. She is excited to see what they have planned next when COVID-19 is no longer a concern.
Her team also participates in MS Bike events and special golf tournaments.
Renée treats her clients like they are her family and always has their best interests in mind. She is one that lives and breathes kindness. She is always willing to try something new, motivate those around her and make you laugh. Her energy is contagious, and her spirit and tenacity make you want to be and do better. She’s a blessing to have, and we are so lucky to have such a positive, hardworking partner to work with.
Renée‘s Big Picture
Being a REALTOR® fits into the bigger picture of Renée‘s life goals because, ultimately, it will give her the financial freedom to embark on mission trips in the future. She aspires to help impoverished countries improve their agriculture with creative water solutions such as irrigation and digging wells. Giving to help others is second nature to Renée. She sees real estate as a vehicle to financial independence that will allow her to give generously and never depend on anybody, including the government, to support her. She gets to live her life on her terms, and she feels a sense of personal and social responsibility to reach these larger life goals.
No-one is successful alone.
Renée thanks her dad for being her biggest cheerleader, who has watched her struggle and strive and stumble and get back up again repeatedly over the last few years. He has been a constant encouragement every step of the way.
She also speaks glowingly of her team at Keller Williams: Isaac Verge, Darin Schiller, Sara LaPorte, Roger, and some newer members for always being steadfast and seeing more value in her than she saw in herself. They make the place, the Verge team, a safe place, a place that she can be herself and still be accepted. She finds this work environment to be very rare in the world.
Renée‘s Three Quick Tips to Prepare Your Home for Sale
- Declutter, declutter, declutter and clean clean clean. It is incredible what is overlooked in a home when it is clean.
- If there are things you want to keep (sentimental items or heirlooms etc.), change them out before showing. If a potential buyer is aware that you are holding back special items, they will negotiate the price with that in mind.
- Takedown personal photos… people are nosey and get caught up in, “Hey, I think I know them…” instead of focusing on your home and whether they want to buy it.
Now you know what an Extraordinary woman Renée is and why she is so deserving of this focus article. She reminds me that anything is possible if you believe and are willing to work hard. She challenges me to do my best in my work as a writer and never give up on my dreams. It is a privilege to have a friend like Renée who brings light and joy to realty and everyone she meets.
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