The Blaine Team: Meeting the Millennial Marketplace
Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: M.Kat Photography
If they don’t know something, they will stay awake, both of them—on the computer or iPad—and research it until they absolutely know it. That’s their norm,” said Jordan Blaine of his Realtor parents, Marianne and Ric Blaine, and the Blaines know it takes that kind of get-up-and-go to remain relevant and competitive in real estate. “Our people are expecting us to be the experts,” Marianne said.
“We’re focused,” Ric said. And one of their focuses right now is expanding the team to better meet the needs of their clients and potential clients. Well-established experts on the local market, the Blaines recognize the tremendous opportunity for their business with the influx of young professionals to the area. Son Jordan, the newest member of their dynamic Keller Williams Realty team, is just the right realtor to connect the Blaine Team’s existing focus with the burgeoning space opening up in the Lowcountry’s millennial marketplace.
“We’ve been asked by clients who we’ve helped place in homes on the island, and in and around Bluffton, to help their children who are moving here for professional reasons, to find homes,” Marianne said. “There’s a major influx of people coming here for business, which is fabulous news. We have so many young people coming here.”
“Jordan will be able to bring the youth aspect to our team, and his technological background is excellent,” Ric said. “He’s a great communicator, he’s very quick, and he’s very bright.” The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and Jordan is looking forward to following in his parents’ footsteps, while blazing a bit of a new path for the entire team that now includes the three Blaines and administrative assistant Joyce Darveau.
“I worked in corporate marketing for about five years before moving to Chicago, where I worked in financial aid for several years,” Jordan said. “I realized that’s not necessarily what I wanted to do. My parents suggested I come down and shadow them for a while to see what I thought about real estate.” Which lead to real estate school where Jordan got hooked; “As I was taking the courses, I found the legal part fascinating; there’s a huge body of real estate vocabulary that doesn’t make sense in the real world.” The desire to make the complex understandable is a skill that fits perfectly with his parents’ penchant for honesty and clarity.
“We try to be as clear as possible with the information we provide, and Marianne does that very well so that people don’t get confused or feel misled,” Ric said.
The Blaines have charted a specific course for Jordan that will give him a solid footing in the business. “He’s starting out as a showing assistant and doing some technical work with us; helping bring some things up to speed,” Marianne said. “Then he’ll move into full buyer representative capacity, and then down the road go into listings. Eventually I would like to change over and work for him, because I don’t really see myself giving this up; it’s too much fun.”
Keeping up with his parents’ knowledge of the market is one of Jordan’s first assignments. Joining Marianne and Ric on weekly broker tours is requisite. “We have a city packed within the boundary of a relatively small island,” Ric said. “We have thousands and thousands of properties. A good realtor knows the territory and knows the houses that are on the market.”
A deep knowledge of the market gives the Blaine Team’s listing clients an advantage when preparing their property for sale. The first few days, and even weeks, is a highly competitive time period, critical to just how quickly a property sells and for how much. Knowing what is on the market, the condition of the other properties and pricing considerations, the Blaines are expert at perfectly position a home for sale, and they communicate clearly with clients the best way they can partner with the team and what role they play.
“Make sure to have all your receipts together and ready for your realtor,” Marianne said. “Have as much information as you possibly can for every bit of work you’ve had done on the home. It’s important that we put that information with your listing: the repairs that have been made, what upgrades have been made. Do you have a transferrable termite bond? Is your insurance transferrable? All these things are important to the buyer, and if the information is right there, it’s one less hurdle. If the buyer is trying to decide between two homes and you have all that readily available, it makes it that much easier for the buyer to make that decision.”
The Blaines understand that taking the emotion out of selling a home is nearly impossible. “People have probably been in their home for many years and have become comfortable with the way things are,” Ric said. However, their well-honed, professional, practical approach to pricing, staging, and viewing the property through an objective lens, is introduced with compassion for the stressful nature of making a move.
“It’s important to put the best foot forward that you possibly can,” Marianne said. “We want our clients—our sellers—to understand that doing the best they can to prepare their home will put them head and shoulders above the rest. Taking two weeks now to make repairs and get ready will save you months later.”
The Blaines will consult with the sellers down to the most minute detail, even recommending the most show-worthy light bulb wattage. Marianne’s tip: Skip the fluorescents, because by the time they have warmed up, the potential buyer is gone.
Being a bit driven has served the Blaines’ clients well. Every bit of expertise, every tip or observation, has been learned by putting in the hours and committing to excellence every time. If the Blaines don’t know the answer, they will work until they have it, Jordan included. He does, however, anticipate needing to peek in every now and then to remind them, “Mom and Dad, it’s time for bed.”
To contact The Blaine Team, please call (843) 304-4256 or visit kw.com/kw/agent/marianneblaine.