Destination DRO Real Estate Group

When it comes to real estate, relationships are everything.

At least, that’s what Heather Erb believes, and this guiding principle is what inspired her to start her own real estate company.

After more than 20 years of working as a Realtor and running real estate offices, Heather knew she was ready to launch out on her own.

“Since I had spent many years in management, I didn’t have the same questions that many others might have had in my shoes. But, when I walked into the bank with the first draft of my business plan, they laughed.”

Heather reached out to Laura at Region 9, who put her in touch with the SBDC. Mary explained that there are only a few ways to get a business loan and connected her with Bob Jagfeld, who proved to be instrumental.

“Bob’s background is in the financial industry. In just 40 minutes, he skillfully answered my questions and guided me through the sections of my business plan that needed work. His responses were nothing I could have anticipated. He told me, ‘Pick one thing and go for it. Create attainable goals, then blow them away.’”

After Heather redrafted her business plan, Bob met with her again and made a few more suggestions. “I can’t explain how much help that was. This time, I found the right loan product and walked out with the money I needed to launch my business…all because I was steered in the right direction.”

Destination DRO Real Estate Group launched in January of this year, and Heather is thoroughly enjoying the joys and challenges that come with small business ownership. The company is locally owned and operated, and all of the branding is based on life in Southwest Colorado.

“We pride ourselves on the collective belief that there is a different way to run a business. We are customer centric, value driven, and rooted in the belief that we will never compromise our core values. In our view, it’s relationships that matter.”

Destination DRO was named because the company seeks to serve people who are already here—people who have made Durango and the surrounding communities their destination and home. The real estate group serves La Plata and Montezuma Counties, including Durango, Mancos, Ignacio, and Bayfield. The company is actively growing and expects to have five Realtors by fall.

“It’s such a joyful and totally terrifying experience to open a business,” Heather says. “But there is a network of people who will help you get there, support you, and cheer you on. When you have a great plan, you can keep using it day to day. The more time you spend on it up front, the less fear and more joy you will have in the process. Thanks to the SBDC, it’s been 95% elation and 5% terrifying…without them, it would be more like 50/50.”

She encourages other entrepreneurs, “Take time to plan up front, then take the plunge—don’t let fear hold you back.”

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