RE/MAX Signature, Richmond, Virginia
How did you become a CRS?
My mother-in-law has been involved with the Council for years, and when I began my career in real estate, my teammate and mentor was on the leadership team for RRC. I was so impressed with both of them and how they conducted business. When I went to my first Sell-a-bration, I remember I was surrounded by so many successful agents, and I loved the sense of family that they shared. Everyone seemed to care for one another and wanted to see each other succeed.
How did you familiarize yourself with your market?
I grew up in Mechanicsville, Virginia. Just like a lot of places, buyers here are looking for affordable new construction, but most builders can’t afford to build a single-family house that sells for less than $300,000. So there are more multi-use developments now. When I was growing up, there was only one townhome development in the area, but now they’re everywhere. The great thing is that all generations seem to be attracted to them. Townhouses require little or no maintenance, and buyers can afford to get into them.
What are the things buyers are looking for in your community?
I think this town really appeals to young families. We have some historic areas called “Old Town Mechanics-ville” and Ashland, and more and more communities that have walkability to restaurants and shopping. People are increasingly attracted to the suburban parts of the community. We have lower taxes than in Richmond, yet we can still drive into the city to work or play. We are in Hanover County, which has award-winning schools, and it’s also close to the city, airport and interstates. We have rural land as well, including the option of larger lots, and we are attractive to people who want a tight-knit neighborhood feel.
Do you have a special interest or strength when it comes to your business?
I enjoy working with buyers. I especially like working with first-time homebuyers—they are so excited to own for the first time. Plus, they don’t consider themselves “experts” because they’ve sold one house. If I have done a good job for them, they still remember that excitement a couple of years later when they want to move up, and they give me a call.
What does your marketing plan look like?
I’m sure everyone in this business is doing the same thing: We focus on past clients and tap into a strong referral client base. Integrity, honesty and knowledge go a long way, and if we demonstrate that with all of our clients, then they refer friends and family to us—the work speaks for itself. And it’s important to stay in front of everyone. A lot of clients come from our sphere of influence or are past clients, and, of course, we get some “cold.”
How is your digital marketing working?
We are so fortunate to have a social media administrative assistant. We’ve been successful at attracting people to our website by posting homeowner tips, such as the color of the year, how to get the house ready for summer and upcoming community events. Because no one is in the market for a house all the time, this kind of information is useful to any homeowner or potential buyer or seller, and it draws people to our page.
A number of CRSs are involved in a variety of community activities. Is that something you participate in?
Oh, yes. I have committed to donating a portion of every commission to Children’s Miracle Network. I am also a member of the Hanover Chamber of Commerce, and I serve on the Ronald McDonald House Charities Richmond Junior Board.
What do you do for fun?
I like to run. I am involved in a community running group and I also coach other runners. Also, I have two young girls at home who keep me busy. My husband, Mark, and I like to travel with the girls, even if we just drive a couple of hours away to see a new town. We’ve done more urban travel rather than hiking or outdoorsy stuff because it is much easier with the kids. We’ll go to Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston—and just walk around. We have fun doing touristy things and seeing new sights
Kim Atkinson, CRS, achieved CRS Designation in 2017. She can be reached at email@example.com or 804-512-2481.