Donna R. Jackson – Broker @ LifePoint Real Estate
REAL PRODUCERS MAGAZINE
Born in Asheville, North Carolina, her family moved to Columbus when she was three years old. She grew up on the South Side and began working for Sears Distribution out of high school before landing a job with the federal government. It was a job that paid the bills, but one she never found truly fulfilling. So in 1998, she decided to try her hand at real estate.
She worked as a REALTOR® part-time for several years, earning her broker’s license and bachelor’s degree along the way. Around 2007, with no idea what was about to happen to the economy, and housing market specifically, she took a leap of faith and left her “good government job,” as her dad refers to it, to pursue real estate full-time. While she did return to working for the government as a contractor, the extra money she earned allowed her to do what she really wanted – open a franchise.
“The benefits of being able to help people; to have the freedom to make my own schedule, far outweighed the risks,” said Jackson. “I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I like being able to control my own destiny.”
After closing her EXIT Realty franchise, she started Achievers Real Estate in 2012, which grew to a 12-person office. She closed this in 2019 and joined the team at ERA Real Solutions Realty with Amy Clark.
“Most people don’t know what it takes to run a brokerage, and it was time for me to make a move for myself,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to have an independent brokerage with a small group of agents that love what they do and are doing it for all the right reasons, and then Amy came into my life.”
When COVID-19 hit, she and Amy sat down and really started thinking about their future. Amy began talking about going out on her own, and Jackson lit up. It was exactly what she wanted, but as an independent broker, she didn’t have the capital to make a go of it. Together, they made it happen by starting LifePoint Real Estate in late 2020. The name was born of the idea that REALTORS® meet people at different points of life every day. Their job is to guide them from where they are to where they want to be.
Jackson always suspected she would one day be a leader. She managed a team in the Accounts Receivable department while work- ing for the federal government, and it suited her.
“Leadership is good for me. I have a lot of patience and empathy. I can see myself in other people’s shoes, and I have the ability to take a step back and see why someone said or did something, even if it’s not something I would do,” she said. “As a good leader, you have to give praise and discipline, and I’m good at both.”
The true secret to her success, however, is recognizing what is and isn’t in her control. She said if she can’t change or fix something, she doesn’t stress about it. She also stays true to herself by treating others the way she wants to be treated.
Her biggest professional accomplish- ment has been making it on her own as long as she did. A key tenant of being able to achieve this are the val- ues her parents instilled in her – to not live above her means and to trust in God. She strives every day to be
the person her mom, who she lost to cancer in 2015, would be proud of.
What motivated Jackson to enter real estate is helping people, partic- ularly first-time homebuyers who don’t think it’s possible to own their own home. During her early days
in the industry, she taught classes through Homeport in hopes of educating people that their dream could in fact become reality. She continues to help people today, inside and outside of work. For two years, she volunteered with Meals on Wheels every Friday afternoon. She’s also a die-hard Steelers fan, and is part of Steel Aftermath, a group focused on their collective love of football and community spirit. They give back to the community by participating in beautification projects in different areas of town and adopting families for Christmas through the Jewish Center.
Jackson also likes kicking back and having a good time, whether it’s hanging out with her girlfriends, trying new recipes, or enjoying wine tastings, live music, bowling or line dancing.