Ashton Ernst | On Selling Dreams and Philanthropy - GOSS

Ashton Ernst | On Selling Dreams and Philanthropy

Founder and Partner | The Justin Landis Group of Bolst, Inc.

As the Lead Listing Specialist and Partner of the Justin Landis Group, Ashton dedicates herself to providing an unmatched client experience. Named one of REALTOR Magazine’s “30 Under 30” and a “Top Luxury Listing Agent” by The Atlantan, Ashton has garnered a reputation for being the best in the business. As a Certified Negotiation Expert, Ashton cuts through the noise of real estate.  

Ashton strives to finesse the finer points of every deal with ease while selling each home for as much as possible, as quickly as possible, and as smooth as possible. Ashton has a true passion for service and client communication which has led to loyal client relationships long after closing. Utilizing every resource available, she works to provide a seamless transition from one dream home to the next. 

Originally from West Virginia, Ashton moved to Atlanta after attending Marshall University where she studied Business Management. When she is not closing deals, Ashton loves giving back to her community, traveling with her husband Brandon, and cheering on the Atlanta Falcons every chance she gets — Rise Up!


Let’s start off with your journey to real estate along with some background about yourself?

I was born and raised in West Virginia in the North of Georgia, and my now husband and I moved to Atlanta, back in 2009 in order for him to pursue his career as a chiropractor. I also held my real estate license and knew that I would eventually be working in the field of real estate. When we made the move, we had no family, friends and were basically alone. I had no database to pursue the career so I decided  to work normal jobs and at some point I had three jobs at the same time. I was working as a receptionist full-time and had some part time gigs in luxury retail. Near the year 2012, I was kind of at this crossroads where I needed to make a change, and I knew that it needed to be a pretty dramatic change in order to put my life on the trajectory that I had hoped for. With the push of a good friend of mine, I decided to go ahead and transfer my real estate license to the state of Georgia and began pursuing my real estate career. 

What pushed you to change your life and to set your path for real estate?

The reason I needed this shift was because I was going to have to get an additional job. And the prices for rent and everything else was rising non-stop. But what really pushed me the most was the fact that my husband was pursuing his dreams and I felt that I was destined for way more than what I was actually doing and I needed to change things for myself. He was building relationships, he was meeting people, all while  pursuing his dreams. I was probably 21 at the time and I knew that I wanted more out of life.



Did you always have that business entrepreneurship mindset? And if so, where did it come form?

Yes, I come from a a family of entrepreneurs that have always pursued their own businesses. My aunt was my inspiration. She lives in Tennessee and was a titan in real estate for over 30 years. I have always admired her, her success and work ethic. She is the reason I originally wanted to pursue real estate. She has been an amazing mentor and inspiration. I must say that along the way, I have met exceptional humans who have played a pivotal role in my success.

What was your transition from 2012 to now, and what helped you gain the success you have today?

I started as an individual agent in 2013 while still working all of those jobs that I previously spoke about. I had no savings and barely any money. Because of my financial situation, I really couldn’t take the financial leap and I had no support system at home that was going to allow me not to work. That being said, I think that because I never had a plan B, it blessed me in unexpected ways and propelled me to succeed. I was working on my own until I met Justin, who is now my business partner. At that time, we were with Keller Wiliams and we had connected through the social media page at the office. He was looking to grow his team and  was kind of hitting some burnout and barriers in his business. The best pat was he didn’t like doing all the things that I actually enjoyed and that was going to work perfectly for us. I really wanted to grow a big team and work primarily on the listing side and work with seller clients. At that time, no one was building their teams this way, they were merely hiring agents who focused on listings. Today it’s a whole different story.

When we first started this adventure, I was just working with Justin and not as his partner yet and we had other people with us. The year we started all working together we sold over 100 properties and we are all together today. We truly created a power house. We learned so much about the business and so much about ourselves, but what we really found is that we loved working together.

In 2015, I took over the listing side and started running the listing team, and my first year, I sold 69 homes and 89 homes the second year. I reached a point where I was selling 100 homes alone, and remember we started at 100 homes together. That year, I was honored as one of realtor magazine’s 30 under 30 throughout the entire country.


Looking back at all that you have accomplished, what piece of advice stood the trial of time and that you would want other women to follow?

It’s all in the service. When you go into any situation, you seek to serve the other person that you’re interacting with above yourself and there is an opportunity to also benefit yourself. I’ve found in my career that when you put the people such as your clients and other agents first, you’re going to be successful.

Where do you see yourself and the business in the next ten years?

There are two things that I really want to see happen. This year, we have a big goal to to sell 1000 homes as an organization. Last year, we were at 800 we’d sold just over 801 and we really see it happening. So hitting that goal would be tremendous for us and then the second thing would just be the growth of our brokerage non profit. And what’s important about that is it is the first and only purpose based real estate brokerage that is for profit but also for doing good and giving back to the people.

What made you guys decide to go off on your own?

We were at a crossroads again, and it’s funny how that always kind of comes up where we at our previous brokerage, we were successful and they were great. We were just kind of hitting this wall of misalignment on the purpose of the  business, they wanted to be the biggest but we wanted to also do good in our community. We had started partnerships with local nonprofits, like the Atlanta mission, and had done charity initiatives with them too, in order to fight for the end of homelessness in our city which is a big issue that we face. We had this vision that we can all make money while helping out and today that has become reality.

What would you like to be remembered for?

I want to be remembered as the person who pushed the growth of the organization, the one who drove it and challenged the status quo the whole time. This way of thinking has gotten me in trouble in some circumstances but I do believe that it’s good trouble, and it will push other people and the organization too new levels. No one was selling 100 houses when we started selling 100 houses, and I wanted to do it on my own, and now very few people are selling 1000 houses, so why why not us? We know that we’re doing great business, we know that we’re serving the clients above ourselves, and the beauty of being bigger is better for lots of reasons. But bigger is mainly better, because it allows us to help more people, and when we help more people, we can get more money back.

All photo credits Nikki Photography 


Follow @AshtonErnstBallard on Instagram.

Visit the Justin Landis Group website here.

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