Hope White seldom has new customers, which might sound odd for someone named as Realtor of the Year.
But it's because of long-standing relationships with homebuyers she's done business with time and again over the years.
“I enjoy marketing and meeting new people, yet 94 percent of my business comes from repeats and referrals,” said White, AAA, an agent with ERA Courtyard Real Estate in Oklahoma City. She was honored as Realtor of the Year in 2012 by the Oklahoma Association of Realtors.
White said she makes it her practice to focus on service rather than selling. That's why her relationships with her clients continue long after closing papers have been signed.
She has been a member of the state Realtors group for 33 years. She was president of the association 2011, is a past president of Oklahoma's Certified Residential Specialists chapter, is a member of the board of directors for the National Association of Realtors was named Realtor of the Year by the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors in 2006.
“Hope deserved to win this year's award because she doesn't view real estate simply as her job, but as a way to connect with people in her community and make a difference in their lives,” said Joe Pryor, president of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors and an agent with Redbud Realty & Associates in Edmond. “We are lucky to have Realtors like her in our state.”
White's focus on serving others causes her to look beyond the needs of her clients and into the needs of her community.
She often encourages young Realtors to get involved with committees as a way to give back. During her 2011 Oklahoma Association of Realtors presidency, she instituted Quality of Life in Oklahoma, a public awareness campaign that illustrates how Realtors make a positive impact on their communities outside their real estate career.
Many Realtors volunteer in their communities. White, for example, will work on six to eight Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity homes in the next year.
“Without volunteers like Hope, we would not be able to carry out our mission of providing affordable housing for hardworking, limited-income families in central Oklahoma,” said Ann Felton Gilliland, chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity. “A testament to Hope's dedication to community service is her several years of involvement with our annual Women Build, an event where women come together to build Habitat homes.”
White also takes her passion for her work to the steps of the state Capitol, advocating for legislation of interest to Realtors and homeowners.
“For me, real estate is all about looking out for the best interests of homeowners in Oklahoma, from first-time buyers to seniors,” she said.