by Peggy Smith for The Aha! Connection
A few years ago my family was on a glass bottom boat in Jamaica and the family that boarded after us looked familiar but I couldn’t place them. It was driving me crazy and I’m sure the mom thought I was crazy since I kept staring at her! Finally my husband and I realized the mom was realtor Jodi Halpert who advertised with Aha! but I had never met in person and had only seen her photo on her ads. So, of course, I introduced myself and she was just as kind as I imagined she would be from her photos. Fast forward a year and I was in the middle of going through chemotherapy for breast cancer when I get a message from Jodi that she too has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Our treatments were both similar and different but we were able to be a support to one another.
The next year my husband and I kept tossing around the idea of moving locally … we had long wanted a home with a basement on a street that wasn’t a cut-through. We were overwhelmed with the idea of how to sell our house and then buy a new one, knowing we couldn’t afford to buy without selling first. The only person I even considered reaching out to was Jodi. Was it because we kept running into each other? Perhaps. But from those life overlaps, I knew that Jodi was both kind AND strong. I knew she was super connected, savvy and would get the job done while also supporting us throughout the process.
Jodi has been in the real estate business for over 21 years. She lives in the Ashford Chase neighborhood in Dunwoody with her husband Ben (you may know him from Savvy Cyber Kids) and three kids … Ellie just graduated from Dunwoody High and will be heading off to UGA, Ava is at The Weber School and Ethan is at The Cottage School.
Jodi has always considered real estate to be consulting rather than sales. Despite attending countless sales seminars over the years, she’s never really connected with any of them until she took the Ninja Selling course this past spring. It spoke to her in terms of the focus being the people and the long term relationships, not the transactions.
She had long been considering ways to take her business to the next level while still maintaining the personal connection she values most with her clients. She recently hired Lindsey Smith as her Director of Operations. Lindsey had spent the previous five years managing operations on another real estate team and Jodi knew she would be the perfect fit. Lindsey is able to focus on marketing, contract to close, paperwork and organization, thereby allowing Jodi more time to be with her clients. They both liken the relationship to where Jodi is the visionary and drives her business while Lindsey is the integrator that keeps everything moving. Interestingly this sounds much like Audra and myself (I typically prefer to stay behind the scenes though today I am the one out from behind my laptop to tell you all about Jodi!).
While Jodi has always consulted with her buyers and sellers, post Ninja, she recently implemented a Buyer and Seller Consultation process to work with her clients most effectively by discussing goals and process from the start, so she can help them get to where they want to be. Jodi works diligently to control the process of buying and selling for her clients so they can make clear and stress free decisions.
She typically represents sellers and buyers about 50/50. In the current low inventory market she has a strong need for sellers, but Jodi truly loves creating relationships with buyers as well, especially when it comes to sharing what she love so much about this city. In selling, you are telling the story of the house – setting it up to sell. Jodi’s background is design and marketing so this has always been appealing. On the flip side, buying is about learning the ins and outs of what a person or couple or family wants and doesn’t want and helping them get to their desired outcome.
While you can list without an agent and save some commission dollars as some are doing in this market, working with an agent optimizes your dollars in the long run as it protects you, exposes you to the market as well as a network of agents and the pre-marketing done on a listing often results in quick, strong offers that net you more money. It may be somewhat easy to find a buyer in this market but it’s NOT easy to get to the closing table.
When we talked about what is most important to her in this business, we kept coming back to relationships – not just with clients but with other agents as well. She thrives on mentoring other agents and works often with referrals and repeat clients. She’s well connected in the community and her reputation among other agents is stellar. People WANT to work with her. If our closing was any indication, the sellers, buyers and other agent were all just genuinely happy to be at the table. What I anticipated to be a stressful experience was the exact opposite.
As we finished our conversation over coffee (which often digressed into anecdotes about recent trips, work experiences, kid activities), Lindsey shared her final thoughts on why you should hire Jodi:
– Jodi is real and authentic. It ties into how she treats her clients and fellow agents. She connects quickly with people and treats others the way she would want to be treated.
– Jodi will fight for people like she has known them forever. Her testimonials speak for themselves.
– Jodi is a huge resource in the community. Her connections, especially with other agents, and her likeability means people want to work with her. They know and trust her. Her reputation is one of being honest and ethical.