Kelly Leighton

Last Updated: September 6, 2019 | View all posts by Kelly Leighton

Editor’s note: The Monthly Member Profile is a feature that puts a spotlight on one of PAR’s 34,000 members. Do you have an interesting story to tell? We encourage you to submit your information online.

Realtor®: Michael Wise
Company: Coldwell Banker Burns & Burns, Clarion
Title: Realtor®
Years in real estate: 12 years
Specialty: Second homes, riverfront property and camps
Local association: Allegheny Valley Board of Realtors®
Designations: Negotiation specialist

How did you get started in real estate?
I worked for a major national company in leasing and market development for a number of years. As the market changed and they downsized, I took my exit package and became a Realtor®.

What advice would you give to yourself if you could go back to the start of your career?
If I could go back to the start of my career, I would definitely advise myself to become a Realtor® earlier. It’s much a better profession.

Why do you love being a Realtor®?
I think it’s the people. Whether it’s your buyer or your seller or the people who you’re working with  through the transaction, from the lender, the inspector, the appraiser, the settlement officers, the real estate staff and other Realtors®. It’s the people that unify and get together to bring this transaction to a close. When it works well, it’s a beautiful thing.

What do you attribute your success to?
I guess I attribute my success to a lot of the same factors that other successful Realtors® do. You have to have a certain amount of experience, knowledge, caring and persistence. But after that, I believe I have an extra factor, a diamond who I like to refer to as my wife, Elsa. She’s a Realtor® and my partner and she’s that extra opinion at 11 o’clock at night before I have a meeting the following morning; I just like to bounce ideas off her. I think that’s helped me tremendously.

What’s the biggest challenge you face being a Realtor®?
The biggest challenge I think that I face on a regular basis is working with buyers and sellers who have information that could be considered misinformation. I teach them local market facts. I do find it interesting that I never have a seller who says to me, “My son lives in Clarion, Pennsylvania, and he says, ‘My house is worth $125,000’,” but I have a lot of people who tell me, “My son lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and he says, ‘My house should be worth $350,000’.”

What made you become more involved in your local, state or national association?
I became more involved at the local level and then at the state level because I had been mentored by so many people at the local level and then at the state level that I felt it was time to give back. And I’m hopeful that I can do something similar to the next group of Realtors® coming on.

How has being involved helped your business?
I think being involved has helped my business. I say just about everything is about the people. And the people who mentor you, the people who are in leadership at PAR, the people at our local boards who are experiencing the same thing on the day in and day out basis. I think that’s what’s helped me as a Realtor®.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
I am a veritable plethora of insignificant knowledge. If you want to know what the hometown was every member of the MASH TV show, I can help you with that.

What do you do when you’re not selling real estate?
When I’m not selling real estate, you can find me outdoors kayaking, fishing, hunting or with my dogs.