Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, January 29, 2021

Flipping switch on new career

Decision to purchase house opens new world for Taylor

Realtor Jordan Taylor and her Great Dane, Jersey. - Photograph provided

By David Laprad

One year after becoming a Realtor, Jordan Taylor says real estate has irreversibly changed her. Like a line in the sand, the day she became an agent represents a point beyond which she will never be the same.

Taylor’s claim might carry more implied drama than she intends, because by her account, her life was pretty good before she started representing buyers and sellers as part of The Edrington Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices J Douglas Properties.

There were two passions in Taylor’s life before real estate entered the picture: animals and her wife, Emily.

Ever since Taylor volunteered at the Human Educational Society when she was 7, her life has been wall-to-wall with furry friends. From cleaning up and walking dogs when she was a child to working full time as a foster coordinator, Taylor has always devoted a big portion of her time and attention to the care of animals.

She even built a heated and air-controlled “kitten room” in her garage so she could watch over newborn cats without worrying about her Great Dane, Jersey, expressing her displeasure with their house guests.

“My Great Dane doesn’t care for cats, so I had to figure out a way to bring cats home since a bottle-fed baby can’t feed itself,” Taylor explains.

Taylor also shared her life with her spouse, whom she met online in 2015. The two married in 2018 and were doing their best to make a comfortable existence for themselves and their three dogs in a third-floor walk-up.

Although their landlord was fine with the animals, the hikes up and down the stairs with the canines became a minor life quality issue.

A bigger issue was the money they were spending on rent, Taylor says.

“I knew we were flushing money down the drain,” she says. “We were going to sign another one-year lease, but we looked into buying instead. When we found out we qualified, we said, ‘Why not?’”

Taylor and her wife purchased a home with a fenced-in patch of green in Fort Oglethorpe. While buying the house, Taylor says she fell in love with the process, and the next thing she knew, she’d decided to become a Realtor.

“I thought it was super cool,” she enthuses. “Buying a home can be stressful at times, but our job as Realtors is to make it as stress-free as possible.”

Money was another motivating factor in her decision to begin selling real estate, Taylor confesses. Although she found tremendous gratification in animal welfare, she knew supporting herself would always be challenging.

“I could have stayed there, and I would have been happy, but I needed to do something else to better my future. I enjoyed buying my house, and the thought of being able to give that experience to someone else appealed to me.”

Before Taylor could begin selling real estate, she had to overcome a common obstacle for new agents: the fear that comes with uncertainty.

“When I graduated from real estate school, I had no idea how to get my feet on the ground,” she recalls. “I was coming out of something in which I was comfortable and going into something in which I was not yet comfortable, and I was scared.”

To ease her anxiety, Taylor tried to change gears. Instead of moving forward with her plans to work as an agent, she interviewed for a position as George Edrington’s assistant. But the founder of one of Chattanooga’s most productive real estate teams wouldn’t have it.

“George insisted I become an agent. He said it would fit me better, so I went for it,” Taylor says. “I’m glad I did. I love George, but he has a great assistant now, and I really enjoy being a Realtor.”

Taylor credits the mentoring she received from The Edrington Team’s Marcus Holt with helping her to overcome her initial apprehension. As Holt taught her the ropes and she put what she learned into practice, she gained confidence and began to rack up sales.

One year later, Taylor has sold 20 homes – a significant accomplishment for a new agent, Holt says.

“A lot of agents go two, or even three, years without selling 20 houses.”

Holt says Taylor’s commitment to The Edrginton Team’s mentoring program was a significant factor in her early success. Not only did she do everything he taught her do, he notes, she did it well.

However, Holt says the development of Taylor’s identity as a Realtor played an even larger role in her rookie accomplishments.

Initially a shrinking violet around her teammates, Taylor has emerged as constant presence in times of need. Whenever a fellow team member asks for assistance, she responds, Holt says.

“I can’t think of a time when someone has asked for help and she hasn’t been willing to do whatever she can. There’s no financial benefit for her – she isn’t going to gain anything from it – but she’s always jumping in. You don’t get that in everyone.”

Taylor is also proving her ability to bring value to not just The Edrington Team but her community as well, Holt says.

“You don’t have to have an expensive house to sell; she’s willing to help anyone and everyone. That’s huge.”

While Taylor has a new career and is on firm financial ground, she knows those things can change. However, she says real estate has sparked another transformation that will always be a part of her.

“I’m typically shy, but real estate brought me out of my shell. It took me a minute to warm up, but now I’m very verbal during team meetings, and I’ll talk the ears off a buyer.”

More than that, Taylor, who’s 24 until March, says she feels more grown up since starting in real estate.

“I’m in my big girl career now,” she laughs. “This is where I’m meant to be. I’m going to be 80 and still be on The Edrington Team selling houses.”

The advent of real estate in her life has given Taylor a new passion. However, the things that occupied her heart when she stood on the other side of the line in the sand are still there, she says.

Now that she and Emily are married and own a home, they’re looking to take the next big step for many couples: starting a family. They’ve tried in vitro fertilization, and although it was not a success, they’re planning to try again.

Taylor also continues to look for ways to care for animals after leaving her position at HES. One possibility would combine her new career with her passion for man’s four-legged companions.

Tentatively called Realtors to the Rescue, the program would allow agents to sponsor adoptions, walk shelter dogs on Wednesdays and feature adoptable animals via videos posted on social media.

There are other passions in Taylor’s life. She comes from what she says is a big family, and likes spending as much time as possible with her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews.

Taylor is also a huge sports aficionado. Although she can rattle off a long list of college and professional leagues she tracks, she especially enjoys American Motorcyclist Association Supercross.

“I grew up riding dirt bikes and four-wheelers, so I follow that closely,” she says.

No matter who Taylor is with or what she’s doing, real estate is now a single “bling!” of her phone away, whether she’s helping a buyer find the perfect home. marketing the house of a seller, or “jumping in” to help a teammate. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“I like helping people with the biggest purchase of their life. I enjoy getting them to the closing table and seeing them smile as I hand them their keys. I know how I felt on that day, so it’s a pleasure to help other people get there.”