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In China, there is a species of bamboo that takes five years to break ground. In year 1, the seed is planted and it germinates — yet above the surface, we see nothing. The same story unfolds in years 2, 3, and 4. And then, finally, in year 5, movement stirs. The bamboo breaks the ground and grows at an astonishing rate — up to 90 feet in a month.

Life works in a similar fashion. As we sow seeds, care for them, water them, and nurture them, the results may not flourish immediately. Yet, good work is still being done below the surface, and when the time is ripe, our dreams are ready to rush into life at an extraordinary pace.

Over the past three years, Alexes Haggins, a REALTOR® with Keller Williams Capital Properties, has witnessed this process unfold in her own life. In her first three years in the business, she produced precisely zero dollars in sales. She began to doubt herself, but her team leader encouraged her.

“One day, I was at the office and my team leader was there, and we were talking. I was telling him how I was doubting myself. He gave me a proverb that said something like, ‘While you’re not getting transactions, your roots are growing underneath and getting strong. And once you sprout, you’re going to grow past everybody else.’ That stuck with me and motivated me. And that’s what happened. I sprouted.”

Overcoming Obstacles on the Road to Real Estate

Before becoming a real estate agent, Alexes spent over a decade working in mental health. She spent 10 years at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and then transitioned to work for a mental health organization supporting young adults. During this time, Alexes went through an ugly divorce.

“When the divorce was finalized, I became a single mom, and my ex-husband did not provide any financial help or support. It was a really difficult time for me. It changed everything,” Alexes reflects humbly.

With four children at home — one of whom is autistic — Alexes needed a job that could provide financial wealth and flexibility. Her brother suggested she take a look at real estate. When Alexes showed interest, he introduced her to her future mentor, Eboneese Thompson.

Alexes took her rent money, signed up for real estate classes, and began her journey. She shadowed Eboneese and began to understand the business at a deeper level.

Growing Her Roots

Alexes was licensed in January 2018 but didn’t close a single deal in 2018, 2019, or 2020. Most agents would have given up, but not Alexes.

“I went through every emotion. I was second-guessing myself. I didn’t think I had it in me to be successful,” she reflects. “I was really trying to figure out what was going on. But I never gave up. I worked too hard for my license, so I continued to go to training, shadow Eboneese, and network.”

In January 2021, Alexes closed her first deal. “And when I got my very first deal, it went from there. My volume went from zero to $7 million in a year. It was a domino effect.”

Growing Tall

Alexes is hoping to leverage her success in 2022 to take her business to the next level. She’s also in the process of completing a project that is near and dear to her heart. “I was able to take my commission to not only create financial freedom for myself, but also open up another business, which I always desired to do,” she explains. “My father owned a store in D.C. for 40-plus years. He changed the name to ‘Flowers by Alexes’ when I was born. When he passed away 17 years ago, I didn’t have the means to buy it and keep it open. But now, the commissions have given me that opportunity. I want to pour into the community as my dad did before me.”

In January 2022, Flowers by Alexes officially reopened its doors at the corner of 9th and Upshur.

As Alexes steps into 2022, she does so with high hopes and a heart filled with gratitude. She is grateful for trusting herself, sticking with real estate when times were tough, and for being able to support her family.

“I’m grateful for how things have turned around. My entire life has changed.”