I feel like real estate is built on three principal pillars: Communication, Honesty, and Personability. Buying real estate is the largest investment people typically make in their lifetime, and I am committed to making the transaction go as smoothly as possible, while educating clients along the way. At the end of the day, I am dedicated to my clients because agents are only as good as their reputation. – Sean Smith
Sean, you became a Real Estate Agent for The Edrington Team this January, what made you interested in the business?
Well, initially I went to school for Entrepreneurship because I knew one day I wanted to be a business owner. I ended up working in the restaurant industry for 12 years, I loved working with people but knew I needed a better way to get from point A to point B. I spoke to someone who told me about a successful Agent, Drew Carey, who was the same age as me and managing the top Real Estate team here in Chattanooga. I went home and talked to my wife who is a 2nd-grade teacher. I asked her what she thought about it, and she told me to go for it. The next day I gave Drew a call. For two hours I sat in Stir eating lunch and picking Drew’s brain. He assured me Real Estate was really hard, with really long hours, and that I probably shouldn’t get into it. I didn’t take his advice, I knew I was driven and ambitious and I really thought I could do it. I started full time with the team April 1st and closed on my first house May 1st.
What are the benefits of owning a home vs renting?
There are a lot of benefits to owning a home that renting won’t give you. Building equity is one of the most important things you can do. For every dollar that you pay toward your monthly payment, you are getting that much closer to owning a home. People waste so much money paying for their landlord’s investment. Owning a home also builds credit which is really important for pretty much every aspect of life. There are also fewer restriction when you own vs rent. You can customize your space and make it your own. When you rent your landlord will likely increase your monthly payment but with a fixed mortgage your payments will never go up. The benefits of owning go on and on.
Have you ever had a day on the job that went completely different than you imagined?
Haha, yes. I walked into this really great house that I was trying to list. The owners were giving me the grand tour and we went out back to the pool house and there were two really old dogs. I’m talking eyes glassed over, hobbling around, old. I didn’t think much of it, but I found out quick that they didn’t take kindly to strangers. One lunged at me and immediately drew blood, then the other must have sensed the blood because he came running after me. I finished my presentation with slobber and blood dripping down my calf acting like it was nothing, and I got the listing!
How would you say the Chattanooga market compares to the rest of Tennessee?
Being from Nashville, and living in Chattanooga, I know both markets are really hot right now! However, I feel like ours is more stable. Chattanooga doesn’t really follow the trend of the national economy. We almost have our own economy and that really ties into the Real Estate industry here. Chattanooga isn’t just a hot topic right now, it’s here for the long haul and I think the market reflect that steady state.
Why do you think so many people are relocating to Chattanooga?
Right now there are several reasons why someone would move to Chattanooga. It’s one of the hot spots in the world for outdoor activities. Outdoor Magazine even named it the best place to live! It really is a mecca for bouldering and rock climbing. However, if you are more like me, well I live in Downtown South Side which is one of the really hot up and coming neighborhoods in Chattanooga. You can walk to all your favorite bars and restaurants. There is always something go on. You don’t even have to own a car because the city connects so well. Every month there are new developments, people are relocating for the innovation! So many tech companies are coming to town because you really get a lot for your money in Chattanooga.