Jill Leberknight was born and raised in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, but she had bigger plans — her heart was set on Broadway. Jill became a trained actress and taught acting for many years at distinguished schools until she came to a career crossroads to “do something different.” Her husband, Damon Brown, suggested real estate and ever the gamer, she gave it a go. To her great surprise, it fit her theater acumen perfectly.
“Any good theater person knows how to handle everything – front of house, back of house, lights, programs, change scenes, clean dressing rooms — you name it. But we also know how to present to an audience,” said Leberknight. “To me, real estate is no different. You have to look at all aspects of the project. Practical, creative, interact with the public, clients, designers, vendors. When the lights go on and the curtain goes up, we know how to do the show.”
Leberknight was able to leverage her theater background into a superb real estate career where she started with Keller Williams, working there for 11 years, but then wanted “a brokerage change that would provide me with greater freedom and support for my growing business.”
She joined eXp in 2016, proudly becoming agent No. 761. Leberknight also valued eXp’s cloud campus where she could tap into her love of teaching and mentoring new agents and she also cited eXp’s business model, which offered the best options for both brokerage split and agent benefits.
Leberknight quickly excelled at eXp where she is a two-time ICON agent and she continues to be a sought-after teacher in eXp University’s classroom where she can share her love of the stage and of course, real estate.
“I call myself a real estate doula, which is similar to delivering a baby or planning,” said Leberknight. “I’m the person who guides people through this stressful process, safely navigating people to the other side in a healthy manner. It’s a weird life calling, but it’s in my blood now and is the framework in my world.”
Learn More About Jill Leberknight:
Years in the business: Since 2005
Main territory: Austin, Texas
Number of people on team: Lead licensed agent with a team that includes transaction managers, sales, marketing, and client concierge services.
Main focus: Community-focused referral-based business that serves everyone from first-time homebuyers and relocations to luxury listings and investment properties.
Gross sales and number of transactions in 2019: $10 million in sales on 24 transactions.
List your previous brokerage(s) in order and dates:
- eXp Realty (2016-current)
- Keller Williams (2005-2016)
When and why did you join eXp?
“Joining eXp is a two-part memory for me. I joined eXp Realty in November 2016 as agent No. 761 and No. 47 of the initial team to launch eXp in Texas. At the time I was looking for a brokerage change that would provide me with greater freedom and support for my growing business. I was also looking for opportunities to reach a larger audience as a real estate teacher. I love mentoring new agents and lifting up our profession through continuing education. So eXp’s cloud campus was especially appealing to me as a new outlet to collaborate and connect with real estate professionals across the country without ever having to leave my home and spend thousands of dollars on travel expenses. eXp’s business model offered the best options for both brokerage split and agent benefits but in reality, the most influential decision at the time was that my real estate tribe had made the move to eXp and there was value in our continued collaboration.
“The second and most powerful memory of my early days at eXp is attending my first Shareholders event. It was only the third eXp Realty Shareholder event, held in Bellingham, Washington — the founding city of the company. There were just a little over 400 attendees at this company-wide event. I came mostly out of duty to be an educated participant in my new company but in reality, I met the soul and spirit of my new company that trip and left a profoundly changed person.
“April 2017 was the day that I realized that I had not only made a logical business transition but I had unintentionally stepped into an industry shifting movement. And I was humbled and excited and inspired! When you practice real estate for more than a decade it’s easy to get stuck in a rut of routine. So to truly discover inspiration is one of the most precious blessings in business and so I was ready for the discoveries ahead.”
What makes eXp special to you?
“Without a doubt the cloud campus. Some might say it is the stock or the revenue share but the cloud campus and the simple ability to assemble virtually anytime and anywhere makes eXp special and unique to me.
“I’ll be honest and say it was a hard transition for this social gal who has spent a lifetime teaching and performing in front of a live audience but adapting to eXp’s virtual platform has been the single greatest personal and professional evolution for me. We didn’t lose a beat when the pandemic hit. Our classes, our meetings, or client consults and presentations, our conferences, and our CULTURE didn’t stop!”
What is one thing about eXp you didn’t realize?
“That you could feel more connected to a community without seeing each other in person. That a virtual world could lead to more opportunities to build life-changing relationships and authentic collaborations.”
Is there one especially satisfying real estate story you can share?
“I get to be witness to people’s stories. I don’t sell homes. I help move people’s lives, I help close chapters and I help start chapters. I’m so grateful to be a witness to this.
Watch this video of Jill explaining her role as “witness” to people’s lives or click the video below.
Best tip to share with other agents:
I always teach the new agents I mentor three things:
1. Always be you! Authenticity is everything in real estate.
2. Be an active participant. Get connected, stay involved, reach out and don’t isolate.
3. Serve your community. Give without expectation and it will provide you with a meaningful resource of opportunities.
10 Fun Things About Jill Leberknight
If you could add a tattoo, what would it be?
No more tattoos allowed.
One trait that has led to your success?
Who is a person you most admire?
Anna Deavere Smith
Song you never tire of?
“Tomorrow” from the musical “Annie” (Jill’s first musical)
What is your favorite vacation destination?
Anyplace that has mountains and babbling brooks.
What is your greatest accomplishment?
Being a schoolteacher. The greatest thing I did was contribute to the leaders of tomorrow. To educate and inspire leaders of tomorrow.
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
As a girl of the 70’s I am a huge Donny and Marie fan. Just ask eXp Power Girls about our 2018 EXPCON trip to see them in Vegas. Donny sang to me during the show and surprised me with a meet and greet after the show.
Little known fact about yourself?
I am a classically trained actor/singer/dancer. I performed on the Emmy Award-winning PBS children’s show “The Biscuit Brothers” for 8 years. The show was narrated by Willie Nelson and directed by my husband Damon Brown who is a filmmaker, playwright, and performer.
Also, I was a high school drama teacher who taught at private boarding schools, most notably Foxcroft School for girls outside of Washington, DC. I thought I was going to be a lifelong teacher and inspire the next generation of artists.
Pennsylvania potato chips. Specifically, Middleswarth Potato Chips.
Your epitaph will say:
In all that she did she worked to serve others and leave this world a better place.
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