September 2016

Realtor Andy Twisdale: The Ambassador of Advocacy

Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Mark Staff Photography

If official titles were granted by the Town of Hilton Head Island, Realtor Andy Twisdale would surely be awarded that of Ambassador of Advocacy. Currently serving his sixth year as trustee on the South Carolina RPAC (REALTORS® Political Action Committee) board of trustees for the South Carolina Realtors Association, Twisdale has a track record for putting the needs of the client first. “For me, RPAC stands for ‘Realtors practicing advocacy for clients.’ Realtors spend more time across the kitchen table talking to customers and homeowners than anybody in the nation. So we know the issues—issues related to insurance, taxes, private property rights.”

Twenty-two years before becoming a Realtor, Twisdale was getting to know the Lowcountry while tending bar in Palmetto Dunes. In 1971, after plans to move from his hometown of Enfield, North Carolina to the Florida Keys were thwarted by some unwelcome surgery for torn cartilage in his knee, which resulted in an extended period of time on crutches, he welcomed an invitation to recuperate while working during the slow season on Hilton Head Island. “There were no stop lights and 278 was a two-lane road,” he said.

A graduate of the inaugural Leadership Hilton Head class of 1986, a program designed to cultivate leadership resources within the community, after building a successful career in the food and beverage industry, Twisdale launched his real estate business in 1992, with an understanding and appreciation for the history and the heart of Hilton Head Island. “Hilton Head is so special, because it’s made up of people from across the world who can live anywhere, and they pick Hilton Head Island; the natural beauty, the people, you can’t ask for a place that’s better.”

When asked how the real estate business is doing, Twisdale leads his response with current market data, supported by years of historical knowledge and market understanding. “I have a 10-year market trend report that I share with people,” he said. “It shows almost to the percentage point the number of units selling per month, which shows a picture of the supply and demand. We now have nine years of increased demand. We’re going to have a good cycle.”

A member of the Charter One Realty/North team, Twisdale brings to the table nearly 25 years of real estate experience meeting his clients’ needs, along with a broad knowledge of and commitment to the local community, a desire to advocate for the real estate industry and property owners, and a heart for service. “I am a fulltime realtor,” he said. “I invest my time and effort in advocacy as well as community. I don’t think a lot of homeowners know that Realtors spend a lot of time, effort, and money to protect homeownership, to protect private property rights, to protect taxes.”

Twisdale’s involvement in RPAC supports the efforts and interests of its 18,000 members across South Carolina. “I’m putting my time and energy in to raise money to support candidates, whoever they are, that support Realtor issues,” he said. “I’m very proud that we passed a bill in 2013 that is based upon an effort toward more transparency and more market competition for insurance in South Carolina.”

Twice Realtor of the Year, former president of the Hilton Head Area Association of Realtors, and 2013 recipient of the South Carolina Realtor’s Advocate Award (and this is just the short list of his accolades), Twisdale said, “Realtors should be the chief advocate for homeowners. Realtors are like the quarterback in a transaction. They coordinate inspections, they keep track of the loans and the paperwork, and they act as liaison between attorneys. Realtors look at contracts differently than most people. We also work a negotiation to try to find a way to compromise where both parties get what they want. Nobody gets it all, but we can find a way to find a compromise.”

Attributing 80 percent of his business in any given year to past customers, Twisdale has cultivated clients who have hired him several times over. “We’ve done six or seven deals with him,” Hilton Head Island resident Eileen Gabrielsen said. “Andy is very honest when he shows a property. If he sees a fault, he will tell you. He’ll point things out to be aware of. He’s never failed to return a phone call or an e-mail, and that says a whole lot. I was director of marketing for Prudential Long Island Realty for 10 years, so I know a lot of agents, and we think very, very highly of him.” Eileen and her husband Karl Gabrielsen hired Twisdale the first chance they had after watching him work for his client on the other end of one of their transactions. “We’ve referred him many times.”

Consistently selling at a pace to remain in the top 10 percent of area Realtors at a company with a strong community presence provides his clients with predictably positive results. “The consumer is looking to build a relationship,” Twisdale said. “That’s what I bring: my experience in the community, my volunteerism in the community, and my advocacy for homeowners. That’s what sets me apart.”

Twisdale and his wife Gail, who recently retired from her position as a literacy specialist with the Hilton Head International Baccalaureate Elementary School, have spent several decades advocating for local charitable causes. Twisdale currently serves on the board of the Beaufort County United Way of the Lowcountry, and they support the Boys & Girls Club. A deep vein of community involvement runs through Twisdale’s heart, with a long list of organizations and non-profits touched by his efforts over the course of his 45-plus years on the island.

Lately, the Big Green Egg is Twisdale’s focus in his down time. “Last week I cooked baked sweet potatoes, corn on the cob, and pork loin,” he said. “When you do sweet potatoes with a little bit of wood smoke, it changes the whole flavor. We did the pork loin with caramelized onions and slices of apples; we made sliders out of them.”

Twisdale delights in sharing not only his community and real estate expertise, but his sliders too. Whether working across the negotiating table or across the kitchen table, Andy Twisdale has built a life and a career on Hilton Head Island where he has certainly earned the title, Agent of Advocacy.

Charter One Realty/North is located at 81 Main Street, Suite 202, Hilton Head Island. For more information, please visit sellhiltonhead.com or call (843) 384-7771.

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