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Exploring Life & Business with Nisha Smithrick of NextHome Forward

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nisha Smithrick.

Hi Nisha, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
My love of real estate started in 2000 when I purchased my first property, a one-bedroom co-op in Queens, New York. I used my tax refund for the down payment. The following year I upgraded and purchased a condo, which led to the purchase of a three-story townhouse the year after. I enjoyed everything about the real estate deal and eventually got my Real Estate license in New York. With the high price of real estate in New York, I started looking for investment opportunities in Maryland. Within two years, I’d purchased two multi-unit buildings in Baltimore that I rehabbed and rented. After purchasing the second property, I moved to Maryland to manage my properties and pursue real estate full time. I got my Real Estate License for Maryland and began selling investment properties to other New Yorkers. As that clientele grew, I started a property management company. I assisted with tenant placement and management of my and my client’s rental portfolios. In 2010, I joined what was then a small real estate start-up company out of Seattle, WA, as a Field Agent. For the first year, I conducted home tours throughout Maryland. I obtained my Virginia Real Estate license and was hired as the Transaction Coordinator, handling their Virginia and Maryland markets. I managed hundreds of transactions per year, from contract to closing; I received several Envoy awards, accolades, and even stock options for my performance. After six years in that role, I left for the opportunity at a large, traditional real estate brokerage to be their In House, Transaction Coordinator. I was managing up to 40 transactions a month for some of the brokerage’s top producing agents. I also began selling more houses. I’d become a leading producer and capped to 100% commission at the brokerage. However, my life changed forever when I came across a real estate company called NextHome. Intrigued by their innovative marketing, I reached out to the company.

Within six months, amid a pandemic, my best friend, who was also a Realtor, and I launched our brokerage, NextHome Forward. We started with the intention of being a brokerage of just the two of us but grew to several agents organically. By our second year, we had doubled our agent count and tripled our sales. This year we received the Master’s Club Team award from NextHome, for over $22 million in sales volume. Today, in addition to being the Broker/Owner of NextHome Forward, I am still a top-producing agent. I was named to Baltimore’s Real Producers Top 500 Agents in Central Maryland class of 2022, Homesnap’s Top 5% Agent Award Winner in 2022, and Homesnap’s Fastest Growing Agent Top Agent Award winner in 2021. I’m living out my passion of helping others obtain their dreams while simultaneously living mine.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The biggest struggle has been with being received as a serious agent and broker by my peers. After coming from the Transaction Coordinator role, many agents I’d worked with only viewed me as support staff, despite my years of experience as a licensed agent. When we opened the brokerage, many commented that they didn’t think we had the resources or experience to make it work. But, it was quite the opposite, having supported countless agents over hundreds of transactions. I was more knowledgeable about the contract process, had made several connections with lenders, title companies, and inspectors, and had a strong business acumen due to the investment properties I owned and the property management company I’d built. The acceptance and recognition have gotten better but continue to be a struggle.

We’ve been impressed with NextHome Forward, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
This brokerage is a full-service real estate firm that serves all of Maryland. We handle residential and commercial real estate sales, purchases, leases, and property management. A company-wide belief in Humans Over Houses sets us apart from other real estate brokerages. It’s not just a slogan; it’s a part of our culture. We see the people in the transaction and treat them as individuals, not just another sale. We put our clients first, and we deliver compassionate service. For agents, our brokerage offers competitive commission and income opportunities that allow them to bring home more money to their families. We also have an amazing tech stack that gives agents the tools they need to help them and our clients stand out from the market competition. Something else unique to the brand is our mascot Luke, who’s an orange French Bull Dog. Luke accompanies all of our yard signs and gives you the warm and fuzzy feeling of home when you see him. He’s a conversation piece. People always ask, “what’s with the orange dog”?

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
People might now know something surprising about me is that I’m a Glammom, also known as a Grandmother. I’m fortunate to have a beautiful blended family that includes my lovely bonus daughters and their amazing children. My ten-year-old son is an uncle of three, which includes his fifteen-year-old niece.

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Image Credits
Rebecca Mathis

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