Each Day Is A Gift If You Allow It To Be – April Villines of Real Broker, LLC
Written by Heather Pluard
It’s hard to believe someone almost talked April Villines out of doing real estate. But that was before a debilitating illness changed her life and flipped her mindset. Today, April is the Broker in Charge for Real Broker, LLC, where she manages 142 agents. She also has a successful team of seven agents in the Charlotte/Lake Norman area. But, even more importantly, she gets to do what she loves every single day.
“Back when I lived in Ohio, I always thought real estate looked like an exciting way to help people, but I started dealing with a difficult medical situation before I could pursue it,” April says. “For eight years, my husband, Jeff, and I did not know what it was or how to treat it. For some time, I even walked with a cane. Thanks to some incredibly patient doctors, I finally found out that I have Lupus.”
April’s Lupus diagnosis came with a silver lining. “When I started to get better, I decided that I wanted to do something I loved and did not want to take life for granted anymore,” April says. “So I took the leap of faith and went into real estate. I made a home purchase years ago and ended up having a higher rate and a higher-priced home than I had wanted, and that experience made me want to educate people, not just sell them a house. I’m passionate about helping people understand the entire process and what it means to own a home.”
In 2015, April obtained her license and started her career at Allen Tate, where she learned and soaked up great systems. In 2018, April joined United Home Group out of Portland, where she stayed for a year under the guidance of Cody Gibson. Cody helped ignite her passion for helping other agents, and April started learning to become a coach. She was fortunate to learn from Diana Kokoska in a coaching camp and spent the following five years at different local brokerages coaching new agents before finding her ‘home’ with Real Broker, LLC in April 2021.
“Aside from my time with UHG, I was an independent agent mostly, but one of my goals was to get my husband out of the restaurant management grind and into real estate with me. So I used the tactics I had been coaching and turned it from a dream into a goal,” April says. “Jeff joined me two years ago, and now we manage our team of seven agents. I am a coach by passion, and I love to teach and lift others. Focusing my business on others is rewarding because I get to help them grow theirs. I even coach Jeff, who had a tremendous first year in real estate, selling just at $5 million!”
Considering different perspectives is April’s top coaching tip. “You need to protect the client experience,” she says. “Get to know your clients and hear them when they share their concerns. Then try looking at everything from a teaching perspective. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, and don’t be surprised when you find yourself in situations that require you to help push people out of their comfort zones. You will build amazing relationships, and from that comes a lot of business.”
April has such a large referral base that she jokingly refers to it as her “repeat offenders.” “My former clients send me so much business that it’s truly humbling,” she says. “I have always felt that the relationship with a client makes a difference, and Jeff and I try to bring that out in our social media. We take ourselves seriously in our work, but we also have fun and like making memories. I have huge goals, and to be honest, I am just getting started. I have a lot of community activities, client appreciation events, and fantastic agents to coach in the days ahead.”
While Lupus unwittingly motivated April to pursue the career she loves, real estate gave her her dreams and goals. “Being an agent taught me to think bigger than I ever thought imaginable!” she says. “I learned to dream, plan, and expect more from myself. Jeff and I plan to expand our team while branching out into the vacation rental world for ourselves. I love working with my husband and all of the incredible agents at my firm. But, if you do not stop to enjoy life, it will pass you by. Each day is a gift if you allow it to be, and I’ve learned not to take a single one for granted.”