Realtor of the Year: Jacki Murano

John Hatton presents the Realtor of the Year award to Jacki Murano. Photo provided

By Chris Mays, Vermont Country

Jacki Murano, owner of Southern Vermont Realty, loves meeting new people and helping them fulfill their home ownership dreams. 

“Most of my clients become really good friends,” she said. “You spend a lot of time together through these processes and really get to know your clients. During COVID, when we were selling by virtual tour, it was a bit less fun and enjoyable but the process is mostly back to normal now and the face-to-face part of things with my colleagues and clients is what I really enjoy.”

Murano was named 2022 Realtor of the Year by Southern Vermont Board of Realtors for “exemplifying the best attributes of being a Realtor, community involvement, business accomplishments and being an ambassador of the Realtor spirit.” The award came as a surprise to her.

“There are so many Realtors who give so much time to their communities serving on boards, volunteering, donating time behind the scenes, so being recognized by those peers throughout the region was pretty special…It has also given me some leadership and professional networking opportunities that have been invaluable.”

Jacki Murano

Currently, Murano serves as vice president/president elect of the board. She’s been traveling all around the state to meet with other leaders in the field.

Murano said the professional development that comes with the role has been “great” for her clients, office and agents. She described being grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and then bring that knowledge and experience back to share. 

Before branching out into real estate, Murano had been working as a paraprofessional and substitute teacher during the day then at the clubhouse at Timber Creek condos at night. She said she got to know Realtors who came in frequently to get keys for condo units. 

Mark Linton, a well known local Realtor at the time, had opened his own shop after decades of working for larger companies and asked Murano if she had ever considered getting her real estate license. That week, she signed up for a class. And within a few months, she was working for Linton.

“He had so much experience and taught me so much in those first few years,” Murano said. “He gave me a great base of knowledge.”

When Linton retired, Murano started working at Mount Snow Realty. She stayed for 14 years. 

“That was also a great experience and I probably would have been there still,” she said. “But between COVID and the change of ownership from Peak Resorts to Vail at Mount Snow resort, it was time to make a move.”

When COVID hit, Mount Snow closed. Mount Snow Realty’s office, inside the resort’s Grand Summit Hotel, was shut down. 

“Then real estate went wild,” Murano said. “I was working from home like everyone else and just couldn’t keep up with the volume of calls, emails and appointment requests.”

Murano said her husband had been “gently nudging” her to open her own brokerage, but the prospect seemed so daunting to her as she was so busy with clients. 

Out of the blue, Murano received a call from Melissa Ellis, owner of Rentals Only in Dover. 

“Rentals had tanked with all of the travel bans and real estate had taken off and she asked me, had I ever considered opening my own firm,” Murano said.

Within a few months, Southern Vermont Realty Group opened its doors in the building that shares space with Rentals Only.

“The rental agents all got licensed, Kelly Agrillo moved over with me from our previous firm and we basically went from a suggestion to a full fledged office of multiple agents in less than two months,” Murano said. “It was a whirlwind.”

Murano credited her family and real estate agents for supporting the effort. She’s the sole proprietor of SVRG but the group works hand in hand with Rentals Only to offer rental and sales services to our clients.

For those looking to join the field, Murano said she can’t stress enough the value of having a good mentor. 

“Interview potential brokerages, meet the people in the firm and see what kind of structure and support they offer,” she said. “Not all offices are right for all agents. Find your people so that you love your career and going to work.”

In the last two years, Murano has trained seven new agents. That’s one of the parts she loves most about her job as principal broker. 

Working in real estate can be stressful at times, Murano said.

“Having colleagues that are ready, willing and able to help you can make all the difference in a new agent’s level of success,” she said, recounting how she experienced that with her first few years with Linton. “And it is something I really value in my own firm.” 

Regarding the surge of sales after the pandemic, Murano said, “the top of the market has definitely come and gone but that doesn’t mean it’s a buyer’s market yet. Inventory is still very low, values are still very strong but we are looking forward to the spring buying season with our primary home buyers as new listings come on the market.”

Murano advised potential home buyers to start preparing, as there will be some more room for them in the market in the next few months.

Chris Mays lives in West Dover and has been writing for the Brattleboro Reformer for five years. He spends his free time playing guitar, biking, snowboarding and hanging out with his Yorkie.

Vermont Country magazine

Vermont Country has a hyperlocal focus on the Green Mountain lifestyle, its personalities, events, attractions and culture. The magazine appears six times a year, designed to complement the state and four-season living. VtCo magazine is a Southern Vermont publication of Vermont News & Media.

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