She was just 19 years old when she purchased her first home. Beyond being a symbol of independence and maturity, the experience prompted Shannon Everett to rethink her whole life plan.
“I always thought I wanted to be a nurse,” she says, “but although I wanted to help people, I wasn’t cut out for the medical field. All through high school I worked as a server, gradually working my way up in the hospitality business. By the time I graduated, I was responsible for opening restaurants for large companies.”
Finding, financing and then buying her first home, Everett was fascinated by every phase. By closing, she had discovered her real passion.
“It might not be in the category of saving lives,” she says, “but a REALTOR does have the opportunity to help a lot of people. I love meeting and becoming friends with people, and real estate seemed to combine everything that I enjoy most.”
Already accustomed to budgeting her time, Everett maintained her demanding job while attending real estate school. Given her solid work ethics and inherent business savvy, real estate seemed to be the perfect fit. Managing money is another positive trait that has helped propel her forward in life and business.
“We have a saying, ‘You start out cheap, and if you’re lucky become frugal,” she says with a laugh. “I don’t know, I’m not sure I ever got past the cheap phase.”
Cheap or frugal, virtually every dollar she earned as a waitress was socked away. When she turned 18, Everett decided it was time to leave the nest.
“My parents are wonderful,” she says. “They’ve always been loving and supportive, and certainly never even hinted for me to move out. I don’t know, it just felt like it was time.”
With father’s help, Everett found an apartment and signed a six-month lease. Four months later, this very money-conscious young woman had a startling revelation.
“I realized that what I was paying in rent for my small apartment, could be going toward a house payment,” she says. “So, I saved a few more bucks and six months later, I bought my house. I just hate to throw away money!”
By 23, Everett owned three or four homes. One she flipped with a friend, one she lived in and the others were rentals. When the real estate bubble burst, she kept the home where she and her 13-year-old daughter Peyton still live today.
Just starting out in any field can be a struggle, but for those fortunate enough to benefit from the advice of a more senior professional, the road is a little smoother. Everett says she was blessed by having one very special woman in her life, Lea Archer.
“In 1996, I started with RE/MAX,” she says, “and I worked for this amazing woman who has been a mentor to me ever since. I was Lea’s assistant for years. It was a wonderful opportunity; I was receiving a salary as well as a bonus on each closing and learning the business from someone who really knew what she was doing.
“When I finally went out on my own, Lea said, ‘Finally! I tried to push you out years and years ago!’ We still talk today,” adds Everett.
She certainly had a head start in both life and business, but while working for Archer, Everett took a bit of a hiatus. Newly married, she was helping her then-husband get his sand and gravel business going and was co-owner of a bar with her father.
“It felt like I had my hand in everything,” she says, “so I put real estate on a back burner. I knew that when I was ready, I wanted to give my clients 100 percent. For me, it’s not something to be done part time. I want to offer exceptional service and be available to my clients.”
Unfortunately, when she was ready to jump in with both feet, the climate was less than ideal. Everett was going through a divorce; she was the mother of a young child; the market was still reverberating from the historical recession; and she had very little savings.
“It was pretty scary,” she admits. “But, I decided, if I have to make it, I will. And I had to make it, for my daughter if nothing else.” Despite all the cautionary tales she’d heard, Everett made over $50,000 in her first year.
“It’s funny the things you are able to do when you’re a starving single mom,” she adds. “A lot depends on how you look at things too. You can let it bring you down or let it teach you.”
Everett’s courage, hard work and dedication not only launched her real estate career, it set a powerful example for her young daughter.
“You might say she’s ‘guilty by association,’” Everett jokingly says of Peyton. “She knows all the terminology and is very patient with my crazy hours. Sometimes she’ll say, ‘Well, mom, are we through the inspection period, is it a deal?’ She’s really cute. And, she helps me stay focused. I’m usually very wrapped up in my clients, but sometimes I just have to say, ‘It doesn’t matter what’s going on, I need time with my daughter.’ The one thing we cannot get back is time.”
The Shannon Group
As organized and professional as she is warm and engaging, Everett had a clear vision of what her business would look like before she even finished real estate school. Although born in Anchorage, Alaska, Everett was raised in the Phoenix area. An expert in this local market, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate here.
“Real estate is my passion,” she says. “Attention to detail is pivotal to ensuring a smooth, efficient and successful transaction. Whether looking for a new home or hoping to sell, I pride myself on being able to provide my clients with the expertise, knowledge and the sincere concern necessary. In an ever-changing market, you need an agent who has experience and thinks outside of the box. I will do whatever it takes to help them accomplish their goals.”
For Everett, this also means bringing together a team of highly-skilled and dedicated professionals who are as committed to her clients as she is. The Shannon Group has earned a sterling reputation for know-how and willingness to go the extra mile. Consequently, they already have numerous repeat customers and hundreds of word-of-mouth referrals.
“We truly try to help people,” says Everett. “There are times when we meet with people who really aren’t ready to buy or sell. Sometimes it’s a financial issue, other times it might be for personal or even emotional reasons. We respect this and never try to push. That’s not our role. We are here to advise, assist and alleviate undue stress – not convince someone it’s their time to buy or sell.
“The culture of our team is one where agents have room to grow,” she continues. “Just as I benefitted from a wonderful mentor who allowed me to learn and develop, so do I offer that same opportunity. The happy result is that ours is not a team with a revolving door. Our people stay because they are happy, fulfilled and feel like the important part of the whole that they are.”
An active member of the community, Everett has always been a huge supporter of local charitable organizations, not just through checks but sweat and elbow grease as well. Her team members enthusiastically follow her example, and each year they take on bigger projects to support.
Passionate about all facets of her work, Everett admits that she’s particularly ardent about first-time homebuyers.
“It’s so incredible,” she says enthusiastically, “because you’re handing them the keys to their very first home. They typically need a little more help navigating the process and securing financing. Actually, I admit I get that same thrill whether it’s the first home or 40th. People say you have to wake up passionate and excited about what you do, and I’m lucky enough to wake up raring to go every single day!”
Looking to the future, Everett says her primary focus is providing ever greater service to her clients and continuing to grow her team through support and opportunity.
“As I tell all our clients,” she says, “our goal is to totally knock your socks off with our service, and if at any time we’re not, I want you to call me out and tell me what it is, because I want to fix it.”