Exeleon Magazine

Betsy Phillips: At the Heart of Real Estate

Betsy Phillips Exeleon Magazine

In the world of real estate, Betsy Phillips stands out as a remarkable woman who is redefining success through empathy, compassion, and a deep understanding of her clients’ needs. With a background shaped by personal challenges, she has honed her listening skills and advocacy abilities. Betsy’s journey, from overcoming dyslexia to navigating the complexities of raising children with learning differences, has given her unique problem-solving skills.

Her journey, fueled by compassion and a commitment to serving others, is inspirational. In this exclusive interview, Betsy Phillips shares her journey, philosophy, and mission going forward.

What according to you makes for a successful woman realtor? How have you integrated the same thought into your real estate journey?

A successful woman Realtor needs to be able to fully understand not only her clients’ current and future housing needs, but also their equally as important emotional situation. This requires the ability to listen actively, act compassionately, and provide viable solutions. My own experiences have given me these skills. I faced many challenges early on as a child with dyslexia. I learned to navigate school by using my listening skills and by speaking up to advocate for myself. I would seek help from teachers and others, and I was able to graduate with a BA in American Studies, while never finishing a novel. Audio books had not come into being yet.

Then, as a mother of three children who all have learning differences, one with Autism Spectrum Disorder, I used my evolving problem-solving skills to get them the services they needed. I was determined to help my children through their early years.

But I also had inspiration. My father was an entrepreneur and built his business on strong relationships where he always put his team and customers first. I learned from the best.

As an agent today, I use the skills that I developed throughout my life to connect with and serve my clients. I hear their problems and help guide them through manageable actions, alleviating their concerns.

What prompted your interest and subsequently your foray into the real estate space?

I often say that my life’s journey has provided me with the skills and expertise needed to run a successful real estate business that is both profitable and embodies my core values.

I married very young and quickly discovered that my husband was a master carpenter and master gardener. We bought our first condo before we were even married, but then he needed a yard for gardening. We tried to sell our condo, but with interest rates at 17% this became impossible. We discovered that we could rent our unit, cover our expenses and depreciate the property. We became landlords, and our journey began.

Throughout the years we moved several times, building homes, renovating houses, and owning various rental properties. I now have a son who is a professional carpenter and a daughter who is an interior architect.

As a Seniors Real Estate Specialist, talk to us about how you’re helping seniors transition out of their homes.

Unfortunately, my husband and I divorced, and years later he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I quickly became personally involved with caring for a senior who needed to transition out of his current home and into a community. My children and I navigated the entire system including his medical diagnosis, the guardianship process and then ultimately the management of his estate. He died of COVID in 2020.

The experience made me instantly passionate about helping others through this difficult life-changing transition. It was frightening, stressful, and all-consuming. Most of us are not at all prepared to face the time in life when we can no longer care for ourselves. There are so many misconceptions and a great deal of information that is sales and profit driven. Consumers are left to fend for themselves and are often taken advantage of or misguided during a time of crisis.

Hence, I became a Certified Senior Housing Professional. I studied and continue to study the best practices and have now devoted the rest of my life to advocating for, educating, and empowering seniors and their families through the emotional and physical demands of late life transitions.

I truly care about my clients, and I get deep satisfaction from helping them through this difficult time in their lives. Maybe I have gone from being a full-time problem solver for myself, as a dyslexic student, and for my kids, to doing the same for seniors.

What are some of the emotional and logistical challenges that you face when it comes to providing seniors with housing solutions?

There are many challenges that seniors face as they begin to contemplate transitioning into alternative housing. As we age, leaving a legacy and maintaining control becomes increasingly more important. Emotionally, we catalog the years of our lives and begin to try to make sense of their meaning. Our homes are a physical representation of that, compounding the emotional trauma of selling the home and parting with many of our treasured possessions. Moving often also signals the end of our independence; another emotionally charged step. This is why appropriate listening skills and legacy coaching of a skilled Realtor is so important.

While emotionally and logistically handling the needs of seniors might be cumbersome for some, for me it is easy. Clients may need help with electronic signing or may call several times a day with the same question. But after so many years of juggling my children’s emotions primarily on my own, I absolutely do not mind handling whatever my clients bring my way. In fact, I tell them, I answer all calls as long as the call is not one of my kids asking for money.

For me personally, I find that helping seniors has helped me to reconcile my own legacy. I have found a purpose and a passion that I am hopeful will result in the betterment of others’ lives.

What does a day in the life of Betsy Phillips look like? How do you ensure work-life balance?

I am an early riser and do my best work in the morning. This is when I write and do any kind of detail work. I am often attending networking and educational events and spend a great deal of time meeting new people and exploring options for my clients. The senior space is ever changing, and we need to keep up with the moving pieces.

As far as work life balance is concerned, my children are grown and I have plenty of time to do what I truly love. While I do spend most of my time working, I now have the opportunity to “read” by listening to audio books, which I love. I am also a gym rat and a devoted dog lover. Anyone who knows me certainly knows my dogs, Leo and Kramer.

Finally, talk to us about your vision going forward for your brand and network.

As our population ages, both healthcare and housing are becoming increasingly more complicated to navigate. In response to this, beginning in January 2024, I will be offering a free educational series called “Strategic Senior Solution Strategies” with monthly panel discussions designed to separate truth from fiction on senior related topics. My vision is to create a trustworthy resource with easy access for the ever-growing senior population. I am hopeful that through my work more seniors will face their housing options with knowledge and less stress.

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