The Saratoga Sun -

Family footsteps

Jezria Collins follows mother's example, starts own real estate company


October 10, 2018

Mike Armstrong

Jezria is helped around the office by her errand boy who is also her son, Quinn. She said he is her first employee, sort of, since he isn't paid.

Jezria Collins recently established a new Saratoga business, Provident Realty.

"I am very connected to Carbon County since I was born and raised here," Collins said. "I got my brokers license at 20 and I have been involved with real estate 18 years. It feels like natural progression to open my own real estate company."

The name she picked out for her business is special to her.

"I came up with the name because I always loved the words provident and providence because of what it means," Collins said. "Timely preparation of the future and, in this business, that is what we are doing. We are helping people take a big step in their future."

Collins has been working in real estate since she was 18.

Her mother, Andrea Shepard, established ERA Shepard and Associates in 1997 and, although in her early teens, Collins swore she would never get involved with real estate as a way to make a living.

"I swore I was never going to do it because I saw how hard my mom worked, but when I turned 18, I wanted to go to college, but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do," Collins said. "I went to work for Q Creek Ranch and did a seasonal job there and when it came to an end, it was too late to sign up for fall semester, so I figured I would get my real estate license and help my mom because she was pretty busy."

Her mother, then 35, bought the company from Bill Saulcy to create Shepard and Associates and Collins sees an interesting parallel, because she is starting her own real estate company at 36.

"Its kind of ironic that I am at the same age my mom was when she started her company and my son is the same age I was," Collins noted.

She said real estate has become a family way of making a living. Her two sisters, Charel in Rawlins and Oriana in Cheyenne, both help Shepard with her real estate company now called ERA Frontier Realty.

She said her family has been encouraging Collins to start her own real estate company. Her boyfriend, Danny Latham, has been supportive and also hands on in helping her renovate her office.

"He has been there for me on this 100 percent and then more," Collins said. "I can't say enough good about him on this."

Latham and her family's support is what helped her make her decision to open up her own business.

Collins said she has always had a strong work ethic. She started working at her first job at 12. Her family had a restaurant in Rawlins called the 5th Street Bistro.

"I was barely able to see above the counter," Collins said. "But I wanted to have money of my own, so I worked there until Q Creek."

The real estate profession is not only in her blood, so is working with the real estate associations.

"I earned the Circle of Honor Award through the ERA franchise three times," Collins said. "I was the Carbon County Board of Realtors president in 2010 and I was the Central District vice president for the Wyoming Association of Realtors in 2015 and 2016, so I have always been active in real estate organizations."

Collins said every February she attends the legislative meetings for realtors.

"That has always been intriguing to me and if I had gone to college, I would have probably majored in political science or law," Collins laughed.

Banking and insurance are two other fields Collins worked in. Both complimented her interest in real estate before she felt helping people purchasing and selling property was what she wanted to do with the rest of her life.

"They always say, do what you love," Collins said. "I just realized real estate is what I love because you are helping people through a stressful process."

Collins said she is not just a salesperson, she is a counselor, because when people are buying a property, it is a happy yet pressure-filled experience and, when people are selling, it usually is because a life changing event is occurring, such as birth, death, marriage or a job change.

"Me being able to take some that load off them, so they can focus on life's next step, makes it all very rewarding for me," Collins said. "That is where my passion comes in, is helping people."

She said building trust with her clients is extremely important in getting the job done.

"In real estate, you have to wear a lot of hats, so working in banking and insurance allowed me to see that side of real estate not all agents do," Collins said. "It is about being committed to do whatever it takes to help people."

She said painting a home has more than once had to be done because a lender or appraiser found chipped or peeling paint on a house, and the seller was not around to take care of the problem.

"I actually own probably enough stuff, I could start a painting company," Collins jokes. "It is just one of those things that you have to do to help your client."

Collins is a stickler for detail about the purchasing and selling process of real estate.

"It is knowledge about what the appraiser is looking for and also what the lender is looking for," Collins said. "I am also always thinking outside the box, because there is always more than one way to skin a cat so to speak, so bumps in the road don't intimidate me."

The technology that is available to her makes the job easier to help clients. She said it is about using all tools available to get the job done.

"My goal is someday to be a household name in all Carbon County communities because of the good job I do," Collins said. "I want Provident to be synonymous in real estate for professionalism and top notch service."


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