By Don Bolding

Killeen Daily Herald

Jean Shine said that when she received a “beautiful” invitation to an awards dinner at the National Association of Realtors annual conference and expo in Las Vegas recently, she tried to find out what it was about and whether anybody else she knew was invited.

No, the central office said. We can’t tell you. Just please be there.

So she went and got called up to the stage. There she learned her Shine Team of Coldwell Banker United Realtors was No. 14 among the nation’s 1.3 million real estate firms in numbers of sales for 2006 with transactions totaling 585 homes — averaging about one every 13 hours.

The association recognized the top 20 and top 200 determined by the research firm REAL Trends in a contest sponsored by that firm, the Wall Street Journal and lore Magazine. The word “lore” stands for “lives of real estate.”

Three other Texas teams, from Dallas, San Antonio and Spring, made the top 20. The rest were from communities of all sizes throughout the nation.

“The last time they did this, several years ago, we were 35th,” Shine said.

“I remember when I started in real estate, I was put at a desk and told to answer the phone,” she said. “I sold one house that year. I was ready to quit and just do community work. But I went out and built a business based on professional excellence and caring about my customers.

“I was the first Realtor in the Fort Hood area to embrace the team concept, and my team has grown from three or four to about 20 members since the 1990s. Together with my management team, I carefully select each member. It is important that they be the best at their area of expertise, and we make sure when we’re interviewing that our team members are giving, caring people. The team includes military people so that we can understand military needs.

“We’re on a constant learning curve, and that’s what makes it exciting, “ she said. “I go to school all the time, and I teach now,” adding that she will be a presenter at a school for certified residential specialists in Hawaii later this month.

“Each person on our team is an expert,” she said. “It truly takes a team of experts, and we make it part of our job to educate clients so that they understand what they and we are doing.”

She said, “I’ve been working in real estate long enough that I’ve helped three generations of some local families. We frequently assist former military clients when they return for a second or third tour. We’ve helped find temporary lodging for pets, special programs for children, jobs for spouses, places to park boats and RV’s, and local pen pals for high school students. Team members love it here and want everyone else to experience the friendliness and opportunities afforded by this community.”

Event sponsors noted that residential real estate sales nationwide were down 20 percent in 2006, “the first ‘down’ year in 15 years or so.” Shine said Central Texas has felt the effects of the general slump, but to a far lesser extent.

And her methods seem to be working better than ever. The team logged 605 sales in 2007 and so far this year has 47 to its credit.

“Giving back to the community is extremely important,” she said. “My team and I spend hundreds of hours of our free time each year supporting Fort Hood and the communities that surround it. I always remember that ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’ and work hard to give back.”

Contact Don Bolding at or call (254) 501-7557

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