Former Police Officer Rene Maxwell Protects and Serves Her Clients!
Written by Heather Pluard
Police officers have to be ready for anything, stay calm, work hard, and exude confidence. It turns out, REALTORS® do, too! So when former police officer Rene Maxwell obtained her real estate license in December 2019, she found herself exceedingly well prepared to tackle the real estate industry. In just two years, she’s become a top producer and is on track to close $5 million in 2021.
“I will bend over backward for clients and do what I can to help them achieve their expectations,” Rene says. “Being a REALTOR® is meaningful work that can have a long-lasting impact on people’s lives. So when my clients trust me to guide them safely through the process, I consider that success. I wake up every day thrilled to be protecting and serving through real estate.”
The first in her family to enter law enforcement, Rene felt the call to protect and serve when she was a sophomore at Simpson College pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree. As a college student her senior year, Rene worked on the weekends as a police officer in her small hometown of Battle Creek, Iowa. Then, after graduation, she passed a battery of tests, joined the Bettendorf Iowa Police force, and attended the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy.
“I’ve always been passionate about helping others,” Rene says. “In the five years I spent in Bettendorf, I served as an evidence technician, a bicycle cop, and a street cop. But what I loved the most was being on the Emergency Response Unit, which is like a S.W.A.T. team, and where I happened to be the only female chosen for the team.”
When Rene received an unsolicited application in the mail to join a police force in Colorado, she took it as a sign to make a move and put her house on the market. It sold in one week. Then, while in Colorado’s police academy, she met her husband, Greg. “He was my study buddy through training,” Rene smiles. “He’s from New York City, and he has a great heart. Plus, he’s really funny and makes me laugh every day. After we were married, Greg decided to go back to the N.Y.P.D. So I left law enforcement and followed him.”
Taking a job in Corporate America, Rene had no idea that she was about to witness the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil. On September 11, 2001, Rene was working for Verizon in the old Bell Atlantic Building, directly across the island from the World Trade Center, when she watched in horror as the second plane flew into the second tower. The NYPD responded, and her husband lost his partner in the towers. It’s a day Rene and Greg will never forget.
When Greg retired from the NYPD, Rene became a stay-at-home mom to their two boys. The family spent some time in Tennessee before moving to South Carolina and ultimately landing in Rock Hill. Today, their oldest son, Jordan, is 19 and a freshman at The Citadel. Their youngest son, Benjamin, is 17 and a senior in high school.
“We finally decided to stay put,” Rene smiles. “Greg liked to live in a house for a couple of years, fix it up, and flip it for our personal use. Our multiple moves are what drew me to consider real estate as a career. I knew it was a job I could do well and one I could use to help people.”
Ready to return to the workforce full time, Rene launched her career with Rinehart Realty. “The teamwork at Rinehart Realty reminds me of being on the police force. We are never in competition with each other. Instead, agents are collaborative and willing to help each other. Plus, the owner, Jay Rinehart, who is also a broker and lawyer, and Carolyn Snow-Abiad, my Broker in Charge, support us and are always available for questions.”
Unafraid to ask questions, Rene is good at finding solutions. “I love advocating for my clients, but the first step is to listen,” she explains. “A lot of times, agents do the talking and never hear what a client is saying – even though their needs are what’s important. Transactions should never be about us. To solve problems and truly help others, we need to listen, be real, and be honest. That advice goes a long way in this business.”
And Rene goes a long way for her clients! She’s known for doing all the extras, like helping them clean and stage homes so they get the most for their listing. She also makes herself available day and night, never considering herself “off-duty.” Whenever she needs a little R&R, Rene enjoys sipping coffee on her screened porch or tinkering with her first car, a 1966 Mustang that she bought in 1987 and had fully restored.
“I drive it like a grandma,” Rene laughs. “I left high-speed pursuits behind me when I stopped being a police officer, but I have to admit I still love a good chase. Only now, I do it by hunting down the perfect home for clients. I really love putting the pieces of a transaction together to help people build the life they want for themselves and their families. The outcome is always rewarding.”