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Exploring Life & Business with Leisel L. Taylor of Village Premier Collection Maryland Realty

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leisel L. Taylor.

Hi Leisel, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
My name is Leisel L. Taylor and I am the Managing Broker and Owner of Village Premier Collection Maryland Realty.  We just opened our new office in October 2021 and we are located in Lanham, MD.  We currently have 20 agents that have partnered with us on their real estate journey.  I am originally from Port of Spain, Trinidad, which is an island in the Caribbean. I migrated to the US, in 1994, to attend Howard University located in Washington DC.  I graduated in 1998, with my Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting. After holding senior accounting positions with KPMG, Price Waterhouse Coopers, BMG Music and AARP, I then transitioned into real estate full time in 2015. My real estate career actually began in January 2012 and I was a dual-career Realtor until April 2015 where I decided to leave my job and pursue real estate as a full-time career. How did I get started in real estate is a really great question. My story is definitely not the same as most other successful realtors. Selling real estate as a full-time career was not even a thought or desire when I received my license in 2012. I just needed something to do to help make ends meet. Significant life changes is what caused me to get involved in real estate.  The first life change was giving birth to my son in 2010.  He was allergic to regular milk, so he had to drink a very expensive formula that costs about $30 for 12 ounces.  I still have a picture of the formula as I have kept in my phone for my daily motivation. As my son was still very young, he had to drink this formula and my husband and I maxed out our credit cards so that we could consistently purchase it for himWe were only paying enough on our credit cards so that we would have enough money on it to charge the next batch of formula that was needed to feed him.

While this was happening, my second life change occured. My husband and I decided to sell our house and low and behold it was a short sale. We bought the house in 2007, so the market had significantly declined in 2011 and our household income decreased due to the change in my husband’s pay structure.  My husband is actually the one that convinced me to get my real estate license.  He was observing how the real estate agent was handling the sale of our home. One day, he looked at me and said “You can be a real estate agent. You can do exactly what she is doing.  Why don’t you look into it?”.. I then researched how to get a Maryland real estate license, completed a 10-day course, passed the National and State exam on my first try, and affiliated with a brokerage the day after passing the exam

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road to starting my new business was not easy. I had to be confident that I was making the right decision for myself and my family as I was about to invest thousands of dollars into a new venture.  It is the BEST decision that I have ever made.  My brokerage is licensed to operate in three states which are DC, MD, and VA. The biggest obstacle that I faced was obtaining the necessary business licenses for each state that were needed to open my new brokerage. Due to COVID, the process for obtaining the state license changed significantly and there were now lengthy delays in obtaining the licenses to practice.  The first step was obtaining the business licenses for each of the states. There is so much paperwork involved especially when you are applying to do business in 3 different states at the same timeEach of the business licenses took approximately 60 days to return in addition to the corrections that were needed on some of the documents that I completed. I had to deal with lawyers, state clerks etc, it was alot.  One of the state licenses actually came a week before my grand opening in November 2021.   The next step was the transfer of my broker’s license for each state from my previous brokerage to my new company, Village Premier Collection Maryland Realty. OMG. What an experience! This took another 3to 45 days to process the transfer as this process is also handled at the State level.  I think what sped the process along is that I visited two of the State offices to submit the paperwork (even though I was not supposed to). For my VA license transfer, my husband and I even drove 2 hours to the headquarters so that we can speak to someone that could help move the process along. I also visited the DC licensing office and stayed there for about 3 hours so that the transfer process would move along fasterThis is definitely not for the faint of heart. This was definitely a huge learning experience for me in starting a new business.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Village Premier Collection Maryland Realty?
Village Premier Collection Maryland Realty aka VPC DMV is a minority-owned real estate brokerage, where the Corporate Office is located in Atlanta, GA. There are currently 8 office locations throughout Georgia, Florida and Maryland.  We have several new office locations that are scheduled to open within the next few months so stay tuned.  We are considered one of the fastest growing brokerages in our industry and I am truly excited for my future with VPC.  VPC DMV specializes in Residential and Commercial sales and we service MD, DC & VA. We are a thriving community of real estate agents, each empowered to do better –through superior support and digital marketing leadership – for our clients and for ourselves. Our culture is built on partnership. We believe that everyone should teach what they know, lift others up and seize every opportunity. VPC DMV was created to empower growth for all agents and our community.  We are changing the narrative in our agent communities as we are focused on helping our agents overcome challenges and help them build the business that they dream of in their imagination.   VPC DMV truly cares about our agents.  We definitely want our readers to know that it takes a Village to help you buy or sell a home and accomplish your real estate goals.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is spending the Christmas season in Trinidad. Those were some of the best days of my childhood. I remember as the Christmas season started my grandmother would drive my grandfather crazy with buying new curtains, doing major grocery shopping, minor home updates and painting the entire house. I guess that is now why I drive my husband crazy with minor home renovations during the holiday season.  My grandmother would start cooking from 1 am on Christmas morning so that the food would be ready by 4 pm so that the entire family would have Christmas dinner together. There would be the smell of freshly baked bread, rice and peas, macaroni pie aka mac and cheese, stewed chicken, curry beef, ginger beer, sorrel drink and so much other delicious Caribbean delicacies. In the islands, we have our own version of Christmas music called parang. The neighbors would blast parang music from their radios in their houses. It would also be a time where your friends would just drop by to show some holiday cheer and my family would be glad to entertain them. I also remember the Christmas season would end where on every New Year’s Day, the Sound of Music would air on the television. Christmas season in Trinidad is one of my fondest childhood memories and I do miss celebrating it there.

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