Looking to buy or sell real estate in Vermont?
For years I used to say, “In another life, I’d like to become a Vermont Realtor.” But, I’m a Marketer through and through. Since I graduated from college, I’ve been a marketing leader in one industry or another: in education technology, in higher education, in food and wellness. I live and breath marketing trends, graphic design, and the written word. I analyze everything I see visually—the kerning in signs, fonts used in advertisement, color choices, SEO for maximum website traffic. But I never thought combining my passions for marketing, homes, Vermont, and people would manifest into something… but it has. And now I’m a Vermont Realtor.
Enter Keller Williams Vermont and Hergenrother Realty Group
In the summer of 2016, an opportunity to lead the Marketing efforts for Adam Hergenrother Companies, which includes Keller Williams Vermont, Hergenrother Realty Group, BlackRock Construction, Adam Hergenrother Training Organization, and Hergenrother Foundation, sparked my interest after learning about the innovative path the company is forging in the real estate world. I joined the team in September to lead all Marketing efforts for the five companies. I found my place and my people. Finally, I ended my pattern where I am content implementing new Marketing strategies at a company and building a team, then hit my three-year mark, and become desperate for a new challenge. I always have and always will bore easily when I don’t see growth ahead for me.
In this role, I get to strategize about transforming lives through home ownership daily. I created and continually refine the brand behind the #28 real estate company in the world in 2017, awarded by Real Trends. Through one of the largest expansion teams within Keller Williams (Hergenrother Realty Group), I am helping to transform lives through homeownership all over the country through Marketing. I found a place to hold my interest longer than three years… In fact, they may never will able to get rid of me.
A Love for Vermont: Vermont Real Estate
You see, when your love for Vermont runs so deep that you want everyone (yes, even those out-of-stater flatlanders to see what the good life in Vermont is all about in hopes that it might change the world just a smidge…), you need to do something more, something bigger to promote the Vermont lifestyle. There’s no doubt I ended up in Vermont because it’s the place where I’m supposed to be. Ask anyone who knows me… Vermont is a way of life. It is a place I will staunchly defend and avidly promote for ever and always. Vermont has shaped me. It’s made me a better person. It’s taught me the value of community. Vermont has taught me the power of living the life you were meant to live.
A Love for Homes: Vermont Realtor
Enter my love for homes. What’s your first memory of home as a child? I have three distinct ones. The primary colored balloon border outlining my childhood room that I lived in until three. Convincing the kid next door, Connor—my first neighbor and friend—at that same early age to try eating dog food (perhaps I’m more persuasive than I thought). Christmas in that home stands out… leaving cookies out for Santa and getting chomped up carrots on the front porch the next morning from the reindeer. We all know there’s so much more to home ownership than the property… the building itself. It’s where you raise your children. Plan your future. Laugh with family during holiday meals. Sit around the table and deal with the inevitable problems that come your way. It’s where you feel most content. Safe. Comfortable. It’s your space, your place, your home.
Growing up, I spent a lot of free time browsing houses. When we were on family vacations, the first thing my dad would do was grab a real estate guide to browse homes in the area. So, I naturally would follow suit. As they say, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So, during college, I paired my love for homes and art with a history of art and architecture major, complemented by a minor in psychology. It’s interesting to see how finally that liberal arts major makes sense, coupling writing, marketing, homes, design, and the psychology behind it all into one career path.
Buying a Home in Vermont
When I was 22 and living in Middlebury, Vermont, something told me I should think about buying a house. Most likely in all honesty it probably was the $8,000 government rebate for first-time home buyers, coupled with the need for a big yard for my rescue dog, Sally, and the fact that I like new challenges. I went under contract on a 1,500-square foot ranch in Middlebury on more than two-and-a-half acres. There was a huge garden. A creek running alongside the property that lulled me to sleep. Old-growth trees and deep woods. I spent my weekends making cosmetic improvements to make it my own. I made my own home.
At the time, I was young and foolish and decided to use a real estate agent who was a friend of mine. I never even considered the value of an agent or a team who might be more of an expert in the Middlebury area or have more proven results. I figured if I was going to pay an agent (even though the buyer doesn’t pay), I was going to direct that commission to a friend. Anyone can be a Vermont Realtor, right? Wrong, I learned.
I was making a just-out-of-college salary (how I ever qualified for a mortgage, I will never know) and skimped on an inspection to save a few hundred dollars. Big mistake.
Over the course of my seven years in that home, I had it on the market twice, always when I found a property with more character that “struck my fancy” as they say. I also did many drive-bys of new homes on the market, always keeping a pulse for what was out there. But, my house never sold. I never moved.
Selling a Home in Vermont
Enter my position with Adam Hergenrother Companies in South Burlington. It was time for a move to avoid an hour-long commute… So I, once again, got the house on the market with an agent from my new Vermont real estate team. And I had offers right away.
But then, the home let me down, or really, my ignorance in my home purchase let me down… My house needed a new roof due to double shingling I didn’t know existed (again, back to that inspection). A mold report came back positive, likely due to a leaking water boiler before I owned it (again, something I had absolutely no idea about, since I didn’t do a mold inspection). The initial water test found lead. Talk about the trifecta of things going wrong… In the process, I lost two serious buyers. The third time, however, was a charm, and I ended up selling the property. But it didn’t sell until I had sunken thousands of dollars into it. I learned my lesson…. “an ounce of prevention” goes a long way.
Transforming Lives Through Homeownership: Vermont Realtor
With my role at Adam Hergenrother Companies, getting my real estate license in Vermont was the natural next step. Adam Hergenrother, my leader who is a visionary in the real estate world and a member of Gary Keller’s top five, always says that he didn’t want anyone to limit his thinking… He wanted to be free to be more, learn more, and grow constantly. Becoming a Vermont Realtor was a way for me to continue my reinvention and growth. It was a means to share my passion for Vermont. To help others find their place to call home. And, selfishly, I know I’ll enjoy adventuring throughout Vermont in the process.
What Makes Me Different as a Vermont Realtor?
As a Marketer, communication is a core value. If anything, I over-communicate. I viscerally understand how stressful home ownership, and the buying and selling process can be. Personally, I experienced how it feels to lose offers. I remember bursting into tears on multiple occasions and thinking I was going to be stuck with that home forever, unable to move on with my life. After showings during the multiple times I had my home on the market, I would eagerly wait feedback on the showing, thinking, this might be the one, and then bet let down when I didn’t receive feedback or it took a few days. So, my goal as a Vermont Realtor, is to go above and beyond when it comes to communication.
As a marketer, I am constantly connected… whether that’s a good or bad thing, I’m not sure. I’m always a text message away (although I do go to bed before 9pm to order to start my day at 5am – fair warning). I’m patient. I love to travel. I take my time with clients. My end goal is helping you find the perfect place to make a home, while helping you find a property, negotiate, and close on a property with as little pain and stress as possible. After all, purchasing a home in Vermont is one of the five most transformational experiences in your life. It should be fun. You should be excited. I’m here to help.