Going the Extra Mile
Joy Daniels is the daughter of an Army chaplain and so, as many other military families did, she moved frequently while growing up. Looking back, she now thinks that “perhaps all of those moves are part of the reason I chose real estate,” she said.
Today, Daniels is a successful real estate broker. Since 2010, she and Chris, her husband of 33 years, have owned and run the Joy Daniels Real Estate Group together. All those different childhood homes may well have paved the way for her current success.
Early in her career, Daniels worked for a law firm that specialized in creating living opportunities through historical-building rehab and so, as she said, “homes have always been a big part of my life.”
When the law firm where she was employed closed its doors, “Chris had a home-building company … and he convinced me to get my license so I could sell his homes,” she said. “I was licensed in 1988 and became a fulltime realtor in 1992.”
Daniels, proud grandmother of one, is happy to have her two adult stepchildren living nearby, and Chris’s and her youngest child living not too far away in Alexandria, Virginia.
It was in 2008, when her son, whom she had homeschooled for 13 years while selling homes, left for college that she realized there was now a void in her life.
“Chris noticed and began suggesting I think about doing something else in real estate,” Daniels recalled. “I ignored him for quite some time, but eventually he started to make sense.”
After much research and study, they opened the Joy Daniels Real Estate Group in April 2010 with just five employees. In the nine years since then, “We have 38 income-producing agents and 20 support staff,” Daniels said. “Our company’s annual volume for 2018 was $208,500 million with over 907 transactions.”
Managing her many roles wasn’t always easy, something that most women can relate to.
“It was hard juggling my role as a businesswoman while simultaneously home schooling my son, honoring my husband, plus keeping up with my community involvement,” she said. “Starting a real estate company seemed like an overwhelming life situation.”
Yet she knew from experience that hard work and a deep passion for that work would lead her to success.
Daniels states that 65 percent of real estate agents are women, “yet most of the leadership in this industry consists of men.”
It’s an area in which she hopes to see some real change.
“I would like to see more women in leadership,” she said. “As a woman, I feel it is important for women to build connections that will make a difference.”
From day one, Daniels, along with another female real estate professional, worked to “create a ‘culture of kindness’ with anyone we deal with,” she said.
Helping clients realize their dreams gives Daniels her “greatest satisfaction,” she said.
But achieving those successes doesn’t just happen. It takes planning and commitment.
“I keep a daily ‘to do’ list, something I started doing a long time ago,” she said. “I schedule every activity in a database and print out a schedule each morning and follow it as closely as I can every single day.”
It isn’t surprising that for Daniels, a good day is when she can cross off all of the items on her daily ‘to do’ list. A not-so-good day is when she feels a client has been disappointed with the process.
“Not all news is good news,” she said. “At times my clients need to vent … and I am often their sounding board … these times can be emotionally difficult.”
The JDREG company is made up of many talented individuals whose specialized skills are strongly emphasized, something that Daniels said is one of the many unique trademarks of the company.
“We have agents who specialize; we have buyer specialists and seller specialists … our business model fosters cooperation rather than competition among the agents on our team, and that boosts overall productivity,” she said.
The focus of the entire team, from the agents to her personal assistants to everyone in between, is on the concept of going the extra mile and of surrounding each other, and their clients, with a positive mental attitude.
Daniels and her team are passionate about giving back to their community. They have participated in benefits for the American Cancer Society and the American Heart Association, as well as supporting school programs and animal-care organizations.
She and her husband are personally active members of their home church, the Harrisburg campus of LCBC, where they participate in work mission projects and support the youth group in fundraising efforts.
Helping other women write their own success stories is vitally important to Daniels as well.
“I strive to support the personal and professional growth of women around me, both through my real estate business and in my involvement in the community,” she said.
So, as she has often been asked, what exactly is her secret to success?
“The answer is amazing customer service and my commitment to impacting the community through ethical business practices,” Daniels said. “I strive to leave a legacy behind of hard work, commitment to our clientele, and ethical entrepreneurship.”
Daniels has learned that “good to great happens in little pieces, when you aren’t expecting it,” she said. “Simply, excellence comes through the long-term efforts of always going the extra mile, inch by inch. The little things are really what matter the most.
“I have found it is not the big decision or the fancy new trend of the day, but rather it is the simple systems and rote activities done every single day that will propel you to the top,” stated Daniels. “I have been able to do this with a team of caring people who have chosen to do the same.”