RISMedia's Real Estate Magazine

FEB 2018

Real Estate magazine is the industry's leading source for real estate news and information since 1980. Published monthly by RISMedia, Real Estate magazine offers timely and relevant real estate news to the industry's top brokers and agents.

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by Keith Loria {Power Broker Perspectives} 44 February 2018 RISMedia's REAL ESTATE Lola Audu Moving the Industry Forward Owner Audu Real Estate With a background in the hard sciences such as bi- ology and chemistry, Lola Audu came to the U.S. from Nigeria as a student before becoming a U.S. citizen in 1999. She was drawn to the real estate business thanks to an en- trepreneurial spirit learned from her parents and a fas- cination with how the hous- ing market worked in this country. "In many parts of the world, you can't own land, and if you do, you buy it in cash," she explains. "The process of leveraging money to enable the sale of a hous- ing asset was a new one to me in many ways, but one that I found fascinating." Audu became a REAL- TOR® in 1995 and opened Audu Real Estate in 1999, serving the West Michigan real estate community for 22 years. In 2017, the West Michi- gan market was "extraordi- narily active," with bidding wars on most properties, though it slowed to normal levels by the end of the year. "The low inventory also impacted prices, with the average sales price boom- ing," says Audu. "There's been a lot of rethinking and retooling and investment in trying to bring new housing online." Over her career, she served as the first minority president in the 117-year history of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS®, has been involved in the National Association of RE- ALTORS® and the Women's Council of REALTORS®, and regularly trains on so- cial media and blogging. "The arena I feel I have been called to is rethinking our functions about our in- dustry and where we need to go," she says. "For me, this started in earnest dur- ing the real estate crisis when we saw our industry get hit hard." In 2006, Audu became involved in the online lob- bying community to help agents learn to appreci- ate technology and the Facebook platform, and was also a pivotal voice in helping others learn how to deal with short sales and surviving during that time. This propelled her into the world of education, which led to her role in writing and teaching the course- work in social media and blogging that was certified for Continuing Education in the state of Michigan in 2007. Having grown up in West Africa, Audu is very inter- ested in cultural training, knowing that it's important to serve people whose cul- tural context is different from the agent and broker profile that exists today. "I had a very unusual VITALS: Audu Real Estate Years in business: 18 Size: 1 office with a small team of agents Region served: Greater Grand Rapids Metropolis www.audurealestate.com Audu served as the first minority president of the Grand Rapids Association of REALTORS®.

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