Makeda has dedicated her business to mentoring thousands of women realtors, including Sharelle Rosado of Selling Tampa on Netflix, and has been recognized as Top Producer by the Chicago Association of Realtors for 3 years straight.
When did you know that you were interested in getting into the real estate industry?
Ironically, I wasn’t interested in real estate. It was my husband who told me that I would be great as an agent. So, I began to research it, which led to me registering for the class, passing the exam, and closing seven properties in my first year (2004). That same year, I quit my job and have now been in real estate for 18 years. I spent eight of those years working with corporate clients like Freddie Mac, VA, Bank of America and more. I then became Top Producer in the Chicago market for three consecutive years. Real estate has opened endless opportunities, including me starting Savvy Chicks in Real Estate®, that I would not have explored otherwise.
Can you tell us more about your company, Savvy Chicks in Real Estate®?
Savvy Chicks in Real Estate® is a federally trademarked marketing & business consulting agency that was birthed after I realized that agents were reaching out to me for help with their brand. As the inquiries grew and I poured more knowledge into the community, I realized that this was becoming a business. Now, I teach agents how to turn their real estate commission into multiple streams of income using a simple million-dollar formula that includes real estate transactions, digital products, and events.
What is the impact that you would like the Savvy Chicks in Real Estate® to have in the community?
It’s a new era in real estate. I’m seeing people’s lives change. They are not only inspired and motivated, but they are activated to actually do the work. In today’s market with rising interest rates and low inventory, it’s expected that agents will begin to leave the industry. Savvy Chicks in Real Estate® is positioning agents to focus on their personal brand and a new sustainable business model that includes multiple streams of income.
Let’s talk about how you’re also helping women in real estate build 7-figure incomes and create generational wealth?
I first let them know that the only limits we have on building wealth are the ones that we put on ourselves. God has positioned me to give hope, tools, and resources to help others. I break down simple processes and workflows that agents can follow and implement within their businesses. When I see them spending more time with family, traveling, and using their wealth to fulfill their God given purpose, it brings me joy.
Most of us are the first in our family to earn 6-7 figures in business, so I place a high value on transparency. I have a responsibility to my community to share my experiences –the good, bad, and ugly.
The pandemic shifted a lot of businesses and you decided to help women in real estate remain profitable during that uncertain time. Even though we’re not completely clear, how did you go about doing that?
It was all God. My business grew during the pandemic, and this is true among so many Black women entrepreneurs. When the pandemic started in March of 2020, a lot of agents panicked because cities started to shut down. You couldn’t show homes, closings were remote, and inspectors were going to properties alone. The way we bought and sold homes for years changed overnight. I taught agents how to replicate their in-person interactions with clients in a virtual setting to still close deals. During that year we hosted more virtual masterclasses and events, created eBooks, and had more consultations than ever before.
What is your vision for growth among women in real estate?
Community over competition!! In real estate school, they teach us to compete, but Savvy Chicks teaches community, collaboration, and partnership. Women in real estate can accomplish more together and we connect with those who have the heart to serve in this business. Real Estate can be very cutthroat but that’s not the Savvy Chicks way. We are Licensed & Unbothered® (unbothered by competition).
Every year in June you have an annual conference for Savvy Chicks in Real Estate®. What was the motivation behind creating the Licensed & Unbothered® conference?
I created the Licensed & Unbothered® conference to bring real estate professionals together and show them how to diversify their income, invest in real estate and the stock market, and begin building wealth while brand themselves within this business. In 2019, we started in a small hotel room with about 65 women. Just a few years later we are expecting over 400 attendees in Chicago.
What are some things that attendees can expect to gain from attending the conference?
This is not your average real estate conference or just another empowerment event. Our attendees can expect to be activated to actually do the work and find their partners and resources right in the room. The experience will be life changing and that has been the testimonials of people who actually attended the previous conference. We want to make every attendee feel like VIP, not just our speakers. That’s the goal: a transformational weekend.
Can you tell us about the guest speakers, entertainment, yacht experience, empowerment gala, etc. that will be part of the conference?
Last year we had Grammy Award Winning Artist, Chrisette Michele, as a Keynote Speaker and this year she is back to perform during our Black & Gold Formal night that will open the conference on Friday.
We have a number of informative sessions including an investment panel to teach the ladies how to own hotels. I will be having a fireside chat with our speaker, Davonne Reaves, who has acquired two more hotels since the last conference.
Attendees will also learn about entering luxury real estate, marketing and business growth hacks, reinvesting, publishing their own book, building a team, obtaining business funding and more. This year we also have over 20 vendors, a glam suite where ladies can get their makeup done, a content creation room, and more to be announced.
The icing on the cake: The yacht experience. Our guests will enjoy a three-tier deck in downtown Chicago on Lake Michigan. This magical experience will have fireworks and will lead to lifetime relationships.
What would you like our viewers to gain from this interview?
To forget everything you thought you knew about real estate agents being all about money. Savvy Chicks in Real Estate® is about making a living by pouring back into our community. Creating a business that is not tied to purpose will be short lived. My agents want to build schools, buy back the block, and create jobs and resources for others. We want to be a part of the solution.
How can people connect with you and the Licensed and Unbothered® conference?
They can follow us on all social media platforms @savvychicksinrealestate and learn more about the conference here: bit.ly/licensedandunbothered4.
Photo Credits: Carl Ankrum with The Media MD