Meet 2021-2022 Rookie of the Year: Clarissa Williams

Meet 2021-2022 Rookie of the Year: Clarissa Williams, formerly Machado, a proud alumna of Washington Adventist University, class of 2016. She graduated with a dual degree in Business Management and Business Marketing. As a student, Williams was involved in several campus clubs and organizations, including the athletics team, namely the volleyball and Acro Airs. While in Acro Airs, she served as the sound/music DJ tour manager for two years.  Williams also played an active part in Enactus, the Honors College, Campus Ministries, Senate, and the Latino Student Union. Despite her busy schedule, she found time to dedicate to music. She is a former member of the Columbia Collegiate Chorale under the direction of Dr. James Bingham. Williams shares that experience and the alma mater with two of her siblings, one of which is currently attending as a freshman.

While at WAU, Williams did not limit her service solely to on-campus opportunities. She became involved at Sligo Church, where she served on the media team and regularly helped host events sponsored by the Ministry Department. She credits her drive in life to the model she saw at home, where both parents worked hard to give her and her siblings the best. Hailing from a line of entrepreneurs, Clarrissa embarked on the journey of being a realtor, full-force following her graduation.  Williams is a realtor for Northrop Realty, A Long & Foster Company. A role she accepted in July 2021. Northrop Realty is an expanding company and number three in the nation covering the DMV area, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Florida. 

Within the first year of her career, she got nominated Rookie of the Year. She casually accepted the nomination at the time, not fully understanding what that would signify for her career. “I was fired up and ready to work,” said Williams. “So being nominated at the time did not seem like a big deal because I was just trying to meet my personal goal to close at least one deal per month.”  However, Williams shares that it was not until she was in a training session with a new agency that she learned the importance of such nomination and achievement. Only four people are nominated in an Association. In an organization as large as the one she was a part of, at least 300 new agents could have qualified. With 50 different companies in the same association, William’s hard work and focus placed her in a room with the top 1.7% of individuals who had made that accomplishment in the first three years of their careers. 

Her journey has certainly not been the easiest, as she recently lost her father and best mentor, due to complications of COVID-19. During this time, Williams had a halt in her career, took some time to find renewed strength, to then pursue her goals as a real estate agent. “Being a realtor is not easy. I sometimes joke with my colleagues, and we share how we have scheduled cry breaks in between clients because it is hard out there,” said Williams. Nevertheless, the field’s challenge fuels her vision to continue to aim for the stars.

Williams shared a serendipitous event that has marked her career to date. Her wedding reception venue was only a few blocks away from the headquarters, where she now works. And when traversing that route, she recalls sharing with her mom her dream to one day work there.  “Growing up, I liked looking at houses,” said Williams. “I remember seeing this sign all over Howard County that said ‘the king of Howard County’ referring to Creig Northrop. I used to follow him and have always admired his prowess as a realtor and entrepreneur.”   The irony is, Williams would years later be working at a company with a client who wanted a $1M home on Creig Northrop’s listing. This meant that she would be directly negotiating with her icon. The way she presented herself to him as a new agent made a great impression, securing her recruitment into his company. “It was not easy to make demands as a new agent, especially to someone I so highly admire,” said Williams. “I demanded he give a part of his commission to make the deal go through, and we were able to reach an agreement.” Her final pitch was, “you sell million-dollar homes every day, but this is the first one in my career. Think about it. You can call me back,” she told Northrop. Williams not only got a callback about that agreement, she also got a job offer. “It all came back full circle,” she says.  

Williams is inspired and confidently affirms that this is her dream job and where she sees herself for the next while. She has continued to train and grow as an agent. “This is a rejection industry, so to make it, you must have grit and have a vision towards growth and learn to negotiate.” Williams encourages others to be unafraid to take on challenges despite how hard they seem.  Her favorite quote are words from an Anime Manga: “If you are feeling disheartened. That you are somehow not enough… Set your heart ablaze. Dry your eyes and look ahead. You may feel like digging your heels in, but the flow of time waits for no one.”

Written by Naomy J. Rodrigues

Edited by Simonique Dietz

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