Realtor Elizabeth Rogers says she’s more “rock and roll” than the other agents she’s known.
She likes motorcycles, military veterans and bold moves in life and business.
She’d rather not watch her language, she adds, and tends to speak her mind in situations others might feel call for tact.
She also refuses to transform into a buttoned-down, strait-laced, three-piece-suited alter ego when she says clients want an agent who’s not only competent but also genuine.
To help paint her portrait, Rogers offers an example she admits might ruffle a few feathers.
“I once cold-called a guy who had placed an ad on Zillow. When I told him who I was, he said he didn’t like Realtors. I told him there have been times when I didn’t like a certain Realtor, either.
“We’ve now done four deals together.”
Rogers says her empathetic response to the man’s off-putting jab allowed her to make a personal connection with him and ultimately change his perceptions of her profession.
“That’s what he needed,” she says. “And it’s what I’m always trying to find.”
Rogers, 40, is as new as Chattanoogans come. A Nashville native, she moved from her hometown to the Scenic City in October to spearhead the traditional real estate efforts of Compass Auctions & Real Estate.
As executive director of real estate at Compass, Rogers will give the company’s clients the option to sell their property through a regular listing rather than an auction block. She’ll also attempt to grow the company’s presence in the conventional real estate market.
Rogers brings seven years of experience as a Realtor in Nashville to the newly created position.
A single mother, she decided to switch from a demanding career in retail to the more flexible environment of real estate the day she gave birth to her daughter, Paisley.
“I was a district manager for a large retail chain. I knew the overnight floor changes and time on the road wouldn’t work for a single mom with a newborn, so I dumped my savings into becoming a Realtor.”
Rogers says she entered real estate believing her sales experience would enable her to achieve success as she defined it. She adds that she was right.
“Peace of mind was my success. The bills were paid, there was food on the table and my daughter was happy.”
After seven years, Rogers placed her house on the market and braced for a change she had not yet defined.
“I knew I was ready to do something different, but I had no idea what it would be,” she says.
The door to Compass opened at a charity event south of Nashville in Arrington where Rogers met Justyn Amstutz, managing partner and chief executive officer of the company.
Compass had already decided to add a traditional agent to its staff. Believing Rogers would do well in the role, Amstutz reached out a month later to gauge her interest.
Rogers demonstrated her real estate chops during an exploratory visit to Chattanooga. As she and Amstutz were having dinner at a local restaurant, she overheard five men discussing the development of a new neighborhood in the city.
Before the meal was over, Rogers had all of their business cards, they had hers and she knew everyone by name.
“The way she engages with people is incredible,” says Paige Holt, majority owner of Compass. “She never meets a stranger.”
Rogers’ outgoing personality and her enthusiasm for supporting Compass’ auction work made her a perfect fit with the company, Holt adds.
“When we started looking for a Realtor, we knew we wanted them to be able to work outside the box of traditional real estate. And Elizabeth was that person. I don’t want to say she fit the mold because we were looking outside the mold.”
Rogers says she’s not surprised that’s where Compass found her, as she’s anything but conventional.
This is visible not only in the way Rogers approaches real estate but also in her charity work, which primarily involves volunteering with nonprofits that assist military veterans.
Rogers’ father and grandfather both served in the military, which she says made her appreciate the sacrifices the nation’s men and women in uniform have made.
Rogers says the events of 9/11, which she spent at Fort Campbell Army Base, also profoundly affected her and cemented her resolve to help veterans.
“My heart went out to the men and women of our country’s military,” she says. “They were our saviors.”
Rogers says she has contributed to many different nonprofits that serve veterans, including Weekends with Warriors, #stop22 and Irreverent Warriors. But she says she’s especially proud of her work with Operation Cherrybend, a five-day event in Ohio in which wounded veterans hunt, skydive and listen to live music.
“I can’t wait to find similar organizations in Chattanooga,” Rogers says. “I’m looking forward to meeting people in that realm.”
Rogers says she also looking forward to getting to know Chattanooga with Paisley, 7, whom she calls “a third-generation sass.”
“I got it from my mother, and my daughter got it from me,” she explains, shrugging. “Paisley is fashionable, funny and smart, she’s my best friend and she loves to travel. She can navigate an airport better than I can.”
Although Paisley might be a whiz in airports, she’s only 7, so she still has a lot to learn. Rogers says she’ll there to teach her everything she needs to know, although she might leave out the lessons on how to be a rock-and-roll Realtor until later in life.
“If someone asks me what I think about a home, I’ll tell them – no holds barred. Most people want that from their agent. But my daughter doesn’t need any more help with speaking her mind.”