What was your first job in the realty industry? Real estate agent
Where did you grow up? In the Washington DC/Maryland/Virginia area
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I swim to release stress. Feeling the water glide over my body and the freedom of movement is the ultimate therapy.
Growing up, what did you want to be? An electrical engineer
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because of his commitment, not just to civil rights for African Americans, but how he impacted human rights all over the world. His selflessness, even to the extent of losing his own life, to help others was the ultimate sacrifice and the epitome of real love for all mankind.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Outside under a shade tree reading, on the bike trail or at an amphitheater listening to sultry jazz.
What do you love most about the industry? I love the opportunity to serve and assist people in one of the most expensive purchases of their lives. That means a lot to me and I take it seriously. In many ways I’m contributing to their legacy and play a big part in their future. I firmly believe that when you help others succeed, you in turn will succeed.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? This may sound like a cliche, but I treat each client and each transaction as if it were my own. I’m extremely sensitive to the needs of my clients. I am gifted in relating to and providing individual support that facilitates as stress-free of an experience as possible. This is part of how I’m wired, and its shines through in such a way that clients perceive me as sincere and someone who is genuinely concerned about them.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Dealing with agents in co-op situations that are very unprofessional and discourteous. Unfortunately agents of this sort are typically non-responsive, lack skill and do not to put their clients first. This leads to the negative perceptions of ranking agents somewhere between used car salesman and divorce attorneys. This adversely affects the industry.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Actually I view any and everywhere I happen to be as a networking opportunity. I’m always mentally engaged when meeting people to steer the conversation to their domicile status. Since my personality is outgoing, I am fearless when it comes to engaging people and stirring up conversation. I’m a firm believer in the “relational” marketing approach. A large share of my new referrals come from previous clients and from spontaneous meetings.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I have an great affinity for young people, and I work to nurture positive growth to see them become God-fearing and productive citizens. As a fifth-through-eighth-grade volunteer teacher at my church, I am blessed to see such growth in many lives!
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I was intrigued by John C Maxwell’s “The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.” I was cynical and assumed the author would depict humanism as a foundation for such laws. I was delighted by how he introduced spiritual principles as a basis for many of the laws.
What is your favorite restaurant? Pappadeaux. The Louisiana cuisine, whether it is the redfish, salmon, crawfish or gumbo, is quite delicious!
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? The capitol “Dome” building, because the gothic architectural style reminds me of the U.S. capitol building back home.
What kind of car do you drive? A 1995 LS400 Lexus. It’s 21 years old and in impeccable condition. The engine was over-engineered and spec’d to last for over 500 miles with proper maintenance!
Smartphone or paper? A smartphone, of course! I was a programmer in my former life, so technology is always my preference.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta? Smyrna, because it exudes a lot of historical fervor. And it is strategically located so that for the most part I can get around the metro area without using highways.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Greatness and prosperity are reaped when you serve others.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? FMLS and GAMLS multiple listings phone apps. Great for on-the-spot home searches!
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I don’t really follow anyone on Twitter, but if I did it would be Bill Gates, Colin Powell and Rick Warren