Excerpt from Wilmington Biz, Real Estate - Residential
BY TERRY REILLY, POSTED MAR 10, 2017
Sherri Pickard, Managing Broker At Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage
Named Relator of the Year by Cape Fear Realtors
During a 15-year career coaching college basketball, Sherri Pickard ended up in New York City as head coach at New York University. While there she picked up an MBA and eventually decided to take a break from coaching. She opened a Blimpie Sub Shop with a partner.
Things did not go well. Pickard discovered too late that an extremely restrictive lease prevented her from making critical changes for her business to survive.
“We looked back in disbelief as to how it could have happened,” said the Graham, North Carolina, native.
Pickard took a year off. She researched what went wrong while considering returning to coaching. She then had an epiphany: She wanted to learn more about the commercial real estate business.
While visiting her sister in Wilmington, she decided to stay and pursue her new career. Pickard choose residential real estate instead of the commercial side.
“I realized that it just takes too long get up and running with commercial real estate,” she said.
Pickard soon found that coaching and selling real estate had a lot in common.
“From a 30,000-foot view, it’s very similar – problem solving, game planning and developing a strategy to help people meet their goals,” she said.
Her problem-solving skills and MBA were put to the test when she began specializing in distressed properties during the Great Recession.
“In 2009, I started working with underwater homeowners and uncooperative banks. I researched the situation and figured out how to make the situation a ‘win-win’ for both sides,” she said.
Three years ago, Pickard became the managing broker for the Wilmington office of Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage. In this role, she has returned to coaching – not college athletes but aspiring real estate agents. The critical traits for success, according to Pickard, are a strong work ethic and self-motivation.
“You are the owner and the boss – you need the drive,” said Pickard, who served in 2015 as the president of the Wilmington Regional Association of Realtors, now known as Cape Fear Realtors. “Just like in coaching, you can have the ability, but you need the drive.”