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As a veteran of over 40 marathons, Top Agent Ileana Jones knows more than a little about going the extra mile, something she does for each and every one of her grateful clients, one of the many reasons she was Realtor of the Year in 2013.

Ileana, who has worked for the highly respected Advantage Realty Group in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for her entire 19 years in real estate, was “discovered” by the company’s broker while working in retail. “He noticed my excellent customer service,” she says, “and encouraged me to get my license.  From there, I started taking courses, trying to get as much knowledge as possible. Now, I’m one of the company’s top producers. I sold 71 properties last year, worth over twenty-million dollars.”

While Ileana sells the entire Tuscaloosa area, she focuses primarily on the downtown area near the University of Alabama. “I deal a lot with parents who like to buy properties for their children, which is a good idea because the kids can have roommates and that helps pay for the mortgage and utilities.” This model is of extra benefit to Ileana, as every four or five years the house is sold when the students graduate. “I have a lot of success with the parents letting me resell the property.” This has also provided her with stability during down times, such as the infamous market crash of 2008. “I didn’t feel it as hard because the University provided consistency. So it’s kept my business pretty steady.”

Staying abreast of ever-evolving technologies is another factor in Ileana’s stellar success. “I like to stay updated,” she says. “I continue to take courses, because real estate is a business that changes every year.  If you can stay on top of the technology, it becomes much easier than for the agents who don’t.”

Ileana prides herself on providing the highest level of customer service available in the Tuscaloosa area. This has resulted in an impressive rate of repeat and referral business, which hovers at around 70%.  “So many of my past clients continue to send referrals to me. I sold a house to a Professor nine years ago, and he recently decided to purchase the lot next door to build a home for his daughter. Even though he could have done it himself, he asked me to handle it. That kind of thing is extremely flattering.” Ileana, who speaks both English and Spanish, is often given referrals by other agents when they have a Spanish-speaking client. “I’m from Guatemala,” she says, “and I’ve been here for over 35 years.”

During the rare moments when she’s not working, Ileana loves to indulge her passion for running. She’s not just a casual runner, however: she has, as mentioned above, completed over forty marathons in multiple countries over the years. “Running marathons has helped me have the endurance and patience that helps me help my clients.  Running them is a treat for me, but it also encourages me to come back and work hard.”

Looking to the future, Ileana plans to build a team to support her, and is already grooming her licensed assistant. It’s important to Ileana that whoever works with her shares the same ethos of excellent customer service.  “I want any agent who works with me to show, manage and sell the same way I do. I’m a very goal oriented person: I like to set my goals and make sure I accomplish them.”

For more information about Ileana Jones, please call 205-886-2829 or email



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