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Brenda O

Most important tool of the real estate trade? Listening

Hattiesburg — Being a good listener plays a major role in real estate success, according to Brenda O’Neal Lambert who’s been in the business for more than 20 years.

“I try to be a good listener. That’s a big part of being a Realtor,” she said. “I want to get as much information as possible about my clients’ needs and what they want.”

A Realtor with Re/Max Real Estate Partners of Hattiesburg, she grew up in Hattiesburg and came back in 1984 after living in Dallas for 30 years. Last year, she assisted over 60 families with their relocations to the area. From 1997 through 2002 she received the Top Producers Award from the Hattiesburg Board of Realtors and in 2003 was named a Platinum Award winner. She is also listed in the Re/Max Hall of Fame and the 100% Club.

“The best part about selling real estate is meeting people and being able to complete the process of placing them in homes that meet their needs,” she said. “I’ve met people I never would have met otherwise, and it’s been rewarding to complete sales and make the transactions as smooth as possible.”

Lambert, who earned a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from the University of Southern Mississippi, takes her work very seriously because she feels that people put a lot of confidence in her.

“When you’re dealing with people buying and selling homes, that’s one of the biggest decisions they’ll ever make and it can be very emotional,” she said. “I take that into consideration and I’m always on call.”

This consistent million-dollar producer advises anyone thinking of entering the real estate field that it takes a full-time commitment if they’re going to do a good job. “It is not a part-time job. It’s 24/7 and takes a lot of juggling,” she said.

Lambert mostly sells residential real estate but sells some commercial properties too. The majority of her listings are in Lamar and Forrest Counties, but listings in Covington and Jones Counties are often included too. She regularly takes continuing education classes to renew her Realtor’s license and to stay up to date with real estate trends. She puts the average selling price for a house in Hattiesburg at $125,000 and says she sells houses in a wide price range.

“The market is real active here. There are more people moving in than moving out and there are a lot moving up to larger homes,” she said. “This is a desirable place to live with lots of opportunities so there seems to be more buyers than sellers.”

Some of her marketing techniques for selling property include trying to maximize exposure, Internet advertising and networking with other agents.

“There are a lot of systems in place that help us,” Lambert added. “I’m very fortunate to have a real good licensed assistant who helps me and a student who picks up signs and makes deliveries.”

Lambert feels there’s now more paperwork and red tape than when she started in the business, but also says it’s easier to handle crisis with 20 years of experience under her belt. She is committed to providing excellent service with a personal touch and has a solid foundation of knowledge of the area and its people.

“Selling real estate is very demanding on time and emotions,” she said. “I work diligently to meet the needs of families relocating to the Hattiesburg area and within the area.”

Her advice to prospective buyers and sellers is to be as specific as possible with their Realtor about what they want.

“The more information you give me, the better I can help you find the home you want,” she said. “If you’re selling a home, get it as ready for showing as you can. It’s best to do any repairs because a potential buyer looks at repairs and thinks it will cost twice as much as it will.”

Active in community affairs, Lambert is a member of the Area Development Partnership and the Historic Hattiesburg Downtown Association. She is a past president of Friends of the Library and serves on the boards of the Hattiesburg Red Cross, Aldersgate Mission and Main Street United Methodist Church. She has two married daughters and one grandchild and enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading and inline skating when not working.

Contact MBJ contributing Lynn Lofton at mbj@msbusiness.com.

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