Over the past two decades, Rhonda Haran has climbed the ladder of real estate success, navigating each rung through hard work, lessons learned and the guidance of mentors.
As the founding partner and managing broker of Ansley North, Haran focuses on helping other women in their own journey to success, as well as giving back to the community that has provided much to her.
Ansley Atlanta Real Estate opened their second location, Ansley North, in downtown Alpharetta in September 2018. Ansley is a boutique luxury real estate firm serving clients throughout North Atlanta, with a strong presence in North Fulton and South Forsyth.
Reflecting on a career that spans more than two decades, Haran said the knowledge she gathered along the way is as significant as the honors and accolades she earned.
“Looking back on those years, I wish I could go back and tell my younger self all of the things I know now,” said Haran, who is consistently named among the top 5 percent of agents in the Atlanta Realtors Association.
“As I was approaching my 50th birthday last year, and reflecting on my life and career, it occurred to me that I have so much that I can share with young women who are struggling with how to balance having a career and being a good mom.”
Haran’s career in real estate allowed her the opportunity to do what she loves most — serve her community — and still have the flexibility in her schedule to attend her son’s school activities, baseball games and other events.
“We often joke that sure, you can work half days in real estate — just pick which 12 out of the 24 hours each day you want to work,” said Haran, who lives in North Atlanta with her husband, Robert, and 17-year-old son, Hunter.
Over the past several decades, women have made great strides in business, achieving heights on par with men in nearly every profession. But Haran said it was not always that way, recalling an interview years ago at the start of her career in real estate.
“When I was interviewing at brokerage firms, I actually had a male broker ask me, ‘does your husband approve of this decision to get into 100 percent commission sales?’” said Haran. “I wasn’t even married at the time.”
Needless to say, she passed on that firm, and landed at a real estate firm that supported her and encouraged her to take on challenges that led to success.
“I was named Rookie of the Year at the end of my first year, and I give much of the credit to my first managing broker. She believed in me, probably more than I believed in myself,” said Haran.
She carefully watched the older, more experienced agents, patterning their work habits and practices, and doing everything they asked her to do.
“One thing they told me was to sign up for ‘Agent on Duty’ as much as possible, which was the opportunity to take calls at the office from prospective clients,” said Haran.
She vividly recalls her first client, who called the office looking for an agent to talk with her about selling her home.
“I was so excited I forgot to get her phone number,” laughed Haran. “Thankfully, I did get her address and set an appointment — [then] sold that home in two weeks for the highest price on record for the neighborhood.”
Haran soon began receiving calls from other neighbors. Within the next couple of months, she had sold four other homes in the neighborhood.
“That one phone call launched my career,” said Haran. “The lesson [learned was to] talk to people who are where you want to be, ask questions, listen and take action.”
She began her career at age 27, after family and friends encouraged her that her outgoing personality would be perfect for a career in real estate. Haran said while the personal service side of real estate is still much the same, the business of real estate has changed immensely over the years.
“It seems like a lifetime ago,” said Haran. “So much has changed since then, especially with how technology has impacted our industry. When I first got started in the business, we did not even have cellphones — only pagers — no email, no websites, no GPS!”
Haran was soon promoted to the company’s corporate office to work in the relocation area, providing her the opportunity to work with Fortune 500 companies and their employees who were relocating to Atlanta.
“I was really torn about whether to accept a corporate position or stay in sales as an independent contractor,” Haran said.
She took a chance on the opportunity, and again found a mentor there who continued to educate and support her.
“I learned so much during this stage of my career [with] a wonderful manager who took me under her wing and filled me with the confidence to take my career to the next level,” said Haran.
Within a few years, Haran was promoted to vice president of career development, where she had the opportunity to serve as a mentor to new real estate agents. It was during this time she also became a mother, facing the challenge of all working women who balance family and work.
Haran learned a life lesson during that period: most situations are for a season, not a lifetime, so don’t fret about how you’ll make things work a year from now. Focus on what is right for you today.
“I was blessed to have a boss who understood the importance of family, and work-life balance, so I was able to work from home a couple days a week while my son was a baby,” said Haran. “I will always be grateful for that.”
Today, as the managing broker of Ansley North, Haran remembers those experiences when it comes to the nearly 30 agents and employees who work on her team.
“My passion now as the leader of Ansley North, is to encourage and equip our associates to fulfill their dreams while maintaining their life-work balance,” she said.
Haran also established the mentor model in place to help her agents benefit from a program that greatly benefited her in the early days of her career.
“At Ansley, we have a wonderful mentor program, where associates new to our firm can partner with a more seasoned professional for a period of time,” said Haran. “This is invaluable to the younger associate and provides the mentor an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way.”
The company is also proud supporter of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, giving more than $100,000 in the last year to CHOA through a program where agents can direct a portion of their commission to the charity.
“We are looking forward to hosting our first annual Ansley Golf Tournament benefitting CHOA this October at The Manor Golf and Country Club,” said Haran. “We hope to raise $50,000 in one day from this event. By leveraging our business and client relationships, we can make a tremendous impact.”
Haran also serves on the board of directors for FLOOD Student Missions, which encourages students to become servant leaders and to make lasting impacts in their community.
“There are FLOOD chapters throughout many high schools in North Atlanta,” said Haran. “These kids are doing incredible things in our community, and I am very hopeful for the next generation.”
She is also involved with Young Men’s Service League (YMSL), which offers the opportunity for moms to do service projects with their high school-aged sons.
“While [Hunter and I] did it to serve in our community, it has turned out to be such a blessing to us,” said Haran. “Once our teenage boys start driving, we don’t see them much … so it’s a great time to connect and do something meaningful together.”