On the surface, Shelly Tripp may seem like your typical white-collared professional: well dressed and put together, extremely knowledgeable and undeniably hard working. But little do most people know that this Coldwell Banker Independent Sales Associate from the South Valley office has traveled long and far to be where she is today.
Shelly, who consistently ranks as one of the top three agents among 700 peers at Coldwell Banker Utah, has achieved her success by overcoming hardships that most people are lucky enough to have never experienced.
Born to parents who married when they were just 16, Shelly endured physical and emotional abuse from her parents at a very young age which led her to live with her grandmother until her grandmother passed away when she was just 14. Shelly then was forced to fend for herself.
She lived in a park prior to being bounced around from foster home to foster home. From having zero parental support to being left to survive on her own, Shelly was pushed to the lowest of lows and fought her way out of the dark place that once made up her life. Instead of letting her difficult child and teen years define her, Shelly used her life experiences to better herself as a mother, professional and a woman.
Thanks to her resilient attitude, Shelly has achieved various awards in her professional career, including salesperson of the year a few times for Coldwell Banker and once for the entire Salt Lake Board of REALTORS®.
She is also a loving wife, mother of four and grandmother of nine who enjoys spending time with her growing family.
We recently caught up with Shelly to ask her about overcoming obstacles, living and working in Utah and how to pay it forward.
Can you tell us what attributes to your success in such a competitive industry?
I sincerely treat all my clients as if they are my own family. I listen to their wants and needs and help guide them to obtain the ideal home for their current situation. I live by the motto: “If you take care of the people, you don’t need to worry about money (getting paid).” Truthfully, I do not know how many houses I have sold or what my income is until my accountant or broker tells me my production. I have also learned that being self-reliant and independent is an important aspect of achieving success in this field. This way of living life has come from having to depend on myself during my early years when I was living in several foster homes and was even homeless. I had to take charge and ensure that I survived and made a positive life for myself without having the support from my parents. If I wanted to succeed, it was all up to me.
Why did you choose to enter the real estate field?
I chose real estate because I like the freedom of being able to control my future by how hard I work. I am also very passionate about homeownership since I was homeless for a period in my life and therefore realize how important owning a home is to me and to others.
What sets you apart from other professionals in the field?
I am different because I focus on the needs of my clients and don’t have time to count my commissions. I am not afraid of extremely hard work and don’t waste time complaining. Thanks to my rough childhood, I have become a self-reliant person who has worked hard to create a positive life for myself and my family.
What attracts you to Utah’s real estate market? How does it differ from markets in the country?
It is truly the best place to raise a family. I love the clean water from our mountains, the amazing world-class ski resorts that are minutes away, the camp sites, boating and fishing opportunities, and the hiking trails that are within minutes from your home. Utah has one of the most beautiful panoramas and outdoor recreation opportunities in the country.
You are an active supporter of local organizations that aid children in the foster care system. What inspires you to help out this group of individuals?
I was one of those children: homeless, abused at home and in foster care. I can aid other children that are living through similar situations because I understand how they feel and can help them get through the difficult situations they have or are going through.
What advice would you give others that come from a troubled background who want to make a positive life for themselves?
No matter what has happened to you, no matter what a family member or an outsider has done to you, no matter how painful life is, you have the power to shape your future. Whenever I was going through a tough situation, I followed this advice to get me through my hardships:
- Find a mentor. I chose God.
- Forgive others without others asking for forgiveness.
- Work hard and follow a strong work ethic.
Shelly Tripp is committed to making a difference in all she does. To learn more about Shelly and her community involvement, visit pepperwoodrealestate.com.