Agent Snapshot: Ashlee Heath, Advisor, Engel & Völkers Atlanta

by Timothy Inklebarger

What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? I’m also an actress, and I was acting prior to going into real estate. In fact, I chose real estate for the flexibility.

Where did you grow up? Augusta, GA, or Martinez to be exact

Growing up, what did you want to be? An actress

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Wine, ice cream and Netflix.

If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Just one? For fun, let’s go with Prince. I regret never seeing him perform live, and I love his boldness, talent, wit and quirk. I just believe he would have wise, kind and hilarious words to share. I mean, it’s Prince. Who doesn’t want to meet Prince?!

What is Atlanta’s best-kept secret? Quiet, little green spaces tucked away in the city that few people know about. There is a spot in Freedom Park that has been a really great place to hold distanced picnics with friends during the pandemic, because it hardly gets any traffic. And the duck pond at the Carter Center is my favorite place, and there are never many people there. There are so many more.

What do you love most about the industry? Contract negotiations. That’s where all of your clients’ liability lies. I view my job a little like a risk liability manager. I take contract education and negotiations very seriously. It sets me apart. I’m a little bit of bulldog when it comes to contracts.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I truly live by my fiduciary duty to my clients. I take it personally when things don’t go well for them, even though it’s not my fault. I fight for their best interests, as determined by them. I don’t pressure them. I don’t try to talk them into anything. In fact, I’ve talked several people out of decisions that I felt weren’t in their best interest. It’s definitely bit me in the bum financially a few times, but my clients know they can trust me, and that I’m not self-serving. And just as important, they know they can trust referring me to family and friends.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job? These are highly emotional transactions most of the time. It’s the largest financial purchase most people ever make. It’s their home. I came from the corporate world where decisions were primarily just business. Helping clients see past emotional triggers at times, and boiling it down to what is ultimately their goal and how do we get there can be difficult. Throw in a contentious divorce where you’re not just negotiating with the other side, but between your two sellers only amplifies the stress on everyone.

What’s your best advice for generating new leads? The best leads come from clients who value your contribution. So, do your job well. Happy clients want to refer you.

What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I binge a lot of TV. I love TV, plus it’s research for acting. Most recently, I’ve been binging the first two seasons of a show called “Search Party” on HBO Max. It’s a dark comedy. It’s very strange and I always am wondering where they can go from here. I also just finished “Our Boys” on HBO and am working my way through “When They See Us” on Netflix. They’re both racially charged real life accounts, and are painful to watch, but important.

What’s your favorite meal in Atlanta? That’s tough. So much great cuisine in Atlanta. How about favorite dessert? Coconut Crème Pie at Beetlecat. Close runner-up is the Banana Pudding at JCT Kitchen.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta? The Flat Iron Building downtown.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? I had an appointment to show a property in Oakhurst (Decatur). We had been in the property for at least 10 mins. Announced ourselves when we walked in the door, were not quiet. Walked into the basement bedroom and someone was in the bed completely unresponsive for what seemed like an eternity before she finally responded. We thought she was dead.

What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you? I love cemeteries. I’ve been known to stop on the side of the road in small towns to just walk through a small cemetery. They intrigue me. I’m not into the macabre. I love the tranquil garden aspect and the history.

What is your favorite vacation spot and why? I have zero desire to live in Miami, but I really love visiting Miami. I love the energy, music, restaurants, beach, and even the shopping is different. It’s just got a really unique vibe that I love. I haven’t been in a minute, but it is top of mind for after the pandemic. Maybe I’ll finally drive all the way down through the Keys.

What is your favorite city after Atlanta? To live in? Charleston. Hands down. If it weren’t for being an actor and the incredible industry for that here now, I probably would have moved there years ago.

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Many different types can thrive, find what works for you.

What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Instagram, which obviously isn’t specific to real estate, but it’s how I primarily find out what is going on in the city, and my favorite way to tell real estate stories.

Who are your favorite people to follow on social media? @xtabayvintage @oaklandcemetery @yourenneagramcoach @damndelicious @marleyinnyc @cityofatlanta @createthelove @_georgia_hikes @morganharpernichols @theellenshow