Saturday
May 26, 2018

Selling to His Own Tune

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Selling to His Own Tune

To show his street cred, this music-loving real estate pro came up with a clever rap song that showcased all of the cool spots that make up his niche neighborhood in Atlanta.

Lee Taylor
Keller Williams
Realty Metro Atlanta
Atlanta
intownatlantahouses.com

Your niche is the Intown neighborhoods of Atlanta. What do you like best about Intown?

I used to be in the suburbs in the 1990s and moved in 1998 to Inman Park. Inman Park is our oldest Atlanta neighborhood; it's absolutely the coolest place to live in Atlanta. The historic Intown neighborhoods are where I've spent pretty much all my time over the past 16 years, but my real estate business has been focused on helping people in our core, urban, original historic neighborhoods. We had a rebirth that just started in the center and still now people are coming back to the city center. Being here for 17 years, we have seen so much incredible growth and we get a lot of good organic reconstruction and renovation that makes the city even cooler.

We're about 100 years behind New York City as far as urbanization, but culturally speaking we've got a pretty blended city. If you went out on Sunday night, as an example, we have a thing called ATL Collective. ATL Collective [takes place] every month; musicians get together and replicate a classic album in its entirety. So that's what’s cool about Atlanta; it's a massive cultural blend of people. The same crowds of people that I’m hanging with are the same kind of people who are also my clients. If you looked at my client database, you would see the who's-who list of people with all kinds of cultures represented.

Looking at your web presence, you seem pretty hip and connected. Do you mainly work with younger clients?

I do. I’m blessed. I've helped a lot of creative young professionals in town, and I've helped a lot of first-time buyers in my 16-year career. A lot of people way younger than me. I get along with just about anybody of any background of any type. I didn't come from a wealthy background. I'm just your normal guy who went to college. I have good connections and I’m a good salesperson, so all of that fits together. I have a pretty cool crowd of clients and it feeds onto itself once you get into a database with people. You get to work with and relate to people you know and like. They refer their friends and family and business associates to you, and that’s what makes the world go around.

What advice do you have for new agents in terms of becoming the expert in their cities?

I think you have to really love it. I think a lot of people come to real estate because they see it as an easy way to make money and say, "If that person can do it, I can do it." And you have to want it and love what you do. I'd been in sales previously, but when you get into real estate it’s like helping people buy rather than selling them something, or in the case of listing a house, it's marketing a property at the highest level to get a result and not just pushing a product on someone. It's not making cold call pitches to get a result. Real estate is a great place to be, but you have to make a lot of money to pay your expenses and it’s those things that make it a tough business too.

Have you used any other inventive marketing techniques to set yourself apart from the many other real estate professionals in Atlanta?

Atlanta has a ton of real estate agents, so it comes down to the state of mind and the database. The No. 1 thing that I do is stay up-to-date with my database. I also was an early blogger, and at the time — in 2007, 2008, 2010 — it was very easy to stand out and be intelligent and have a unique approach on your website. I had a YouTube channel prior to the one that I have now that had 27,000 views, just showing cultural stuff around town.

For me, it still comes down to "Am I sending enough personal notes? Am I calling enough of my folks? Am I qualifying enough buyers and listing every month to keep my business flowing?" You can measure it all you want with hits and interest online, but you still have to be communicating with people every day and reconnecting.

Why did you choose to become "the rapping REALTOR®?"

I thought to myself … well, I can rhyme, I have good vocabulary, and I have a unique affinity for Atlanta. I had this song in my head, too, which is called "Atlanta Bounce." It’s the piano track that we sampled for the rap song. I thought "I can write a rap with the word street cred as the anchor word" and there are all kinds of ways to rhyme that, so I just started making up rhymes.

Have you ever sold a house to a famous Atlanta musician?

Yes, I have. He stays in Atlanta and he is famous in certain circles of music but he’s not a pop star. His name is Khari Simmons and he’s a well-rounded bass player and producer who’s played with India.Arie. I'm just friends with a lot of the music crowd here and I go to a lot of shows.

And finally, since you are the "Rapping REALTOR®," who is your all-time favorite rapper from Atlanta?

Just from Atlanta? I can’t dispute that Ludacris has got probably the most profound skills. If I had to pick one artist with skill, it would be Ludacris.

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