By Christy Kyser Truitt
Stacy Williams Jordan sits in a plush boardroom of neu- tral colors at a custom-made conference table, chairs with seats of clouds, a flat-screen TV on the wall scrolling the new listings, and contemplates the jour- ney from a 19-year-old entering Pharmacy School at Auburn University to owning the area’s number one real estate company in any quantitative category.
“There was a time I mortgaged my personal home to keep the lights on. There was never a time that our agents, employees or vendors did not get a check. I knew it was make or break, and break was not in my vocabulary,” says Jordan, owner of Prudential Preferred Real Estate whose affiliation with the presti- gious Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices will be completed in March 2015.
According to Jordan, the name change is something she has not approached lightly. As a result of Berkshire Hathaway acquiring Prudential Real Estate in 2012, the top-produc- ing Prudential Real Estate franchisees in the country will be changing their name. “We’ve
spent almost nine years doing the right things to build the Prudential brand, so it may seem crazy that we’re making this change,” explains Jordan. “But because of Berkshire Hathaway’s investment, the Prudential Real Estate name is being completely phased out. The corporate folks pursued the top Prudential offices in the country to be early adopters of the new brand, and we were chosen as one of those offices.
“We’re excited to be making this change,” says Jordan. “The Berkshire Hathaway brand is one of the most respected names in the world and that makes perfect sense for our company. The only thing that’s changing is the name. We still have the same local ownership, agents and support team. We’re more committed than ever to providing the best service from the most knowledgeable real estate professionals in the market.”
Jordan’s path to real estate makes sense in hindsight, yet to the then 26-year-old res- taurant owner, selling homes would not have hit the radar. Jordan graduated with two degrees from Auburn University. She worked at Internal Medicine in Opelika while starting a restaurant in her hometown of Ashland, Ala.
“I purchased an acre of land from the city. I was my own contractor. I developed the floor plan, devised the menu and began contacting food service companies. I did all of this with no restaurant experience whatsoever. But I loved to cook and wanted to share that pas- sion with others,” says Jordan. For six years, Jordan owned the restaurant while working in Auburn/Opelika and traveling to Ashland on the weekends. Early during this period, she decided she wanted to invest in real estate, but desired to learn more about the process. She left her job at Internal Medicine to focus on the restaurant and to pursue a real estate license.
“I wasn’t interested in selling real estate. I just have this desire to know stuff. I took the test and passed, but didn’t activate my license because I was so involved in other things at the time,” says Jordan. By “other things” she meant pursuing a pilot’s license. “A colleague encouraged me to pursue a career in real estate so I gave it a try.”
Jordan’s start in real estate in 1999 equated to long days and locking the office door long after other agents went home.
Eventually, the career she hadn’t consid- ered eclipsed the others she had pursued. Jordan sold the restaurant in June 2003. One month later, she married Chad Jordan, a local elementary physical education teacher and coach. While pregnant with first child Saylor, Jordan captured the top listing agent, top sales agent and overall top producer in her company. She opened her own firm in October 2006 and franchised with Prudential Real Estate.
Bumps in the journey have included a real estate market crash in 2008 while Jordan was pregnant with her second child, Hampton. She acted as broker, owner and agent while mortgaging her personal residence in order to ensure the employees received their income, all vendors were paid and agents received their commissions. The “whatever it takes” mentality paid off as the firm rose to the top. In 2014, the agency produced the highest sales volume for the fifth year in a row. Forty million dollars in sales volume separated Prudential from the number two agency on the list.
While one might imagine Jordan’s drive for success might translate into a competitive win-at-all-cost mentality, quite the opposite was true. Agents flourished under the family atmosphere where friends sat with each other during chemotherapy or meals were delivered to homes where loved ones have passed away. Agents in their 70s looked for ways to men- tor the upstarts while the younger ones intro- duced another generation to technology.
“They learn from each other both profes- sionally and personally,” says Jordan. “The older agents keep the young ones grounded while the younger ones keep them young. We see the value in synergy, in a company doing better as a whole which will only expand the agent’s benefits.”
Realtor Annie Rankin Williams concurs. “Our company is a family. We look out for each other and working with this group is a privilege. Stacy has built the company with the best of the best as far as administration, support staff and forward-thinking people. It is an honor and really just fun to be part of this team! I love my job,” says Williams.
“I can attribute my success to Stacy’s contin- ued support and tutelage, as well as the daily helping hands of our awesome office staff. In addition, I have a broker that has become one of my best friends, and I get to share an office with colleagues who I consider my extended family. Prudential feels like home. I can’t help but smile when I walk in the door every day,” says realtor Jay Knorr.
Colleague Debbie Whitley attributes the company’s success to Jordan’s ability to see the big picture. “It’s about every day hard work, passion, drive, being able to make deci- sive decisions, understanding the importance
of team work and about thriving on a chal- lenge. This is how I see Stacy Jordan walk out her life.”
Jordan dismisses any personal attributions to the agency’s success. “This company is all about teamwork. It’s never been about one person. It’s been about the team and our com- mon goals.
“This is a company about sharing, about balance, and if agents are to be successful, I have to lead by example by having commit- ment, working hard and making the right decisions. There was a time in my life I worked 13 months straight with no day off. It was necessary at that time, but it’s more important to me now more than ever to be a good leader and set a good example. I’ve never expected more of anyone than I was willing to give myself. I strive to have balance in my life in all areas: family, spiritual, personal and career, but I’m the first to tell you that it is hard work.” says Jordan.
Jordan admits the journey hasn’t been without trials, hurdles and opportunities to give up, but hopes her story provides motiva- tion for those with dreams and desires. “We’re the company with the largest sales volume, going exponentially beyond what any other company can catch, all with a group of agents whose hearts are with each other. There’s a consequence for doing the wrong thing. I’d like to think we’re enjoying the consequences of doing the right thing,” says Jordan.