ABOUT | LONG VERSION
It was the year 1988 when mortgage interest rates were in the high-teens (yes, "high teens!"), Seanna Smallwood, the founder of the ever-so-original Real Estate 1 Stop Shop, began her journey into the mortgage business. Her career led her down the proverbial “yellow-brick road” to a place in time where she stayed the course on her mission to serve every homeowner, buyer, or seller in her marketplace.
At age sixteen, Seanna worked under the Cooperative Vocational Education Program at her local high school. She waited tables at the local Shoney’s® during mid-mornings and worked in the evening as a part-time telemarketer in the sales department for the mortgage company. After graduation, she was promoted to Administrative Assistant for the CEO, where she learned the ins and outs of mortgage brokerage licensing, accounting, payroll, A/R, A/P, administration, marketing, and sales – just to name a few hats.
While juggling all of this, Seanna enrolled in the College of Southern Maryland and took on a heavy course-load in marketing, business administration, business law, and accounting. As her old boss used to tell her, “Seanna, you’re a phenomenon for the word [exceptional].” ~ Lou Grasso.
It wasn't long before she was promoted to the Telemarketing Department Manager, where she became fully responsible for managing the databases and wrote the scripts that successfully closed mortgage refinances when the interest rates were a whopping 12%!
“Homeowners back in 1989 were happy to refinance their current mortgage for a rate and term refinance when they were paying the rates of the preceding recession of 18%! Are you kidding me? These folks treated me like an I was a part of their families, and I was just a kid back then. I didn't understand mortgages, home-ownership, real estate, or anything beyond aerosol hairspray. But this was a no-brainer. Helping the people of our community put a smile on their faces and I believe that truly set the tone for my career path. It was the joy in my heart. Refinancing their mortgages was literally allowing these people to breathe again - it was my pleasure to assist." ~ Seanna Smallwood
Seanna was off and running at age 17 with big dreams in the small business community of Southern Maryland. A few years later, the owner of the mortgage company sold to another mortgage broker. The new owner joint-ventured with a lawyer in Rockville, Maryland, that also owned a small title company. Seanna switched roles to become a licensed settlement officer and joined several industry associations, such as MMBBA, NMBA, MLTA, and VLTA, where she quickly became the Ambassador for new members, and spent the next decade or two, networking her little heart out in the field.
However, that trying commute became tiring and the income truly didn’t cover the expenses for the budget of the young, ambitious girl. Her next strategic move was taking a position with a local, Southern Maryland title company, Jarboe Title, Inc. After starting a family at age twenty-six, and testing various curricula in college, Seanna was undecided as to what she wanted to do with her life. Keenly aware that marketing was a God-given gift, as well as, writing and marketing communications, she faced the circling conundrum of affordable living on a small family budget. On a leap of faith, when her son was just one year old, Seanna passed the Maryland Real Estate Pre-licensing course. In April of 2001, Seanna was officially a licensed REALTOR and joined the Century 21® System in Waldorf, Maryland.
This milestone in her career is where the concept of the “Real Estate 1 Stop Shop” was born. What began with an idea, the vision of a young woman, a tiny little spark of ambition, ultimately created the nuts and bolts of today's enhanced, highly sophisticated Real Estate 1 Stop Shop. Ironically, she took the assignment of writing a Business and Marketing Plan for a business development course with which she was enrolled, and turned it into an opportunity to dream big and complete the assignment for her own small business. With no prior web design experience, Seanna created her original masterpiece – www.RealEstate1StopShop.com.
The website was the first of its kind - where a real estate agent provided mortgage calculators and tools, a glossary of terms for the industry, a complete step-by-step guide for buying and selling real estate for consumers, while simultaneously offering local businesses the opportunity to piggy-back on the efforts in the mutual target market. This created a go-to resource for anyone looking to buy, sell, finance, renovate, or maintain real estate - offering tremendous value to the consumer. In the year 2001, the internet had only been in existence for a few years, so this idea was truly unprecedented! The program gained a lot of attention from residences and businesses, alike.
However, because there were so many people not tech-savvy during the early part of the millennium, getting business owners to provide information necessary to complete the website was a challenge. To overcome this challenge, Seanna started a local newspaper entitled, “The Real Estate 1 Stop Shop.” Local businesses were allowed to market their services in her very own full-size and full-color newspaper. Sadly, after a small hiccup in the contractual agreements with those businesses, the newspaper was taken off the press.
... Fast-forward to today, the evolution of the Real Estate 1 Stop grew with each year of advanced technology capitalizing on a BRAND NEW INDUSTRY that is, "VOICE SEARCH OPTIMIZATION" (TM) and Seanna never lost sight of her original dream, her original purpose, and mission for the business, and that is to: "Simplify the process of buying, selling, and maintaining real estate...Real estate has never been so easy!” ~
Through innovation and visionary thinking, we've moved beyond the web to Voice Artificial Intelligence. We've recently secured an IT Team to build our skill and replica for mobile applications. Our unique skill allows end-users to seek information and obtain the services of our clients for over 300 categories to include, all things real estate, plus tourism markets, and tourist entertainment. We program our voice conversation to cross-sell your services, and then promote the responses and utterances to capture interest and close more sales, (*see Resume Summary).
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