Lauren Knerl with Realty ONE Group Select had success Straight Out of the Gate!
Written by: Allison Michaels Parker
Photography: Kelly Klemmensen Photography
A Southern California native, when Lauren Knerl was 18, she and her family relocated to Charlotte. “I’ve loved my life in the Carolinas and the southern hospitality mindset,” she tells us.
A ‘gap year’ after high school yielded a vibrant career in real estate for Lauren.
With a 4.2 GPA, Lauren was accepted to 11 out of the 12 Universities she applied to. “I think everyone (especially my parents) were shocked when I decided to take a gap year and take some time to explore life and figure out what my passions were,” Lauren notes. “Part of that decision stems from my liking to go against the grain and not just aimlessly follow the path everyone expects for me. I’ve always been a self-starter that wanted more than a 9-5 office job. I wanted something more significant, and I knew I didn’t want to limit myself by working for someone else—I wanted to start something on my own and not be afraid to invest in myself.”
So, while all of Lauren’s friends went off to college, she took a step back and learned so many life experiences that she could have never learned from a textbook. “I soon realized real estate was a perfect fit,” smiles Lauren.
Before joining Realty One Group Select, Lauren had gained experience with a local home builder to get her feet wet in the industry. Today, with three years in real estate under her belt, Lauren has a career volume of over $9 million in sales, selling $6,341,525 in 2019. She’s even procured the coveted Realty One 2019 Gold Club Award ($5+ million total production volume).
Lauren credits her success in part to the supportive environment at Realty One Group Select as well as the excellent work ethic she learned from her parents, Rick and Katie. “I am so fortunate my Broker in Charge (BIC) and mentor, Barry Aldridge, took me under his wing,” Lauren tells us. “He gave me access to his unprecedented experience and knowledge of the industry so I could provide my clients with a high level of expertise.” Growing up, Lauren’s parents owned their own business, and she watched them work incredibly hard, non-stop. “I inherited my strong work ethic from the example they set for me growing up,” she says. “Just like them, I am my own boss and responsible for my success.”
Success doesn’t come without a few challenges along the way. For Lauren, it was her age. Younger than an average REALTOR®, but no less ambitious, Lauren has been able to turn this common misperception (age) into an advantage. For Lauren, her age sets her apart and allows her to relate to and represent clients, especially Millennials, in a unique way. She enjoys the challenge of changing peoples’ minds and bringing a new, fresh perspective to the industry.
Another challenge Lauren notes is the misconception that real estate is an easy job and a quick way to make money.
“Most people clock out at 5 pm and get two days off a week,” Lauren explains. “As a real estate agent, I work non-stop, and weekends are my busiest times.” It’s not uncommon for Lauren to answer her phone at 10 pm.—she works around her clients’ schedules, which often means showing homes at odd times or submitting offers late at night to get a deal done.
It is apparent to those who meet her that Lauren’s heart is invested in the business. She aims to be available for her clients, “even if that means just being like a therapist and listening to them vent,” Lauren says.
When asked about advice on entering into a career in real estate, Lauren shares, “I would tell new agents not to be afraid to ask clients a lot of questions. Quietly sit back and listen to whatever they share with you. People find comfort in talking about themselves. When you express genuine interest in a person’s life and story, they’re much more likely to remember you as an agent that asks thoughtful questions because you truly care; it’s more than just another transaction.”
When not hard at work, Lauren enjoys spending time with family, boyfriend, and dog, Zoey. She enjoys anything outdoors, especially hiking at the state park with Zoey—it is a productive way for Lauren to unplug from work. She also enjoys supporting the Lake Norman Humane Society.
For the past two years, Lauren has managed a successful full-time career in real estate, as well as being a full-time student! And, in May 2020, she earned her Associate degree from Mitchell Community College.
“After committing everything to go straight into the real estate industry, I found my true passion,” Lauren tells us. “I feel so lucky because I literally wake up and look forward to my job every single day.”