Today in our “Meet the Agent” series we get to know associate broker and REO specialist, Sabriya Scott of CENTURY 21 Fox. Hear how her background in early childhood and special education has made her a better broker,what she recommends you order at Paula Deen’s restaurant and her tips for surviving the St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Savannah.
C21: You have a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a master’s degree in Special Education. How did you first get into real estate?
SS: When I was in elementary school I lived with my aunt and she loved looking at homes. My cousin and I loved to go with her, because we would get to see different homes and different neighborhoods. So, at a very young age I had an interest in real estate.
When I was working on my Bachelor’s Degree in Education, my older sister’s friends were very successful Realtors in Atlanta. They were very excited about their career choice, and always had great stories about the transactions they were working on.
Eventually, these experiences inspired me and made me long to obtain my real estate license.
While working on my Master’s Degree in Education, I decided to also tap into my true passion, real estate. So, I began working on my real estate license while working on my Master’s Degree.
C21: Did your study of education help you in your real estate career?
SS: I would definitely say that my study of education has helped me in real estate. Early on, in my real estate career, I was told by one of my brokers that educators and nurses make the best Realtors. They went on to explain that both teachers and nurses were caring people, and clients want to feel like they are going to be in good hands and taken care of.
I also consider myself to be a good listener because of my background in education. I chose to work in “at risk” schools my entire teaching career. Because my Master’s Degree was in Special Education, I had the privilege to work with special education students. This was a GREAT experience because I quickly learned that I had to listen to them and learn how to communicate with each of my students in order to help them. Because of this, I am a better listener, communicator and I know how to understand people’s needs. Therefore, I credit being a top-producing agent to my background in education and work ethics.
C21: Do you remember your first sale?
SS: I definitely remember my first sale because, I was my first client. My first sale was the purchase of my own home. I learned so much in that purchase. It was so hard because I was representing myself and I made a few mistakes. However, I learned what the best ways were to handle those situations and I was determined to get better. I will not say I didn’t make anymore mistakes, but I will tell you, that I got better. I developed systems that would make me less likely to make those same mistakes again.
C21: When you bought your first home, what made you fall in love it? What was the first big furniture purchase you made for the place?
SS: I must admit my absolute first love has always been clothes, so when I saw the closet size on the floor plan, I fell head over heels in LOVE. The home also had a split foyer so, I figured my best friend could move in downstairs and we could both have our own personal space. It was truly the best of both worlds. I went from a small two bedroom city apartment with small closets to a suburban home with lots of closet space and big rooms. I must admit, it resulted in using the laundry room in my cramped apartment for additional closet space.
C21: Your area of focus is Savannah, GA, one of the most charming cities in America. What makes this real estate market special and unique?
SS: Savannah is so unique because we have so many original Victorians. These homes are hundreds of years old. These beautiful Victorians can be found from midtown Savannah to the historical downtown Savannah area. Many of these homes have a lot of the original features and when they are properly restored they are breathtaking.
The weather is always pleasant in Savannah and we have very mild winters. Savannah is not far from Atlanta, South Carolina and Florida. Savannah is a great place to live because it’s close to other large cities without traveling too far, while maintaining that small town charm.
Savannah is a great place for all buyers, whether you are just starting out, retired, looking for a summer home or stepping up to your second home. We have it all!
C21: How do you show off the character of Savannah homes in your lists and at your open houses?
SS: I love to showcase my homes by using mass internet marketing. Internet marketing is a very important tool to assist with getting properties sold. More than 1/3 of homebuyers start their home search on the internet.
C21: What’s your one tip for hosting a memorable open house?
SS: One of my tricks to having a successful open house is sponsors and lots of giveaways. It is also good to have to a local lender or business partner sponsor the open house event and provide refreshments. Once potential buyers and neighbors spot the word “giveaway” or “refreshments” they’ll come out in droves.
I always try to make sure I advertise my open houses at least two weeks prior by signage, social media sites, local publications and company websites.
C21: One of Savannah’s biggest celebrities is Paula Deen of Food Network fame. Have you ever been to her restaurant and what is your recommendation for the one must-have item on the menu?
SS: I’ve been to Lady and Sons countless times, and my all time favorite is her peach cobbler.
C21: Savannah is home to one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the world. What’s your one tip for surviving parade day?
SS: Make sure you come prepared to have fun. Wear comfortable shoes, wear green, and make sure you have the number to a local cab.
C21: Our company mantra is “Smarter. Bolder. Faster.” How do you embody this mantra in your day-to-day work?
SS: I am always looking for ways to worker smarter and faster, not harder. Sometimes there is not enough time in a day and as one of the top REO agents in my area and the Vice President of the Local Savannah Chapter of NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers), I have to wear many hats. I am always implementing new ideals and going to conferences and trainings to learn new tools to stay abreast of the ever changing real estate Industry. You have to be bold in the REO world of real estate. The foreclosure industry of real estate is very competitive. In order to stay relevant, a REO agent must continue to get educated in this specific field, have a great work ethic, great networking skills and be ethical to survive.
C21: Continue to get to know Sabriya on her website, www.sabriyasellshomes.com.