A self-described “hometown girl” from the Chariho area, Erin Diaz worked the land she was born and raised on for many years at a turf farm, where she would drive tractors and spend quality time outside all day – and plant humble roots before taking off in a career of her own. While she always saw herself following a different path, it wasn’t until Erin was a young mom recently out of work after years as a personal trainer that she started taking real estate licencing classes at the suggestion of her fiance and soon after obtained licenses in both RI and CT.
“I am not a corporate kind of girl,” Erin says, recalling the large franchise she started with. “I gained some experience and learned some lessons before moving to a smaller ‘mom and pop’ office. I grew in the new office and learned so much from my colleagues.” But in a challenging 2008 real estate market, her new career didn’t come without hurdles. For Erin, it was either quit or find a new approach that better suited her style – and her clients. Putting his full support behind her career, along with the commercial building they owned that was destined to become BEACHES & BACKROADS REALTY, Erin’s fiance posed her with the challenge that would spur her to take ownership of her future in real estate: “Get your Brokers license and try it on your terms.”
“So I set out on my mission to provide true ol’ fashion customer service in the most comfortable way I knew how,” Erin says. “I stayed true to myself, and have built – and continue building every day – a business I am proud to call my own.”
In that breakout year as Beaches & Backroads, Erin sold $2,500,000 in real estate, which was the push she needed to see her business’s potential and only grow from there. Her average now is just shy of $6 million, with her best year topping $8 million. She’s garnered recognition over the years as a Rhode Island Monthly Five Star Professional since 2013 and has been nominated by clients and Zillow as an expert in Charlestown, Richmond, Hopkinton, and Exeter since 2009. Says Erin, “I am very proud to have built a business from absolutely nothing except the love and support of my fiance, no corporate backing, no big franchise name – just me, the support of my community, my signature hoodie and boots, and the well- recognized Beaches & Backroads jeep!”
To look at the real estate agency Erin has built now – with dozens of testimonials online and social media feeds full of images of sold listings – it’s clear that Erin has found her niche in unpretentious, honest customer service as a local expert of the Chariho area. Working out of her little office on a Hope Valley backroad, she and her team of six realtors foster authentic relationships with their clients looking for the perfect home, making sure they sign with excitement and never settle for anything less than what they’re looking for. “We all work together, so you will really get seven for the price of one working for you when you have us as your real estate agent,” Erin explains.
The process begins with getting to know the home buyer. Erin and her team learn each individual’s wants and needs before taking them on tours through their options – all with zero pressure. Then, Erin brings her in depth knowledge of the process and the market to make sure the buyer has all the facts. This includes lived experience of the community: “Not just internet statistics, but real life local information that makes a buyer realize it may be the perfect place for them to call home...or not,” Erin says. “It gives me pure satisfaction when a buyer or seller can take that breath when everything is done and smile in excitement!”
And remember that hometown girl who got her start on a turf farm? She hasn’t gone anywhere – even through Erin’s snowballing success in real estate, she retains an affinity for all creatures bovine. “My family and I own a farm right in Hope Valley, primarily dairy cows but also a small herd of beef cattle, sometimes pigs and chickens, too,” says Erin, who enjoys spending time in the field with her cows and showing them all over the country. If you’ve worked with her, chances are you’ve heard a story or two from the farm: “Our cattle are spoiled rotten; we built them a beautiful barn and each has a name and their own personalities. Don’t be surprised if you call me and hear a milking machine or even a cow in the background!”
Testimonials on the Beaches & Backroads website don’t mention the cows, but they do rave about seamless buying and selling experiences, honesty at every turn, and countless examples of Erin and her team going the extra mile to serve their clients. Accounts of comfortable, personable service are echoed throughout in testament to the groundwork of what makes Erin’s real estate agency different: good ol’ fashioned customer service.
“Not all real estate agents are created equal. We do so much more than open a door or provide access to a home,” says Erin, who takes seriously the trust clients place in her to set them on the right path in the life-changing decision of buying or selling a home. “My reputation as a true local expert and a real person makes the whole process so much more comfortable. I am your neighbor, I am a real person, and an open book.”