VIDEO: Midwest Regional Rookie of the Year on First-Year Success in a Challenging Market


Since jumping into real estate, Heather McColaugh has taken the industry by storm. After years of managing her career in pharmaceutical sales and caring for her three adopted children, McColaugh realized that something needed to change.

“I had absolutely no control over my day, and no bandwidth,” says McColaugh, the 2023 Midwest Regional Rookie of the Year winner in RISMedia’s second annual Real Estate Rookie of the Year award program—sponsored by industry education leader, Colibri Real Estate. “I felt like I needed to be more accessible to my kids. That was the biggest stressor, and that was what ultimately pushed me to do something different.”

Upon entering the industry as an agent for Loveland, Ohio-based BF Realty, McColaugh conquered her fears and dove headfirst into the new path ahead of her.

RISMedia’s Paige Brown, managing editor, social media, sat down with McColaugh at NAR NXT in November 2023 to discuss her first year in real estate, and how she found so much success amid a challenging landscape.

In this interview, McColaugh discusses:

00:19 How to get off to a successful start in your rookie year

01:29 Recent business challenges and how to overcome them

03:07 How to build relationships and establish trust 

05:15 Setting yourself apart from the competition

07:37 Secrets to staying motivated in real estate 

09:23 Final advice for rookie real estate agents





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