Century 21 Advantage
103 S Main Street
Columbia, IL 62236
United States
Illinois US

The Art of the Deal: Lindsey Bivins thought she wanted to become an art teacher. But that was before she took a part-time job answering phones at a real estate office in Waterloo, Ill. That experience was a game changer. At age 20, she left art school and got her real estate license. Bivins works on the administrative side, coordinating closings and listings for the Linda Frierdich Real Estate Group, which closed $32 million in sales on 159 sides.

Keeping up with the times: "You have to change with the market, and you have to figure out what consumers want and need now," she says. But good old-fashioned salesmanship counts, too: During March and April, her office created a sense of urgency by paying half of the cost of an inspection for buyers.

Good with her hands: Today, Bivins still paints, draws, and takes photos. And she employs her creative touch in the business, too, hand-writing birthday and anniversary cards for clients.