Fifty years ago, when Leesburg resident Edna Cross wanted to return to a career after having children, she thought real estate would be a good fit because she could work on the weekends when her husband was home to watch their kids.
She quickly realized real estate was not a “weekend job,” but she loved the ability to help people find a home.
“My whole goal in life is to help people. I love working with people. My business has grown over the years because I work with families, sometimes over generations,” Cross told the Times-Mirror.
When Cross's family moved to Loudoun County in 1984, they bought a farm located seven miles south of Leesburg.
As an agent with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services PenFed Realty, Cross says her business has grown thanks largely to strong recommendations and relationships.
“I am always honest and truthful and smile along the way through the process. This makes clients happy. It is so important to treat people like you want to be treated. Always treat people with respect,” she said.
Her most challenging clients are ones who are relocating to the area. One client, who had worked with Cross before they moved to South Carolina, was moving back to the area and needed to find a home quickly. Since Cross had developed a good relationship with them, she was able to find the perfect home without the wife even looking at it before they moved.
“Sometimes when you have a strong enough relationship they can trust your instinct,” she said.
Part of developing good relationships is to interview clients and get a feel for what is important in a home, she said.
“I always try to interview them first. It is also important to qualify people [for financing] before we get in the car to look at homes,” she said.
Cross has received many honors over decades of helping people find a home, but her most “cherished award” was when she received DAAR Realtor of the Year in 2009.
“My reward is that I love the people I work with because they are family to me, especially my broker Sue Puleo who always makes me smile and keeps me plugging forward one deal at a time,” she said.
Cross said there have been many changes in the real estate business over the years, and she has made adjustments and learned a lot along the way.
“You have to be patient. It has been a roller coaster through life,” Cross said.