1st TIME HOME-BUYERS
REAL ESTATE CONSULTATION
DOING IT FOR HERSELF IN THE TRENTON REAL ESTATE WORLD (JEFF EDELSTEIN COLUMN) BY JEFF EDELSTEIN
At first, Carlene Herring thought her family was like “The Cosby Show.” Herself, her two brothers, mom and dad. This was an anomaly to her eyes.
“Growing up in Trenton, going to school in Trenton, you hardly ever saw a full family,” she said.
But then when she was about 10 years old, her parents split up, and despite her mom taking every job she could get her hands on, it was tough to get by.
“It was just us and my mom, and yes, every couple of weeks we were getting handouts, food stamps, the whole nine yards,” she said.
Church was a very important aspect to Herring’s lives – “we lived there,” Carlene noted – and so was the idea of hard work and determination to get by. As a result, Herring got a job at CVS, where she and her co-workers would hold competitions to see who could upsell the most at the register.
“I won a lot,” she said. “Chapstick, tissues, sunscreen. Not that easy selling sunscreen to African-Americans!”
Herring was clearly skilled in sales, and figured if she could sell chapstick, why not … real estate.
Took her five times to get her license, but she got it at age 23. Spent the last six years working as an agent. But she wanted more. She wanted her own real estate brokerage firm. So she took the broker’s test. Not an easy thing to do. Few agents decide to become brokers, fewer still decide to do it before they turn 30.
She passed. And opened up Radiance Realty on East State in Trenton, right across from City Hall. To say Herring is excited about her future is a gross understatement. This is a young woman with big plans.
“I could have 100 people in my face telling me I can’t do this,” she said. “Sure, I want to hire agents under me and grow my business, but it’s more than that. I want to show people that if I can do it, you can do it. I want to show kids in Trenton to take risks and not to doubt themselves. There are so many smart people out here, but they have fears and doubts and it pushes their goals and dreams further and further away. You have to trust in yourself, trust in your dream. I did. And look at me now.”
Her mom is very proud of her – as well as her brothers, one of whom is a truck driver, the other owns a HVAC business.
But Herring realizes things could’ve been different. She realizes things could have gone south. She realizes poor decisions could have been made. “It’s easy to fall into those traps. I want to inspire others. I want people to drive past my establishment and say, ‘I know that girl’ and say ‘if she can do it, I can do it.’”
So yes. Rentals, home ownership, office space, you name it, Herring handles it.
And she can’t wait to do more.
“All I want to do is inspire,” she said. “Tell people to be positive. That’s how you get results. Being negative, you’ll never get to where you want to be. Set goals. And just because something doesn’t work the first time, don’t change the goal, change the formula. Don’t give up the dream. You’ll have to reroute like a GPS, but don’t give up. So yes. Of course I want to make money, but more than that I want to educate. I want people to take my formula, tweak it, and make it their own.”