FeaturesG&G 2020

Gayest & Greatest 2020: Real Estate

Shan Randle is the property broker you can count on.

Shan Randle is the winner of this year’s Best Female Real Estate Agent (courtesy photo) 

Once a teacher, always a teacher. Shan Randle has gone from being a professional educator to a bonafide real-estate agent and financial-literacy tutor. Even though she no longer spends her days in the classroom, Randle schools her clients in the art of snagging the home of their dreams, while simultaneously cultivating the next generation of world-changing youth through her financial literacy program.

“I’m African-American. I guess you would call me a stud. Once you get to know me, though, I’m really girly.”

The friendly real estate agent reflects on her professional path: “I taught special-education students for eight years, and was looking for something different.” That grueling workload started to have an effect on her type 1 diabetes, so while she was in the process of buying her first home, she paid close attention to the details as she pictured herself teaching others to purchase real estate. “After I closed, I realized I could be a Realtor who really educates people—so I’d still be teaching,” Randle recalls. “I did my Realtor training hours that same summer, and took my exam the following school year. It was hard for me, because I didn’t want to leave my students. I was working in a low-income district, but I knew I had to focus on my health. January will mark five years of having a license.”

The charismatic agent now counts the folks who are purchasing their first home among her favorite students. “I work with first-time home buyers, and I have fun educating them. That’s the greatest joy I get from real estate.”

As fun as her job is, Randle acknowledges the concern and confusion that can go into making such an important decision, and addresses these worries by assuring her clients that she’s got their back every step of the way. “[After we work together, my clients] are so educated that they sometimes get on the lenders’ nerves,” Randle laughs. “I don’t want them to be confused after the home-buying process. Taxes, escrow accounts, home warranties—if you don’t know what those things are, you could waste a lot of money.”

The savvy professional knows that her role as an out and proud agent is to show her clients that they are in safe hands. “I want to be there for our community,” she emphasizes. “I know there’s anxiety about whether a Realtor is an ally or not. I want people to say, ‘OK, Shan is gay, so I can ask her whatever questions I want.’”

And when she’s not teaching home buyers, Randle and her partner, Shenice, channel their passion for education and financial literacy with their “Tech For Your Future” youth program that sets the next generation up for success. “I put money away every time I close on houses,” Randle says in regard to funding this passion project. “Once the kids complete our financial-literacy courses, they receive a laptop to help them go to college or start their career.”

Randle keeps an eye out for kids who may struggle with the program’s application process. “I don’t want to leave kids who have potential behind just because they may not be able to write an essay. My ultimate goal is to dig even deeper for the kids that fall through those cracks and lift them up with this program.

The busy real-estate agent sums up her passion for the home-buying process saying that educating her clients and financial-literacy students keeps her motivated. “Yes, I’m a lesbian, but I just want to do what’s right for everybody, whether you’re in the LGBTQ+ community or not.”

For more information on Shan Randle, visit har.com/shanrandle. Tune in to the Shan and Shenice Show online at shenandshanshow.lgbt.

Best Male Real-Estate Agent

Brooks Ballard
Finalists: George Burch, Gabriel Cardenas, Jeremy Fain, Thomas Phillips, Dan Ritchel

Best Female Real-Estate Agent

Shan Randle
Finalists: Karen Derr, Debbie Levine, Lynette Lew

Best Mortgage Company

Cody Grizzofi–NRL Mortgage
Finalists: Amegy Bank Mortgage, John Frels, Keith Russell–Republic State Mortgage

Best Title Company

Chicago Title Inner Loop 
Finalists: Alamo Title, Capital Title, Texas American Title 

Best Home Builder

Jose Ocque
Finalists: Sandcastle Homes, ROC Homes

Best Home Remodeling Company

Luria Construction
Finalists: C House Renovations, Jauncho Jimenez

Favorite Rental Community

Drewery Place Apartments (tie), Elan Memorial Park (tie)
Finalists: Cabochon at River Oaks, Elan Heights, Ellison Heights, Skyhouse Apartments

This article appears in the October 2020 edition of OutSmart magazine.

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Zach McKenzie

Zachary McKenzie is a marketing professional and freelance writer in Houston, TX. He received his bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 2014 and has lived in Houston since. Zachary is a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and enjoys spending his free time with friends, exploring the richness and diversity of Houston.
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