The 2006 Lincoln County Realtor of the Year stays busy as the owner/broker of ERA New Heritage Real Estate on N.C. 16 in Denver.
Susan Donaldson recently received the award at the monthly meeting of the Lincoln County Board of Realtors during the groupâ€™s monthly meeting in Lincolnton.
Occasionally, her 15-year old hound/beagle mix, Boozer, approaches her for attention, food or to be put into his chair, which sits next to her desk.
â€œHeâ€™s my baby,â€ said Donaldson. â€œHeâ€™s been my company since 1994. I donâ€™t know what Iâ€™d do without him.â€
The Lincoln County native, born and raised in Denver, got into the real estate business in 1992.
â€œI like to be a people person,â€ said Donaldson. â€œI like to treat people fairly and honestly, the way I want to be treated.â€
Two years after becoming an agent, she made the all-important decision to go to work for the most demanding boss: herself.
She opened ERA New Heritage Real Estate in 1994 and hasnâ€™t looked back.
Donaldson said that sheâ€™s having fun being in charge of her own agency; however, sometimes things get stressful.
Thatâ€™s when she heads for the outdoors, a place sheâ€™s loved since childhood.
Donaldson said she can recall the days she helped her father, Dwight Avery, with logging.
Today, when times are stressful, she goes to Westport Grading and rides a backhoe.
Her husband, Mike, owns the business.
â€œI also like to ride my motorcycle,â€ said Donaldson.
When the job of being a real estate agent isnâ€™t stressful, her favorite thing to do is to be outside.
â€œI love the outdoors,â€ said Donaldson. â€œI like to not only walk on the land but sell tracts of land as well.â€
As a child growing up in east Lincoln â€“ she graduated from East Lincoln High School in 1979 â€“ she remembered a Denver then that isnâ€™t anything like today.
â€œIt was a small town,â€ said Donaldson. â€œIt was a quiet place where everyone knew everyone.â€
Things now, however, are different.
â€œItâ€™s great to see all the changes coming to Denver,â€ said Donaldson. â€œGrowth was something that was always talked about, but in the last five years things have started happening. Weâ€™re talking about growth even more.â€
Donaldson said the real estate market in east Lincoln is ready to explode.
â€œThereâ€™s so many people coming from everywhere,â€ said Donaldson. â€œI think the real estate market can handle it. Iâ€™m excited about it, myself.â€
Of course, itâ€™s not easy for someone who doesnâ€™t like sitting behind a desk all the time to run a real estate agency.
Donaldson said sheâ€™d rather be out showing property and/or land.
â€œThe bookkeeping is the hardest aspect of the job,â€ said Donaldson.
Conversely, the easiest part of her job is being on the street.
â€œIâ€™ve been an agent so long, itâ€™s just like baking a cake,â€ said Donaldson. â€œAfter two or three times, everything comes together.â€
When she thinks about the night she won the award, sheâ€™s humbled almost beyond words.
â€œI canâ€™t believe I was chosen,â€ said Donaldson. â€œI am very honored and surprised. Good honesty, ethics and working relationships have really paid off for me.â€
During the interview, Boozer came up to Donaldson. She picked up her dog and put him in his chair.
â€œIf someone sits in his chair, heâ€™ll stare at them,â€ said Donaldson. â€œHe doesnâ€™t like for anyone to sit in his chair.â€
For more information on ERA New Heritage Real Estate, call (704) 483-6288 or visit the Web site:www.era.com
by Jon Mayhew