Female Founders: Diane Turton
The next installment of the Female Founders series on the Union Street Media YouTube channel features Diane Turton, Founder of Diane Turton, Realtors. A family-owned company since its start in 1985, Diane Turton, Realtors specializes in residential and commercial real estate on New Jersey’s shore, and has been consistently voted the Best of the Best Real Estate Agency in Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Click the video above to watch the full interview with Diane, who has led the company since day one.
Turton’s story is truly awe inspiring. She struggled through the early years of her career as a young mother with nothing to her name, barely able to feed her family. Decades later, she had grown her namesake business, established a network of influential business people, leaders, and celebrities, and was well known in New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia.
Turton smiles as she recalls her early marketing tactics, like going door to door and paging herself on loudspeakers at the mall. No stranger to fame and always willing to seize the moment, her favorite story is how she made headlines after Hurricane Sandy caused one of her signs to wash up on a small beach in France. Turton couldn’t believe the news and loved the free press saying, “it increases your visibility, branding, and marketing,” which is always good for business.
Early on, Turton was intrigued by what real estate had to offer. She loved working with all different personalities, and, not wanting to sit at a desk all day, thought of real estate as more of a game than work. She spent twenty years as a successful real estate agent before deciding it was time to open her own real estate company.
She credits word-of-mouth for how she made a name for herself. “I just had this vision if you treated everybody right, they would give your name to somebody else,” says Turton, adding “and that’s what happened.” But her creativity and eagerness to take risks, at first out of necessity, were also huge factors. She’d hold garage sales, put up for sale signs in front of any house she could, and hold house parties with 400 guests, all so she could ask the people she’d meet, “do you know anybody who wants to buy or sell a house”? Her resourcefulness, likability, and perseverance still drive her success today, as does treating everyone as if they’re her most important customer, because to her, they really are.
Turton remains surprised by her success today, growing from a single, small office to 16 offices and hundreds of agents. Turton describes her business as being, “about who you know, and how you treat people”. Creating positive customer relationships and hiring agents who will listen to and satisfy those customers’ needs are most important to her.
Turton says, “it’s all about personal touches,” and demonstrating that “people know you like to care about them”. Turton attributes success to creating, “an experience,” for clients, including, but not limited to online. Building personal relationships and having conversations to build a positive experience are the ultimate goal.
Turton embraces her role as a female founder, believing in her natural tendency to, “keep in touch with clients more,” to form relationships. Maintaining contact with clients and having a hands on approach is something she prioritizes and coaches her team on to ensure their future success.
Turton is also a big believer in the power of goal setting. She has ledgers dating all the way back to 1975 of addresses, with notes indicating what happened and highlighting accomplishments, and that keeps her motivated and focused on what’s next.
“I am a huge goal person. I know what I want to go after and once I reach that, I go to the next goal.”
— Diane Turton
Hard work is equally as important as treating people with kindness, setting stretch goals, and self motivation. Turton attributes the rapid growth of her company to her work ethic and her ability to surround herself with a talented team who compliments each other’s strengths. Going from handling everything herself, whenever and wherever she needed to – she once met a client on the side of the parkway to get paperwork signed – to having all sorts of teams within the company focused on different things was a game changer. And she still works harder than ever, literally around the clock, to ensure her agents and clients have what they need. That’s what she loves.
“Everyday is different, and that’s what I like about real estate.”
— Diane Turton
When asked what advice she’d give to her younger self, Turton says, “to follow your dreams,” and, “don’t take no for an answer.” Most of the companies with whom she interviewed early on wanted her to answer the phones. She declined three job offers to be a receptionist in order to pursue her goal of becoming a real estate agent, and she stayed in that role for 20 years before starting her own brokerage. Now she regularly mentors others, telling them, “if you have a passion, and you love what you do,” then do it. “Don’t let others tell you, you can’t. Believe in yourself and you will succeed.”
Learn more about Diane Turton and Diane Turton, Realtors on their website: https://www.dianeturton.com/