Agent Snapshot: Michelle Vastakis-Smith, Team Leader KVS and Associates, Atlanta Communities, East Cobb

Michelle Vastakis-Smith is the team leader at KVS and Associates.

Michelle Vastakis-Smith is the team leader at KVS and Associates.

What was your first job in the realty industry? I started in 1991 flipping homes in the Virginia Highlands.

Where did you grow up? New Bern, North Carolina, on the coast with two beautiful rivers and the ocean at my back door.

Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be a realtor. In sixth grade I had to write a paper on Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. My mom had to drive me all over historic New Bern to view the old homes. I fell in love and even though I followed a different path for a while in the medical field, my love of homes never left me.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I love to walk at Sope Creek, and being  near water.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? What a fun question, it really has me thinking. I think I would pick Princess Diana. I would love to ask her so many questions about her life in the palace. I admire her charity work and the woman she was.

Where is your favorite place to hang out? After a long work day I love to hang out in my own back yard, just being close to home.

What do you love most about the industry? I love the constant change. If I had to do the same thing day after day I would never make it. The fact that every home, client, transaction and market is different makes me love real estate all the more.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? Well, I take pride in the fact that i’m part of a smaller boutique team. We handle everything without an assistant. I mix some good old-fashioned real estate, like hand written letters and client gifts, but also make sure my clients know I am up to date on current trends in the business.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Keeping up with technology right now. Just when I think I have mastered the best new thing here comes something else.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Every place I go, I try to meet people. love working with first time home buyers, I am very motherly toward them and they have been great with referrals.

What has been your greatest accomplishment? Raising two daughters as a single mother during the market crash, and actually making more money than I ever had in real estate. It was very hard going through a divorce at the same time the market crashed, however, I made it and always use that as my measuring stick.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? “The Girl on the Train,” was a great book. “The Big Short,” as far as movies go.

What is your favorite restaurant? Anything with real Greek food.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? I love Fernbank and second is the Capital. I Love seeing it shine but have a passion for the old homes in Druid Hills.

What kind of car do you drive? I drive a Toyota Highlander, however I’m currently looking for a new one.

Smartphone or paper? Well, can I say both? I believe both have benefits.

What is your favorite city after Atlanta? I have to go home for that, New Bern, North Carolina.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Follow your dream even when you are knocked down.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Property Evaluator and FMLS.

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I love to branch out and see what the stars are up to, like Kim Kardashian-West and crew.

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