Turning Gifts Into a Calling
For Jerome Love there is no doubt he is living out the calling God has placed on his life. As owner of LHS Realty, Jerome is using his gifts to serve not only his customers but also God. The grassroots of Jerome’s real estate career and faith began while he was a college student at the University of Texas in Austin. Jerome was new in his faith but he quickly discovered he wanted more out his career than a rigid eight to five role. Jerome’s pastor Dr. Dana Carson encouraged him to use his gifts to be an entrepreneur in real estate. So, he could live the kind of life he wanted, where he was earning a living but ultimately serving God.
“Dr. Carson has always been a role model for me,” Jerome said. “He always encouraged me to do more. He was the most progressive guy I had ever met. He encouraged me to think bigger by having my own business and to go into real estate.” Jerome received his real estate license in 1998 and graduated from the University of Texas in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in corporate communications and a minor in business. He started his career while still in college as an apartment locator. Then grew into full-time sales in 2000. After three years of working in Austin, his pastor Dr. Carson would again have an influence on Jerome’s life. “Dr. Carson announced he felt like God was calling him to move the headquarters of our church from Austin to Houston,” Jerome said. “We had about 300 families relocate with him from Austin to Houston and I was one of them. I have been in Fort Bend County ever since.”
Since then, Jerome has built his career in real estate to where it is today. He now owns his own full-service real estate agency – LHS Realty. Specifically, Jerome is a broker and specializes in residential listings. His background in marketing enables him to list his customers’ properties effectively. Nearly 90% of his listings sell in 37 days or less.
However, Jerome’s career in real estate is more to him than just selling homes. He explained there are a large number of realtors who practice as a hobby. As a result, realtors sometimes get a bad reputation. “Part of my mission is to restore the integrity of the real estate profession,” Jerome said. “I am dealing with an asset, which for most people is their largest asset – their home. As a full-service broker, part of my mission is to provide people the service they want, get their home sold quickly and get them top dollar. All while restoring the branding, imagery and integrity of the real estate profession.” Jerome’s success as an entrepreneur in real estate has spurred him to help others in a number of ways, from writing books and public speaking to giving of his time and resources in the mission field with his church. His book “Get Up, Get Out, & Get Motivated” has three different editions- leader, entrepreneur and student – where he shares what he has learned over his 20-year career to help propel others to move forward in their lives and businesses.
“A big part of it all boils down to integrity and handling yourself like a professional,” Jerome said. “I feel like I have learned some things that can really help people tremendously, increase their sales without cutting corners or doing anything that lacks integrity, and also how to become a better leader.” He also enjoys sharing his story through public speaking. He speaks at corporate, sales and leadership conferences to inspire others with what he has learned. However, he has a special place in his heart for the younger generation. “In regard to young people, I think they need a little direction, empowerment and vision,” Jerome said. “Most people think I am younger than what I really am. So it allows me to relate to young people better.” While building his career in real estate in the Fort Bend area, Jerome saw the need to build self-sustaining communities through developing low-income communities that were reliant on outside aid. The key in doing so Jerome thought was through building strong businesses. So Jerome decided to start the non-profit Texas Black Expo, Incorporated (TBE). “Texas Black Expo is a non-profit organization with a mission to improve the quality of life within urban communities by strengthening businesses, inspiring youth, and building better lives,” Jerome said. “We believe that each individual – regardless of race, gender or class – should be empowered to choose his or her own destiny and have a high quality of life.”
Texas Black Expo believes businesses build communities, therefore, they regularly give grants to small businesses to help them do so in their community. After Hurricane Harvey, Texas Black Expo gave out 25 $1,000 grants to help small businesses recover and rebuild. Aside from his career and non-profit work though, Jerome said at the end of the day his mission is to make disciples of Christ. While he does seek to do this in his career, he also works alongside his church, Reflections of Christ’s Kingdom (The R.O.C.K.), to do so. The R.O.C.K. has about 40 churches across the globe and a school in Nairobi, Kenya. Jerome has been on two mission trips himself to be a part of The R.O.C.K’s ministries.
“I think you always have to understand that God didn’t create us to make money,” Jerome said. “He didn’t create us to make businesses. He created us to make disciples. God didn’t give me my business to just make money. Ultimately, he gave it to me to support the ministry.” In all that Jerome does, it is crystal clear he is following the call
God placed on his life. While he isn’t working or giving back, Jerome enjoys spending time with his wife and four children.