Two female entrepreneurs dispel the myth a woman can’t have it all. Well, sort of.
“You can have it all, but maybe not all at one time,” says Tricia Peterson who, along with partner Nonet Reese, started Auburn’s Three Sixty Real Estate in 2010 in an effort to give customers a full rotation in the East Alabama real estate cycle. From concept to closing, Three Sixty Real Estate will handle all details whether building, developing, purchasing or selling.
But as working moms, the 24-7 commitment often provides a challenge. “It’s all a trade-off. I found what works best for me is to schedule everything. Even exercise. Lunches. Bible study. You must have priorities and boundaries,” says Tricia. “We’ve learned to say no.”
The Three Sixty vision began with Nonet giving in to Tricia’s incessant encouragement that they take the leap and start the new brand. “I’m the realist while Tricia is more unstructured. She is a big picture person, but I get into the details. Sometimes that means I have to slow her down, and we meet in the middle to follow through with our vision in the best, most effective way. Our differences are really very complementary, and we feel like that is what has truly helped lead to our success as partners.”
The two experienced realtors began the company on the heels of the housing market downturn. On paper, not the best time to jump into the market, but they saw potential.
“We looked at bankrupt neighborhoods and saw the opportunity. I’ve always heard the best time to start a business is during a bad economy. We worked with builders and shared our vision,” says Tricia, adding a piece of advice for any business owner. “Diversify. When we began, we only worked with two builders. When one left, we realized don’t have all your eggs in one basket.” Today the company touches 10 plus developments and has as many as 15 builders on the roster.
A support network is a must for these busy ladies who are as active in the community as they are in the company. Tricia emphasizes the importance of showing her boys, Cole and John Gregory, that a woman can own her own business. “Teaching my boys to respect women is every bit as important as empowering young girls.”
Nonet includes her boys Mailon and Griffin in the business as well. “They’re with me putting out flyers and attending open houses. They ask questions. Moms are guilty to think our kids don’t care, but that’s not true. They are into it. They do care, and they are curious. My boys and I have a lot of conversation about the real estate market.”
The business owners are both actively engaged in the community. Nonet is the 2017 president elect of the Lee County Council of Realtors; has served on local, state and national levels of the Women’s Council of Realtors; a member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama; and a member of the Lee County Homebuilders Association board of directors, to name a few.
Tricia has held leadership positions within the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, Auburn United Methodist Church, Jule Collins Smith Museum of Art, Junior League of Lee County and Lee County Young Professionals.
With more than 25 agents, Tricia manages the sales and marketing while Nonet serves as broker. But the simple titles buffer tremendous responsibility in the full rotation of life. “At the end of the day, we’re proud to have a company which gives a platform for others. An opportunity to come in and design their lives,” says Nonet. In addition to their individual contributions, the company invests in many philanthropies such as the Hudson Family Foundation, Diabetes Treatment Center at East Alabama Medical Center, East Alabama Food Bank, etc.
Perhaps the ladies live out the calendar which holds their many appointments. It reads, “She designed the life she loved and lived it.”
Christy Kyser Truitt
Christy Kyser Truitt was raised in West Alabama. The Auburn University graduate is an award-winning author of three novels. Christy is a feature writer and copy editor for East Alabama Living Magazine. For more information on Christy and her writing, visit www.christytruitt.com.