Leslie Lerner, a fourth-generation Houstonian, entered the residential real estate industry in 1993 with the goal of providing consumers loyalty, honesty and a knowledgeable experience when buying or selling real estate. This year, she celebrates her 30th year in the industry and the 10th year as the broker/owner of Leslie Lerner Properties.
Ten years ago, after noticing technology was changing the way buyers and sellers approached the real estate process, Lerner combined her love of education, customer service and sales to open Leslie Lerner Properties, Houston’s first full-service, flat fee listing and rebated commission brokerage. “In 2013, technology was expanding, and buyers and sellers were beginning to utilize a vast amount of online data to purchase and sell homes. To stay one step ahead, I saw an opportunity to monetize that knowledge base, while providing the level of expertise necessary to guide informed decision-making and negotiation, “Lerner says. She went on to say, “Technology will never replace the relationship aspect that is so important in this industry.”
Lerner’s business model has been extremely successful. Her most difficult obstacle has been educating the consumer to know flat fee listings and rebated commissions don’t always mean less service. Many reduced commission companies are not as client-centric as Leslie Lerner Properties. Her clients often characterize her as one of the hardest working and most knowledgeable professionals they have worked with.
Lerner originally set out to help educate the young minds of Texas. “I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with an education degree,” she says. “I have always prided myself on being an educator, rather than a salesperson. I educate buyers and sellers to make good decisions.”
Lerner’s long and prosperous career has brought its fair share of recognition. A highlight of her career is being appointed to the Texas Real Estate Commission by Gov. Greg Abbott. “I take this position very seriously. I am dedicated to listening to stakeholders and examining Texas real estate practices so we can make sure the real estate profession remains valuable to the consumer,” she says. In addition to TREC, Lerner makes a point of volunteering and giving back to her community.