Name: T.J. Edmond
Title: Real Estate Consultant
Company: Keller Knapp Realty, Oakhurst office
What was your first job in the realty industry? I started as an agent in Athens, GA at 3tree Realty, but I worked in construction and remodeling briefly a few years before that.
Where did you grow up? Birmingham, Michigan; Breckenridge and Vail, Colorado; Hilton Head Island and Charleston, South Carolina, and some other places in between
Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to play guitar! I ended up doing that for a while. I originally moved to Atlanta in 2004 to pursue a career as a songwriter and musician, and I formed a band called The Beggars’ Guild. We made some records, got some radio play on 99x and DaveFM and got to play some great shows, including Bonnaroo.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I play guitar, take our two dogs for a long walk, read, or just sit on the front porch with a drink and watch the birds and rabbits in the front yard.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Tom Petty. He was big influence on me, musically, and he’s played with Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Johnny Cash, Stevie Knicks, Dave Grohl… I’m sure he’s got some stories to tell!
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I’m a sucker for a classic pub, so The Marlay House in Decatur or Steinbeck’s in Oakhurst are probably my current favorites.
What do you love most about the industry? I love architecture and design, and in particular I love houses and the stories they tell. But most of all I love helping people buy their first home and start building equity. Just owning a home can be life changing for generations to come.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I know a lot of different people and have lived and worked all over Atlanta. My broad networks and social media reach have helped me get clients’ homes sold quickly, and my familiarity with different areas of the city enable me to help find the right house for buyers. With buyers, I think of myself as an advisor and concierge, rather than a salesperson. I don’t sell anyone anything. I help the client find the right house, craft the right offer to get it under contract, manage the negotiations and inspections and walk it across the finish line to close. Beyond that, I work well with other agents in negotiating and keeping deals together to make it work for both sides in the end.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? As a creative type person, staying organized and keeping track of a lot of different tasks and projects at once is a big challenge. But I enjoy figuring out systems and utilize various apps to help keep things on track and on schedule.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? I get most of my business from my network, referrals and from social media. I enjoy meeting people and I create opportunities to strike up conversations with people I encounter throughout my day. If I’m at our Oakhurst office and see someone stop to look at the listing flyers on the window, I’ll go outside and say hello, and strike up a conversation so I can get their contact info and follow up with them.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? Getting to marry my wife! She’s gorgeous, funny, and has a PhD! Aside from that, I think my greatest accomplishment has been being able adapt and grow to face new challenges and learn new skills.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I’m reading some of Elmore Leonard’s western stories at the moment. He was a close friend of my grandparents’ and my mother was his typist early in his career. But the last good novel I finished was “Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil”, by John Berendt. I grew up in the South Carolina Lowcountry and Savannah, so the characters and places in the book are all very familiar to me.
What is your favorite restaurant? My wife and I love eating, so that’s a hard choice! Chef Spencer Gomez is making fantastic dishes at Holeman & Finch and we really love Ticonderoga Club, but on a long term basis I’ve got to say La Fonda Latina is my all-time Atlanta favorite.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? I’m most drawn to the grand Tudor Revival homes around the city. My Grandparents lived in a big 1920s Tudor home on the outskirts of Detroit, and it kind of stuck with me.
What kind of car do you drive? A 2002 Chevy Suburban Z71 4×4. It’s completely impractical for the city, but I love having the room to haul stuff. I’m a sucker for roadside furniture and I can fit a whole couch inside it.
Smartphone or paper? Definitely smartphone. My iPhone and my MacBook are my office.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta? I think Miami has recently edged out Charleston as my favorite city.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Get to know everyone! Develop systems and work them consistently.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? The NAR Realtors Property Resource (RPR) app is really useful for finding and getting info on properties and even sellers.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I’m on twitter but I don’t really follow it at all anymore. I’m very active on Facebook and Instagram. Designer and Preservation Architect Scott Reed @sreeddesign is probably my favorite on Instagram.
Photographed by Andrew Thomas Lee