A great real estate agent is the ultimate entrepreneur who at the core relies on relationships to maintain excellence. It’s the best job in the whole world because real estate is the foundation of communities. Buying a new house is a personal expression. It’s where we raise our children and where we endow our schools; it’s our neighborhood. There is nothing more basic or fundamental to the American Dream.
President Nancy Fennell says that serving the community is part Dickson Realty’s core mission. Nancy truly believes that a community is good because of motivated and service-oriented people. If we want a vibrant real estate community, we have to be part of the solution. We live in a place where one person can make a difference and a little bit of attention can go a long way.
If we want a vibrant real estate community we must be part of the solution through community service.
Nancy is originally from North Carolina and she completed an undergraduate degree at University of Tennessee. After College she moved to New York City to begin work in a buyer training program. One day on the floor of Bloomingdales’s department store, she met her husband Harvey Fennell. The pair lived just blocks away from each other and immediately began enjoying the rest of their time together in NYC. They had a pack of great friends and fell in love with the City before they moved and spent the next 10 years in Nashville.
In 1987, Nancy and Harvey came to visit family in Reno and to their surprise became business partners with Fianna Dickson (Combs), joining her real estate business just four days into the initial visit. For a long time Dickson Realty was a small family business, but in 1996 they hired an expert in real estate consultancy to help them grow the company. The first thing the consultant said to Nancy was that she must stop selling real estate and become the President of Dickson, which she has now done for 20 years.
The secret to excellence from the early days and even now is that Dickson Realty is built upon a foundation of people who like to collaborate and rely on each other’s complimentary skills and talents. Dickson supports a group of lifelong learners who are open to asking questions, teaching and learning something new everyday. The real estate firm takes pride in having a relatively flat organizational chart where everyone is contributing, whether they are staff or independent contractors.
The secret to excellence is collaborating and relying on the complimentary skills and talents of others.
Today Dickson Realty has expanded to include over 300 realtors covering Truckee, Incline, Plumas County near Grey Eagle, Sparks and Reno. A new realtor completes Dickson University (DU) – a training program designed in house to give realtors all the resources and information they need to succeed in the industry. DU is limited to a maximum of 30 graduates per year who complete the course by presenting a listing and writing a contract as if they are the selling agent. DU has adapted to meet the needs of realtors during cycles of the market, particularly in 2010 when Reno lost 65% of its market value.
I asked Nancy what contributes most to her excellence and she said that women have an advantage when it comes to being more collaborative, capable of multi-tasking and not being afraid to ask what other people think. She explained that excellence is about being part of a tribe. You surround yourself with people who have a shared vision and you can move mountains together. Finally, Nancy’s advice to her 20-year-old self is to find situations that make you feel uncomfortable because that is what adds to the way you see the world, how you grow and provide a unique perspective.
Excellence is being part of a tribe. You surround yourself with people who can move mountains with a shared vision.
Connect with Nancy on LinkedIn