Peterson Plays to Win: 40 Year Honoree's Success
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the competitive real estate game in Northern Virginia,
Lillian Peterson has earned NVAR distinctions that
defy the odds.
an agent with Long and Foster’s Falls Church
office, is the first-ever member to earn Multi-NVAR
Million Dollar Sales Club honors for four decades.
To understand how exceptional that is, only 5 percent
of the 1,471 award recipients this year have been
tapped for five years, and only 3 percent of that
pool have been tapped for 10 years. And the percentages
diminish for even higher years, underscoring what
a distinguished achievement this is.
many young girls her age were "playing house,"
Lillian Peterson was laying the foundation for what
would become her life’s work: selling houses
as a successful Northern Virginia REALTOR®.
"I was raised in the lumber business in
New York State," Peterson explains. Growing
up in a business environment with a mother who was
an accountant when women were not yet permitted
to become C.P.A.’s made a strong impression
learned all about real estate at an early age, playing
Monopoly® with my mother," Peterson
maintains. These words, which can also be found
on her Web site, illustrate the deep-seated drive
that has led to Peterson becoming the first-ever
40-year member in the NVAR Multi-Million Dollar
began her real estate career in November 1965 in
the Lake Barcroft and Sleepy Hollow areas of Falls
Church. Already a career woman at a time when working
mothers were a slim minority, Peterson’s boss,
a builder of custom homes in Lake Barcroft, suggested
she try selling real estate. Peterson worked with
a number of brokers throughout her 42-year career
before affiliating with Long and Foster.
real estate business has evolved through many cycles
during the course of Peterson’s career. Not
least among the changes, according to Peterson,
is the amount of paperwork involved for a real estate
transaction. She recalls the days of the one-page
sales contract and recounts the story of writing
a purchase contract for a restaurant on a napkin
while having lunch there one day. The transaction
settled the following week.
becomes clear why Peterson has not only survived,
but excelled in the real estate business for over
40 years. "I like to work," Peterson
claims. "You could say I’m a confessed
workaholic," she adds.
believes that the key to success in the real estate
profession is self-motivation — something
that cannot be taught. She credits her background
as an athlete with reinforcing this instinct. An
avid swimmer as a child, Peterson is still involved
in distance swimming. "At some point it dawned
one me," claims Peterson, "that people
involved in individual sports have to be disciplined
and very motivated." She believes these
traits follow people in the business world. Peterson
is concerned that many REALTORS® who entered
the profession during the recent boom years in Northern
Virginia may not have what it takes to go the distance
in a slower market. They don’t all have the
"get up and go" that comes with a lifetime
of disciplined activity.
Upstate New York, they say summer begins and ends
on the 4th of July. We were ready to jump in the
water when it hit 70 degrees," Peterson
states. This fortitude has allowed Peterson to excel
in the real estate business in any climate and provides
a shining example for the NVAR community.