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Rookie Spotlight: Cynthia Nelson

‘If I work hard, I know it will pay off’

Cynthia Nelson is the first to say, "I'll be a rookie for a while."

Her introduction to the real estate business came like most people's – while looking at real estate. "I spent a long time shopping for a new home," she said from her relatively new home near her Watson Realty office in Neptune Beach. "I loved looking at model homes, and I came to love my broker, and the office, and the business. So they said I should try it."

From a career as volunteer ombudsman for the US Navy, Cynthia got her license in April 2005, and in her first six months she closed 9 transactions worth over $2 million.

"And I still do it," she said. "I fall in love with a house every day."

Gwen Treston, vice president of the Neptune Beach office, has much praise for Cynthia. "Lots of sales associates started when the business was hot … if one deal was too difficult, they could simply move on to another one. Cynthia is one of those people who never give up, even with her hands full."

The Nelson household became a challenging place after Cynthia joined Watson. Diagnosed with thyroid cancer, she endured therapy while taking care of her four children, including a 17-year-old autistic son, while her husband, a 23-year veteran still in active duty, was at sea. "It didn’t affect me too much," she says in all sincerity. "I was off for three months, but I jumped right back in. It's one of the reasons I started this job, it gives me the flexibility to care for my kids and myself."

Having been a "rookie" agent for 16 months, she only got a taste of a booming market. "Things have changed dramatically," she said. "Now we have to learn what our resources are, and the training I get at Watson is really an advantage. Now that things have slowed down, I can take time to learn things I don’t know." What has she learned lately? "How to use a Palm Pilot," she laughed. "Technology is challenging, I'm trying to be more paperless."

Along with seizing the day, Cynthia seizes any opportunity. The afternoon that a tropical storm was traversing the nearby Atlantic, she was answering the phone in her car, using her past career to her advantage. "Right now I'm trying to work the military community. I'm still a rookie," she says. "But I know if I work hard, it will pay off."

Gwen Treston sees greatness in the rookie. "She holds all those ideals that we hope new hires will have. She's not afraid to ask for help, and she takes the advice she's given. She tries to do the best job she can. She treats people with respect."

Gwen paused for a moment and decided on the most important trait.

"The biggest part about Cynthia is her heart."
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