When Rhonda Plake retired from the military after 29 years of service, it became clear it was time to follow her passion for real estate. “I always liked looking at houses, and I’ve spent my life in service to others, so it was a natural fit,” she says. “My son suggested I study for my real estate license and I decided to go for it.” She started her work as a Realtor in 2014, and is now the Broker/Owner of NextHome HeartLand Realty where she leads a team of four agents. Rhonda lives in Stillwater and primarily serves the area between Stillwater and Tulsa, where she has a branch office. She and her agents also cover the area toward Oklahoma City. In the five years she’s been a Realtor, she’s earned her Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI) Certification, as well as her Residential Real Estate Council Designation (RRC, formerly CRS), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), and Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Designations. She has also earned the Certified Real Estate Broker Manager (CRB) Designation, which is the most prestigious and respected designation available. “I am aware that, compared to many brokers, I am still new to real estate. Therefore, I felt earning the CRB designation would help give me credibility in the eyes of others. It was a great decision which has helped me in my real estate management, leadership, and knowledge.” Rhonda has earned production awards each year since 2015, including 2019 when she received the “Presidents Circle Award” for the third year in a row at the NextHome Annual Conference. Through her affiliation with NextHome, Rhonda has earned the Certified Instructor Designation through the National Association of Realtors and is certified to teach the Accredited Buyers Designation (ABR) Course. Additionally, her affiliation with NextHome has provided Rhonda the opportunity to participate in the T3Sixty Fellowship, a Masters level program which will help attendees take their business to the next level. According to the T3Sixty website, it was founded by Stefan Swanepoel, and has an unwavering commitment to the Residential Real Estate Brokerage Industry. Rhonda is sincerely grateful to be a franchise owner with NextHome. “The opportunities are endless and the leadership truly cares about us and our success,” she says.

An impressive 80% of her business comes from repeat and referral business. What keeps her clients coming back? “They tell me that they know I care about them and their outcomes, and not just about what’s best for me. I care about what’s best for them,” she explains. Rhonda takes the time to truly understand her clients so she can help them reach their goals. They appreciate her kindness and expertise, as well her fantastic organizational skills and drive. “My military background has helped me to be really driven,” she says. To stay in touch with clients, Rhonda stops by for a visit or to drop off a gift, calls, reaches out via social media, or gives their children a stuffed orange dog called “Luke,” who is NextHome’s official national mascot.

When it comes time to market listings, Rhonda starts with professional photographs to ensure that potential buyers see the home in its best light. “Quality pictures are everything,” she says with emphasis! Rhonda says pictures are what the customer sees first, and first impressions set the pace for the continued interest in the home. She then uses the broad marketing platform available to her through NextHome, so that the listing appears on hundreds of high traffic websites. Using the National Listing Distribution Platform provided by NextHome, she markets heavily on Facebook, Zillow, and other popular sites, and she also spreads the word through her broad sphere of influence.

Since becoming a Realtor in 2014, her number of units sold each year has steadily increased. In 2019, she closed 65 transactions, ranking number five in her area in units sold. The average price of the homes she sells is $180,000.

What’s Rhonda’s favorite part of the job? “I love it when a client walks into the right home for them. Their body language and expression completely changes. I can see their dreams of their future flashing before their eyes. It’s just so exciting!” she says. To give back to the community, she has served on the Stillwater Board of Realtors as a committee member of various committees. She is on the Professional Standards committee for the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, and the Stillwater Board of Realtors.  An animal lover, she is in the process of sponsoring Pete’s Pet Posse, which is Oklahoma State University’s pet therapy program.  “It’s a great way to get involved with the community, because around here it’s all about OSU, and it’s a great fit with our mascot Luke,” she says with a smile. In her cherished free time, she loves to travel and spend time with her family, and throw pottery. For the future, Rhonda plans to help start an organization supporting homeless veterans in her area. She’s also thrilled to announce that her daughter, Lindsey, is working on becoming a realtor and has applied to take her real estate exam. Once she is licensed, she’ll join Rhonda in her business. “My daughter is a lot like me as far as her motivation and drive, so I think we’ll do great things together!” Rhonda says. “I hope to leave a legacy of drive, motivation, and genuine compassion for others that my family can carry on for generations to come.”

To find out more about Rhonda Plake, you can contact her by cell at 405-385-2478 or by email at nhheartlandrealty@gmail.com. You can also check her out online at www.heartlandrealtyok.com or, https://www.facebook.com/plakesplaces/


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