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Broker Spotlight: Trish Nash

by Karen Kroll

Trish Nash

Just a decade after launching her real estate business, and while working in one of the toughest markets in the country, Trish Nash, CRS, GRI, PMN, has become a leader in the field. Nash, a broker and REALTOR® with EXIT Realty Unlimited in Henderson, NV, attributes her success to an ability to work within changing market conditions. "The biggest key to success in real estate for anyone is to adapt," she says. 

In fact, adaptability helped propel Nash to real estate in the first place. Nash had been working in marketing with a Fortune 500 manufacturer of office furniture when she was transferred from Chicago to Las Vegas. After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, sales of office furniture dwindled. The company initiated layoffs, and Nash was among those let go. 

While no one wants to be out of a job, the move offered Nash the opportunity to enter real estate, a profession that had intrigued her. "I thought 'I can do this,'" she says. In fact, Nash disregarded the advice of a former boyfriend who was convinced the shift wouldn’t work out. "I didn't listen, and I'm glad I didn't," she says. 

Instead, Nash jumped into real estate, first with Realty Executives. After a year she switched to Exit Realty; shortly after that, she opened her own brokerage. "It happened really quickly," she says.  

Indeed, Nash's list of accomplishments would be impressive even for a REALTOR® who'd been in the industry for decades. For both 2010 and 2011, she ranked first in sales volume with EXIT Realty. In 2011, she closed nearly 500 transactions. In 2010, the Wall Street Journal ranked her thirty-first in terms of overall sales across the country. Nash has been a listing agent with Fannie Mae since 2009 and with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since February 2011. 

Nash also has participated as a speaker or panelist in several industry conferences, including EXIT Realty's International Conventions in 2009 and 2011. She's also been a member or director of several industry associations, including the Nevada Association of REALTORS®, Women's Council of REALTORS® and the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.

What's more, Nash has been able to thrive even in a market that's been severely affected by the overall downturn in real estate – widely considered one of the hardest hit areas nationwide. Nash noticed sales and prices in Las Vegas peaking in 2006, before slowing down in 2007. Then, 2008 was "horrible," she adds. 

While 17,000-some REALTORS® worked in the Las Vegas area in 2008, only about 10,000 currently do. "When the market was hot, you could walk through the grocery store with a purchase agreement and walk out with it signed," she says, only partly joking. Of course, that's no longer the case. Agents today need to know how to market houses and overcome objections. 

As the market cratered, Nash knew she would have to shift her approach to business. She decided to focus on short sales (transactions in which the seller's mortgage lender agrees to accept less than the balance due on the loan). Nash also learned how to work with real estate owned (REO) properties. These typically are owned by a lender after an unsuccessful sale at a foreclosure auction. 

About this time, Nash headed to Women's Council's national convention, where she stopped by a Fannie Mae booth and submitted her resume. A year later, she began working with the agency, helping it sell foreclosed properties. "I'm a problem solver. I put together a plan and implemented it," she says. 

Nash also leverages EXIT Realty's digital marketing tools, such as virtual home tours, and offers mobile phone apps for bank-owned and other properties. Nash's concierge service ensures that all phone calls and Internet contacts receive a response within an hour, on a 24/7 basis. "Everyone's calls get answered,” she says. Prospective buyers then are referred to agents on Nash’s team. Other members of Nash’s team, which now numbers about 15 professionals, include transaction coordinators, marketers and outside inspectors.  

Another key to Nash's success has been her fluency in Spanish. Along with a bachelor of arts in international business and Spanish from Dominican University, Nash studied for nearly two years at the University of Madrid. When Nash was a kid, her mother, who raised Nash on her own, decided that the two of them would take a trip outside the U.S. each year, even though traveling required skimping elsewhere. Their journeys prompted Nash's interest in foreign languages.

Learning Spanish has opened doors, Nash says. While many of her clients who are native Spanish speakers also understand English, "there's a level of comfort when dealing with financial terms and real estate terms," that comes from speaking in their native language. 

Nash credits her mother – who, sadly, passed away just a week before Nash was married last year – with instilling an ability to manage the curveballs life throws her way. 

"When things get tough, I figure out what I need to do," she says. Often, that means putting in long hours; Nash estimates that she works about 60 hours per week. However, that's purely an estimate, as Nash doesn't watch the clock. "This is something I truly enjoy. It doesn't seem like an effort," she says.

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