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Broker Spotlight: Kama Burton, CMB Realty Services
Name: Kama Burton
Experience: 17 years as a Realtor, two years as a broker, one-and-a-half as owner
Location: Moreno Valley, California
Brokerage full name: CMB Realty Services
Team size: Office size is 15
Transaction sides: 17 for me personally in 2021
Leadership roles: Currently serving as President, Inland Valleys Association of Realtors
Who she is: Besides her role as a broker-owner and educator, Burton is the founder of a non-profit, Loving Me 1st, providing campus clubs and mentorships to empower girls and help them to develop greater self-esteem. She has been a featured guest on WomanUP! Weekly where she discussed the challenges of opening up her brokerage mid-pandemic.
What are 3 things you’d like readers to know about you and your brokerage?
We empower, inspire and educate. It’s what I do and what I want my brokerage to do.
Empower – Being positive and helpful in our office is everything. Empowerment is our company’s culture. This in turn goes into our business as we empower our clients to reach their real estate dreams and goals.
Inspire – Through motivational videos, speaking life to my agents, and constantly reminding them all things are possible despite an obstacle inspires the agents to reach their full potential. It also inspires the agents to offer hope for the clients who feel like homeownership is not possible. I run a black female-owned company, 100 percent minority agents — and we are open to all. We have to keep our clients inspired based on past barriers that stop homeownership.
Educate – This is the key component. Staying up to date with what’s happening with the market and our industry will ensure our longevity and we can help our clients understand the process and give them the best experience possible.
Why did you get your start in real estate?
I began in real estate because I had a controlling husband (now ex) who would call me off my job to help him because he couldn’t find something or needed to be picked up. It was so super random. But because he was so controlling and I was more afraid than anything, I knew I had to find something I could “work from home.” Sure enough, this is what I found in real estate.
It was advertised in the newspaper as “WORK FROM HOME.” I called, went through the course and passed. I needed the freedom to make my own schedule and I always desired to be a stay-at-home mom and this afforded me the opportunity to do. Although it sounds crazy, it was a blessing in disguise and the best decision I made.
What do you wish more people knew about working in real estate?
I really wish people would know that this is a business. This is work! Too often people get into this business for the money, the fame, the fortune; however, this is not our reality. This business is a career and it takes a ton of education to keep you stable, up to date and knowledgeable.
If a person wants to sustain in this business, they need to keep the educational fuel filled up. There are too many forces coming against us and if we don’t know how our business works, someone will take it from us.
What’s your top tip for freshly licensed brokers?
- Stay educated. Find training online and face to face to help you stay in the loop of the industry. Also, it helps you find great programs and items of value for your brokerage.
- Network with other, experienced brokers. This will help you avoid the mistakes and pitfalls others have experienced.
- Invest in your business. Please don’t try to “skip” steps. People tend to do things on their own, because they don’t want to invest. Just find what you need and don’t get overwhelmed — because it can get overwhelming.
What makes a good leader?
Being a good listener is one of the most important qualities of a good leader. When we know the needs of those we are leading and serving, we can build a stronger group. For example, 90 percent of my agents are new to real estate. I hear their needs and I am able to create information and content for them to help them become successful in life.
A good leader leads by example — not just giving “lip service,” but leading the way. Lastly, a good leader is a strategic thinker and planner. They see what’s happening and also make plans to ensure they are always thinking ahead.
What’s one thing you wish every agent knew?
The importance of being coached or mentored as an entrepreneur and business owner. With the average real estate life of 18 months, most people don’t last long because they aren’t coached to success.