This week, we’re continuing our bi-weekly series that brings the advice, insight, and personal stories of HAAR Board Members to our community. Realtors rarely take days – or even afternoons – off, and we want to thank our entire leadership structure for the work they do to make our organization great.
We’re thrilled to bring you the latest installment of this series, highlighting Lore Hislop from Averbuch Realty and Chris Hulser of EXIT Realty North.
Lore was born in Huntsville, AL and enjoyed growing up on Monte Sano Mountain to her immigrant parents. She got into the real estate business shortly after she got married, when she and her husband started buying homes to remodel. They always used a Realtor to buy and sell their properties, really enjoyed those relationships, and found them to be very important in their real estate endeveours. After her youngest son started elementary school, she decided to get her real estate license, and by that time, she and her husband had decided to stop doing the “fixer upper” thing as they had done so many and had to focus on raising four boys. So, in 2008 she became a Realtor and just focused on helping her clients invest in their futures through real estate. Since then, she has received her MRP designation and continues to serve on numerous committees at the Huntsville Board of Realtors, and other boards and with volunteer opportunities in her community. Real estate has helped her to learn so much about life, people, and her community in general and she is thankful that she can now give back and serve as well.
Chris is an award winning, full-time REALTOR® and Qualifying Broker of EXIT Realty North. A longtime resident of Madison, Chris sells residential properties in all of North Alabama. Specializing in residential real estate, military relocation, short sales and foreclosures, his multi-faceted expertise is of great benefit to his clients. Chris understands that a home is often the largest purchase a person will make in their lifetime and believes REALTORS® must be well educated to provide the level of service and protection clients deserve.
Chris is constantly furthering his knowledge and has earned the designations of ABR, SFR, CSP, MRP & SRES & PMN. Having lived in many parts of the world such as New York, Atlanta, Orlando, New Mexico, Birmingham and Huntsville, he has a strong ability to relate people from diverse backgrounds and understands the needs and concerns of relocating clients. Chris was also 2016 President for the local chapter of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and has served on the Huntsville Area Association of REALTOR’s Board of Director’s for the past 3 years and hopes to continue his service to our real estate community for many years to come.
Question: What is the most important piece of advice you would give about our industry and real estate market?
Hulser: The most important advice I can give about my business is to always listen to your client’s needs, wants and desires. Never focus on the commission, always focus on the client. If you do that the commission’s will follow and your clients will always come back to you and refer more business to you. Once you lose focus on the client and are only looking out for your commission you are doomed to fail.
Hislop: There are so many important issues to keep in mind, but I will keep it to three pieces of advice: First, stay in your lane. Just be you and don’t look sideways or compare yourself to everyone else. It will steal your joy and cause undue stress. Second, stay professional in everything that you do. Do this by volunteering your time at the Board of Realtors and learn about your profession. There are so many moving parts to this job, and with many in our industry working part-time hours, it is the duty of full-time Realtors to encourage others to do everything they can to protect the public, our clients and customers.
Question: What do you think is the biggest challenge facing a new Realtor today?
Hislop: Social media makes business easier for new agents, but it is also the biggest challenge facing them today. If you know me, you know I am a big proponent of social media in our business. However, like I tell my kids, you can’t just do the social media part and not put the hard work behind it. I think the lure of this career since it is such a public facing career can seem over glamourized on TV and social sites. Have you ever watched Million Dollar Listing New York or L.A.? It’s easy to think most days will be like that, even in Huntsville, but it just isn’t so. Hard work, education, volunteering and rolling up your sleeves is what it takes to make you a successful Realtor. I cannot tell you how many crawlspaces I have been in, how many homes I have swept, picked up bugs, cleaned floors, made emergency runs to a water leak when clients are out of town, and so much more. It is not an easy job, but can be very rewarding as long as you do the hard stuff.
Hulser: The biggest challenge I think new agents face today is that there are so many new agents coming into the market all fighting for the same clients. New agents think that real estate is a get-rich-quick career that actually can take a little time and patience before you really start seeing the money come in. My advice to them is to find the right broker who will guide them, train them and always support them. I wish every new agent the best of luck and hope to do business with each and everyone of them.
Question: What inspired you to get into the business?
Hulser: What inspired me to get into real estate was actually working in new construction with my husband Tip and his father building homes. My father in law actually encouraged me to become a REALTOR. He saw that I was a natural born sales person who would talk to just about anyone and I was great at walking prospective buyers through the home, explaining all of the details and giving the buyer a true vision of what the home was going to be. I am thankful to him for that love and support.
Hislop: My love of real estate. In 1994, I bought my first home and sold it three years later for more than we paid. I thought, “Wow! This is pretty cool!” My husband and I bought a housein 1998, lived in it and fixed it up, then sold it and made a little money. As our family grew, we repeated this process in Covemont, then in Twickenham. We continued to buy, repair, live in, and sell our homes nine times in the next 15 years. I suppose we were the Chip and Joanna of Huntsville for a while (haha). We really enjoyed it, but it was a ton of tiring work as we did most of the design and labor on our own. We had 4 young boys under 5 years old, so it was a challenge, but seeing the results of our hard work was very gratifying.
So long story, I know, but this is what inspired me to become a Realtor as I saw the opportunities that investing in real estate can provide if you are willing to put in the sweat equity. Now, I love helping my clients envision what their homes can become.
Question: Is there any other advice that you would share with our community?
Hislop: Gaining experience from people you admire and have a proven track record is key. Everyone, especially Realtors, will have opinions about things. We are outgoing people, but if choose wisely and ask for advice from wise counsel and learn the business in the right way, it will do you a world of good for your future – and the future of your surrounding community.