Years in business: 28 years in sales and marketing; 13 years as a Realtor
Describe the company and explain what makes it unique. How did you become involved in real estate? I grew up in Robertson County, and when I visited Nashville as a kid, I remember thinking how wonderful the West End corridor was, and I even told my mom that one day I’d live there.
I come from a long line of local entrepreneurs. The Smileys, my mom’s family, have been selling produce they’ve grown at the Nashville Farmers’ Market for over 80 years. Since I was young, I’d help sell my family’s produce at the market. Also, I would buy items I thought had value at yard sales, clean them up and take them to the market for sale at a profit.
I’ve taken that same entrepreneurial spirit and applied it to my sales career, and especially to West End condos, where I live now.
I started out helping friends do real estate deals even before I became a Realtor. Once I got my license, I started buying and selling condos in the West End area for myself and as an agent for others. It’s the same thing I’ve always done, just on a slightly bigger scale.
Where in the Nashville region are you active? I generally focus on 37205, 37215, 37209, 37212 and 37203, but I’ve developed an expertise in condominiums throughout Nashville, and particularly along the West End corridor.
When selling a home, what can the owner do to maximize its value? On the Internet you can get all the “top 10 lists” you want on how to sell your home, but frankly the single most important decision an owner makes is who they hire as their Realtor.
To maximize your home’s value, you need a Realtor who has lived through the ups and downs of several market cycles, who has comprehensive market tracking systems in place, and who has in-depth local knowledge of your particular target area. The old adage is true: All real estate is local.
What advice do you have for clients who are preparing to buy a home? What steps should they take? First, like everyone will tell you, buyers should get their ducks in a row with logistical things like financing, etc. Second, and I hate sounding like a broken record here, but buyers should interview a group of local Realtors with the qualities mentioned above, and hire the one with the most experience and knowledge of the area where they’d like to buy.
It’s true that the Internet gives buyers a good head start on finding properties, but the kind of Realtor you want is someone who has their finger on the pulse of the market, and because of their extensive book of business and networking, has “pocket listings” of properties that are coming on the market before they appear on the MLS.
How is technology changing the way people buy and sell houses? The Internet is full of data on real estate, but that can be meaningless (or even misleading) unless you have someone who makes real estate their life’s work to interpret the data for you.
It’s like a patient who researches their symptoms on the Internet before going to the doctor. It’s a good first start to arm yourself with as much information as you can, but it takes someone with particular knowledge and expertise to help you navigate that information to get the results you want.
What features are the most popular with today’s buyers? I know I may be bucking the trend here, but things like countertops or appliances are more surface than substantial. The surface things are easily changeable, whereas the real driver for buyers these days is price and location.
What is the hallmark of the service you provide to your clients? I have long-term, comprehensive and personal experience in almost all aspects of the real estate market.
For 25 years I’ve worked in sales and marketing and for the past 18 years I have bought, rehabbed and resold real estate; I have represented buyers and sellers in dozens of transactions; I have a property management company; I have owned several West End condominiums; and I own rental property for myself.
The bottom line is, as a Realtor it’s all about utilizing my experience to maximize the results for my clients.