What was your first job in the realty industry? I was lucky; when I first started, I had clients wanting to buy and sell right off the bat. After a year of residential experience under my belt, I went and took a stab at commercial real estate. I have my own firm now that focuses mainly on residential real estate, but having a commercial background helps me work with first time homebuyers and investors.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I like to take my dogs to the dog park and read my Sunday edition of the New York Times with a nice cup of coffee. It works wonders.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Gwinnett County, one of the counties comprised in Metro Atlanta. It’s my home.
Growing up, what did you want to be? A pop-star singer. Or an actor. I was fortunate to dabble in both. Then again, at one point in my life, I wanted to be a doctor too.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Since I’m horrible at cooking, I’d say Julia Childs. I remember watching her as a child and being mesmerized. I’d just want to taste one of her prized dishes. I can’t even imagine how amazing it would taste.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I used to escape, disappear for a while and hop on a plane to travel somewhere. Although I don’t have that luxury anymore of just disappearing, I still enjoy traveling, making new friends, learning new things.
What do you love most about the industry? I recently heard this from one of my mentors; us REALTORS, we’re part of an amazing tribe. We’re a community. A family. It’s what makes us unique. My mentors, my colleagues makes this industry worth it.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Just being there for your clients and going the extra mile. Remembering the small things- I had this one client who moved from Florida and was so sad she lost all her orchids during her move. At the closing table, I brought her an orchids to help restart her collection. She really appreciated it. Made me smile too.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Breaking the news when something goes awry. It’s our job as agents to make deals happen and find solutions, but sometimes you have to break the unfortunate news that it maybe just isn’t the right time.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Everyone is so scared of new technology and trying out the next best thing – but we have to get back to the basics sometimes. Donating 1 hour a month to a non-profit on homeownership (ie. home buying seminars) – has been a tremendous source of warm leads for me. They’re in class because they want to buy a house, right? You can’t get those kinds of leads for free.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? This is a very hard question – I don’t think there is just one accomplishment that defines who I am. It’s a series of accomplishments and disappointments that shapes who I am today.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I can’t stop recommending the movie Boyhood. I think it’s ingenious to film something over 12 years with the same cast, just watching this boy grow up. Great movie.
What is your favorite restaurant? Too many to name! Are you treating me?
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? The Bank of America building (600 Peachtree). Sure, it’s having financial issues and it looks kinda dumb, but it reminds me when I was going to Georgia Tech.
What kind of car do you drive? Porsche Panamera.
Smartphone or paper? I’m a mix of both. Convenience of technology but there’s nothing like reading the print edition of the Sunday Edition of the New York Times with a great cup of coffee to start your Sunday.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta? New York City. The hustle and bustle of the city invigorates and re-energizes me.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Find an amazing mentor. Shadow them.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? My favorite real estate app is the standard Android Maps. Although I can still remember the days of using Rand McNally maps when I was a child, I think I’ll always be stranded or really late for every appointment if I didn’t have my real time navigation.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? @michaelianblack, @joshgroban, @TheEllenShow, @andersoncooper, @RonPhipps
Do you want to be featured in our Agent Snapshot? Fill out our questionnaire, and you’ll be featured too!