NAWRB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council brings you the story of NAWRB Certified Delegate Spokeswoman, Laura Dietz. With our Story Tree, we want to showcase the ups, downs, and in-betweens of our team’s careers and lives. Help us grow our tree by sending in your own leadership stories!
I would love to tell you years ago while sitting in my college classroom, I dreamt of becoming a real estate professional, but that would not be true. I could go with a resume of my life, but this would be a novel, so I will start with the day my real estate journey began.
January 17, 1994, 4:30 AM, a day etched in my memory forever. The Northridge earthquake claimed my home, knocking it off the foundation. Three days later, my husband of many years died. Reality set in like the jolt of the earthquake. I was now alone, my home destroyed, and the sole support of myself.
In my previous life, I enjoyed, in my spare time, working with several charities. Event planning, fundraising, and finding real estate to purchase was second nature for me. I decided I loved working with people, helping others, and venturing into a new industry would be stimulating and very rewarding. I set my mind on a career in real estate.
Upon obtaining my real estate license, I joined a national/international real estate company. That worked well for five years. Then it dawned on me that I was giving several thousand dollars a year to a broker that could be going into my pocket. I obtained my broker’s license and created Merlin Enterprises, named after my rescued Arabian horse. Throughout the next few years, Merlin Enterprises grew and specialized in residential, commercial, REO’s, and government contracts. I spent numerous hours servicing my clients as well as attending conferences, conventions, and networking. I created a name for myself and a following in the industry.
While attending an out-of-state conference, I was approached by a real estate auctioneer. He offered me the opportunity to add real estate auction services to my already booming real estate business. I jumped at the chance. Merlin Enterprises now offered California a new real estate auction company. My business was thriving, but after 13 scheduled auctions, my auctioneer developed a case of homesickness and announced he needed to go back to his home state. I enrolled myself at the American School of Auctioneering and, upon completion of the courses, became the first woman certified real estate auctioneer in California at that time. I soon decided to distinguish my real estate business from my auction business and created a women-owned business specializing in real estate. Summit Realty was born.
Summit Realty presently has four offices in Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. I am as passionate about real estate today as I was 26 years ago. Working with people to fulfill their dreams of homeownership, coupled with helping fellow agents by sharing my knowledge and experience plus continuing my education in an ever-changing industry, fills my days with gratitude and satisfaction. I would be remiss in not mentioning there are those days of frustration as well, but I still find time to go back to my roots and be hands-on involved with my charities, even serving on the board of directors of the Warrior Dog Foundation.