At HIG, we are always looking for ways to show how much we appreciate our clients’ support. So, we started a blog series that puts the spotlight on some of their local businesses, many of which might be right in your backyard.

Today, we’re excited to share the second spotlight in this series—an interview with real estate industry expert Debby Ladd. Over the past 40 years, Debby has represented both buyers and sellers in the high-end real estate market along the south coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. While she is currently an associate broker at Lila Delman Compass, a luxury real estate brokerage in the Rhode Island area, Debby ran her own real estate business, Country and Coastal Properties, for more than 30 years.

Debby’s connection to the area goes well beyond business. She grew up in Westport, Massachusetts, and moved to Little Compton, Rhode Island, after getting married. Initially, she worked in early childhood education, which inspired her to open Codimonk Nursery School. Debby also became an active participant in her community, joining the Westport School Committee and becoming chairman of the Finance Committee of the United Congregational Church. Today, she is a member of Acoaxet Club, Spindle Rock Club, Sakonnet Golf Club, and Sakonnet Point Club.

Debby has been an HIG personal and business insurance client for over 10 years and has referred many of her real estate clients to us as well, so we were thrilled to get the opportunity to spend some time with her. During our conversation, Debby shared four secrets to her success that we think are excellent advice for business professionals in any industry.

Debby’s four secrets to achieving success as a broker in the high-end real estate market:

1. Happy client, happy broker.

While providing superb client service is essential to success in any industry, there may be no other field where it’s quite as important as it is in the real estate biz. Debby is dedicated to being there for her homebuyers and sellers throughout the entire process, providing them with constant attentiveness and using her local knowledge and experience to guide them to the home that’s right for them.

At the end of the real estate process, I know that I’ve done my job well if the buyer and the seller, regardless of which one is my client, are both delighted with the experience. I strive for everyone involved to be happy about the real estate decision they’ve made.Debby Ladd
2. Always be authentic.

An honest answer is always the best one, even if it may not be what the client wants to hear in the moment. Over the course of her career, it has been Debby’s reputation for authenticity that has enabled her to build trusting and long-lasting relationships with her clients.

Most clients come into the homebuying process with a specific idea of what they’re looking for in a house, but sometimes the parameters they’ve set are simply not obtainable. I am not one to spin my wheels, so I will always be direct in these situations. I may tell a client I can show them options that will closely align with what they’re looking for, but we may not find the home that they picture in their head. Many times, a client will end up purchasing a home that’s fairly different from what they originally envisioned, and yet they are elated with it.Debby Ladd
3. Practice flexibility, adaptability, and accessibility.

Technology is playing an increasingly important role in the real estate process. From setting up virtual home tours to responding to communications via text and using DocuSign to enable e-signatures on contracts, Debby incorporates the latest tech into aspects of her business as a way to make things simpler for her clients. While many clients enjoy the convenience and ease of doing things the modern way, Debby knows that there are still many other clients who prefer doing things in a more traditional manner.

Most people only buy and sell a few homes throughout their lives. It’s a huge investment, and I always say that the client should feel it’s right in their gut before moving forward. While some people might be comfortable with buying a home that they’ve never physically seen in person, others may not be, which is perfectly acceptable. I let my clients drive how they want to approach the process, and I make myself available to them whether they want to meet face-to-face, talk things over on the phone, or go back and forth over email or some other mode of communication.Debby Ladd
4. Don’t wait for the opportunity, make the opportunity.

Debby’s first job out of college was as a physical education teacher, a position she wanted to keep when she and her husband started having kids. So, she went looking for a childcare option. The only problem was there were zero preschools in her area. What did Debby do? Probably not what most parents would have done! She left her teaching job and opened a daycare, which she ended up running for 12 years. And while she loved every minute of owning this business, she also did not rest on her laurels during those years. Debby continued to invest in herself, getting her real estate broker’s license. In 1980, she took a chance on a whole new industry.

When I started working in real estate, I had to get my foot in the door any way possible. I didn’t much care about the price of the house I was selling. In fact, if I could be the broker for both the cheapest house in town and the most expensive, those were great experiences that I needed to get under my belt. I also didn’t limit myself to one location or a specific niche in the industry. While I now work almost exclusively in the high-end marketplace, and feel very fortunate to be able to do so, it’s always a privilege to help out any person at any stage of the process.Debby Ladd

HIG welcomes collaborations with local business professionals like Debby Ladd.

Debby has not only been a HIG client for over a decade, but she’s also referred many of her own clientele to us for help with their high-value home insurance needs.

Everyone on the HIG team is very good at what they do. From their expertise to their timeliness and professionalism, they have been so easy to work with. Most importantly, they share my commitment to taking great care of our clients.Debby Ladd

If you are a real estate professional, an estate planner, a private client banker, or an advisor to successful families and individuals, HIG welcomes the opportunity to get to know you better. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with one of our Private Client Group specialists today.

We’d like to thank Debby Ladd for sharing her secrets of success with us. If you are seeking a real estate broker with unparalleled knowledge of the local area and who always prioritizes her clients’ needs, then we encourage you to contact Debby at (401) 542-1675 or send her an email.

We look forward to putting the spotlight on another client soon. Stay tuned to our blog and our social pages like Facebook and Instagram, so you won’t miss the next installment of our signature “Straight Talk” with a local business professional.