We are thrilled to share that our very own Nester Arleen Yobs was recently named the 2020 Charlottesville REALTOR ® of the Year by the Charlottesville Area Association of REALTORS (CAAR). The 2021 President of CAAR, Quinton Beckham, presented Arleen with the award.
We are truly honored to have called Arleen an Associate Broker at Nest Realty since December 2012. Her vibrant personality, helpful attitude, and compassionate spirit enhance the lives of each and every Nester. We sat down with Arleen to learn more about her path to receiving this prestigious recognition.
Nest Realty: Arleen, how long have you been in real estate?
Arleen Yobs: I got my license in early 1985. I was not able to complete a formal college education in my earlier years, so I was a bit surprised when I realized how much I loved the pre-licensing courses for my real estate license. Getting my feet wet in the early days, I had three young children, so I was not prepared to jump in full-time—I was thinking this was a part-time job, at least for a few years. However, I quickly realized that I was hooked. I knew this was not a part-time gig, but rather a lasting career that I felt passionate about. I realized I was involved in helping people make some of the biggest financial decisions of their lives! Additionally, I was fortunate to begin my career at a firm that encouraged REALTORS to be active in the local association. We were expected to attend monthly membership meetings, join committees, take educational offerings, and be involved in our community. I am thankful to this day for the culture that enveloped me from Day 1 of my career.
NR: What has been the biggest change in the industry since you started your career?
AY: Most of the major changes in our industry have been driven by technology. Information is almost instantaneous! When I first started in the business, we had listings published in an MLS book every two weeks!! Our offices would announce our new listings and sales on a whiteboard. I remember being excited when we first had one-hour photo processing and we could get multiple copies of a house photo to paste on a flyer! There was no email, no DocuSign, no CELL PHONE. I would come back from a vacation and have to “drive” to my office to get my mail and messages!! Times have really changed.
In my quest to embrace technology, I joined the Allen F. Hainge CyberStars in 1997 and created one of the very first REALTOR websites. This was even before the local real estate firms had them. We didn’t have “template” websites yet…it was all custom, and an IT friend of mine helped to create it. It still cost thousands of dollars, and even with that I took all of my own local photos, since there weren’t many online resources yet. The next year I went to a conference in Phoenix and bought a Twinhead laptop computer at the cost of about $4,000. On the flight home I was thinking, “What have I done?” but once it arrived at my home, I was excited and I never looked back! Crazy, but fun!
NR: What was the greatest advice given to you when you started in this industry?
AY: One of my earliest mentors said to me, “Either you are green and growing or ripe and rotting!” Staying on top of the trends and the news in our industry is essential. Staying ahead of the curve over the years has really helped me to succeed. By this, I mean doing your best to embrace the educational opportunities that come along and staying up with technology. I was a bit of an education junkie, so I really loved learning ways to keep up with the challenges of the industry. I also love all things technology, and I have to admit that one of my weaknesses was time spent at conventions and trade shows when I saw the latest products. I am really happy that I got involved in our local association right from Day 1. I didn’t realize at the time WHY it was important, but after a while, you realize that giving back and volunteering in various ways really enhances your career and helps you establish your roots in the business. You get to know your colleagues and business partners such as mortgage lenders, builders, appraisers, attorneys—and they get to know you. It really gives you the depth of knowledge of the business that helps you. It’s a win-win! And I have found that my clients are genuinely interested in how we work together with each other. Knowledge is power.
NR: What are some of your core values as a real estate agent?
AY: Exceeding my clients’ expectations in every real estate transaction. In order to achieve this goal, there are many essential components involved (education, inventory knowledge, and professionalism just to name a few), but the very basic skills of communication are key—listen, engage, and ask the right questions! Follow through, and do what you say you are going to do! Be authentic and show your clients that you genuinely CARE about them and their goals. The industry has evolved in so many ways, but these basic core values never really change.
NR: What would you consider your greatest success as a real estate agent?
AY: It might be easy to share a list of accomplishments…if I think about each of my 36 years in the business, I could probably share great memories and gratitude for courses taken, instructors admired, CAAR, VAR, and NAR leadership roles fulfilled, and awards/recognition received, but my greatest success as a real estate agent is the relationships I’ve built—my clients, many of whom I consider to be friends, have in many cases been repeat clients, and I have had the good fortune to work with them and then their children and, in some cases, even their friends! Then when you add in all of the great relationships from my work at Virginia REALTORS, the National Association of REALTORS, the Residential Real Estate Council, and the Women’s Council of REALTORS, it’s all very fulfilling!
NR: What does the REALTOR of the Year award mean to you?
AY: It’s interesting…I’ve received so many wonderful comments and congratulations from peers, friends, and acquaintances. Someone asked me what I did in 2020 to earn the recognition…I said that I felt very fortunate to receive the recognition, but that to me, it represents more a total sum of the parts. For 36 years I have always tried to do my very best at what I feel fortunate to do, in a location I love. What more could I ask for? It’s amazing to be recognized for doing what I love and what I’ve felt passionate about for so many years!
NR: Well, we’re incredibly proud of you and honored to call you a Nester. What advice you can share with new agents starting out?
1. Be a sponge! I know that may sound peculiar. The idea is that you want to get out and absorb new information! Surround yourself with people who can help you—more experienced agents in your firm who need help, industry partners such as mortgage lenders and home inspectors—ask questions, listen, and learn new things!
2. Follow the Golden Rule, and ALWAYS under promise and over-deliver!
Words from fellow Nesters:
Nest Associate Broker Emily Dooley shares, “Arleen has been an incredibly helpful colleague and friend. She sets an example of what it means to be a professional in this business both as a productive REALTOR, and also a deeply engaged member of the real estate community at a local, state, and national level. All of that combined with her kind demeanor, fun personality, and love of fashion make her one of the best! :)”
Nest Associate Broker Georgia Lindsey shares, “Arleen deserves this honor so very much! I first met her through the Women’s Council of REALTORS years ago and was drawn to her positivity. Since joining Nest, I have delightedly gotten to know her even better and witness her in action as president of our local association. She is collaborative and kind, but also strong and ready to get down to work to make things happen even when they are challenging (hello, real estate world). Arleen is not afraid to ask questions or speak up when she thinks something is not right, but also equally speaks up to encourage, praise, and celebrate. She is someone you want on your team whether things are going well or terribly, and it is not surprising that others outside of our firm are acknowledging her as REALTOR of the Year. Arleen truly leads by example in our industry and I feel lucky to have gotten to know and learn so much from her over the years!”
We are truly honored to call Arleen an Associate Broker with Nest Realty. To learn more about her, visit her agent page.