24 October 2018

GETTING TO KNOW: Debra Johnston of Atlanta, GA

This past August, when I contacted Debra Johnston (who I refer to as Miss Debra) about being featured in my new blog series 'GETTING TO KNOW', I was very surprised that she 1) responded and 2) agreed! I mean, here's a successful entrepreneur taking time out of her busy schedule to tackle questions presented to her from a relatively unknown blogger. More than a few of her luxury listings have appeared right here on The American Man$ion, so I consider it an honor to be able to share more about her on a personal level. Debra Johnston is one of the most sought after real estate agents in Atlanta, GA and has a clientele network that reaches from Fortune 500 executives to entertainment and film celebrities with a portfolio that is valued north of $50 million. Without further ado, please enjoy this casual Q&A-style interview with Atlanta's super agent Debra Johnston!
Marcus Langford: Let's start with a little about your background Miss Debra. Where were you born and raised? How many siblings do you have, if any?
Debra  Johnston: I was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan and later moved to Gaylord, Michigan. After college, my first job was with KPMG in New York City. I traveled with my job and moved to Dallas, Minneapolis and then was recruited by Coca-Cola Enterprises and moved to Atlanta. I have four siblings; three sisters and a brother.
Marcus Langford: What did your parents do for a living?

Debra Johnston: My Dad was a financial planner and my mom raised five kids and was also in real estate.

Marcus Langford: When did you begin your career in real estate?

Debra Johnston: Around 2004

Marcus Langford: What was your motivation for launching a career in real estate?

Debra Johnston: My motivation was that I have always wanted to be in business for myself and that I love real estate, architecture, and design.

Marcus Langford: What has been your biggest success in your real estate career thus far?

Debra Johnston: The sale of 421 Blackland for for $7,200,000 in Tuxedo Park in Buckhead and the sale of 1325 Monte Carlo Drive for $6,500,000.

Click photo to enlarge
The American Mansion by Marcus Langford
The American Mansion by Marcus Langford
The American Mansion by Marcus Langford
The American Mansion by Marcus Langford

Marcus Langford: What adversities have you faced in life and how did these adversities shape your career in real estate?

Debra Johnston: Growing up as a kid in a family with very limited resources, I went to work very young in life. I was 10 when I had my first job washing dishes because my family was in the restaurant business. I worked through high school and college. I feel like that growing up and coming from nothing created a drive and persistence that is still with me today.

Marcus Langford: Are you married? Do you have any children?

Debra Johnston: I am single and have an 8 lb yorkie named Alex.

Marcus Langford: Have you ever done anything that was out of your comfort zone? If so, how did it affect your life?

Debra Johnston: After growing up in a small town and taking my first job in New York City. Not knowing anyone taught me that I can do anything.

Marcus Langford: Do you have any hidden talents?

Debra Johnston: I love to downhill ski and used to race slalom and giant slalom in high school and college.

Marcus Langford: If you were not a successful real estate agent, what other career path would you have chosen?

Debra Johnston: I would still be in Corporate America.

Marcus Langford: Wine or mixed drink? And Why?

Debra Johnston: Just a little wine. With cooking and eating. It's relaxing.

40 CATES RIDGE ROAD, ATLANTA, GA 30327 | 15,100 SQ. FT. | BEDS: 6 BATHS: 8.4 | $7,950,000

Marcus Langford: Steak or lobster? Why?

Debra Johnston: Both! Protein!

Marcus Langford: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in life-both personally and professionally?

Debra  Johnston: Personally, helping my parents and professionally, taking the leap into real estate.

Marcus Langford: What did you spend your first real estate commission check on?

Debra  Johnston: Most likely bills.

Marcus Langford: If you were going out for lunch, what does favorite casual outfit include?

Debra Johnston: Jeans and a tee.

Marcus Langford: If you had one day left on earth, what would you do with your time?

Debra  Johnston: Tell the people I love how much they meant to me.

Marcus Langford: What are some of the most memorable places that you have traveled to?

Debra Johnston: Italy and France.

Marcus Langford: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Debra  Johnston: Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio should have won an Oscar for that performance!

1325 MONTE CARLO DRIVE NW, ATLANTA, GA 30327 | 12,900 SQ. FT. | BEDS: 6 BATHS: 7.1 | $5,400,000

Marcus  Langford: You look like you read a lot, what are you currently reading?

Debra Johnston: Think and Grow Rich and The Law of Attraction.

Marcus Langford: What's your biggest pet peeves as a real estate agent?

Debra  Johnston: Unqualified buyers posing as qualified!

Marcus Langford:  Is there something that you've done and you told yourself that you'd never do it again?

Debra Johnston: Work in Corporate America.

Marcus Langford: What makes you happy in life?

Debra Johnston: I love being an Entrepreneur and creatively helping others find their dream home. 

Marcus Langford: Any final words that you'd like to share with the readers? 

Debra  Johnston: I am passionate about real estate, particularly luxury real estate. It's all about the details.

3500 Lenox Road NE, Suite 300, Atlanta, GA 30326

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