Following Her Own Star

Guest Editor Vernice Ross has conquered hurdles as a ‘master of real estate.’

September 17, 2014

Vernice Ross doesn’t have the biggest office or the highest sales numbers in her pricey San Diego market. But her passion for going the distance for her clients makes her a top performer for the legions of first-time buyers and military folks she has helped in her 25-year real estate career. “There is so much people don’t know,” explains Ross, who has been the star of her own show as the broker-owner at Ross & Ross Realty Inc. since 2005. “Besides explaining contracts and finances, I’m often teaching people the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.” As a busy solo practitioner, she concedes she’s worried about the rise of pocket listings—the subject of this month’s Commentary—and how they can limit first-time buyers’ ability to compete for homes.

We invited Ross to be our guest editor for this issue partly to learn how the -newly minted REALTOR® University graduate is putting her own deeper knowledge base to use. Her Master of Real Estate degree, she says, helps with her own professional reinvention. That’s the theme of our cover story, which examines how leaders in a number of fields have embraced change fearlessly. As for Ross’s commitment to her MRE: “It was tough and I questioned whether I could finish. But I’m glad I stuck it out. It’s given me confidence to get into newer areas like commercial.”

Ross’s ability to keep her eye on the bigger picture started during her childhood growing up on a dirt road in a mobile home in Butler, Alabama. (Upward mobility came when the family traded up to a double-wide.) After graduating from Jackson State University in Mississippi. Ross obtained her real estate license but also worked as a financial analyst for the nuclear power industry and as a loan officer with the U.S. Small Business Administration. After a stint as a Baskin-Robbins franchise owner, she decided that putting her full attention into real estate was the right move for her.

Ross has also dived into organized real estate. She is active with the Greater San Diego Association of REALTORS®, serves on California’s board, and joined an NAR committee this year. She says nothing beats the camaraderie and inspiration she finds at the REALTORS® Conference and Trade Expo. Ross will attend for the fifth time in November. Will she see you in New Orleans, too?

Wendy Cole

Wendy Cole is the former managing editor of REALTOR® Magazine.