TOP REAL ESTATE AGENT IN GEORGIA SARAH MERCER CHATEL
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After retiring from her role in technology hardware sales eight years ago, Sarah was ready for her next professional challenge. She’d earned her real estate license in 2004 and thought maybe she could use it now to work part-time. Much to her surprise, business grew quickly, because she’d called all her tech friends to let them know of her career change. Within the first six months, she realized that to serve her clients to the fullest, she’d need to commit wholly to her newly chosen path. In her first year, she sold $4 million dollars in real estate in a down market. Today, she has carved out a masterful reputation with a host of accolades, including a multi-year spot in the Atlanta Board of Realtors Top Producer’s Club. In 2017, she and her team closed forty-four transactions to the tune of $16 million in volume—a substantial feat that underscores her comprehensive track record of success. As the Rainmaker and CEO of Distinctive Atlanta Homes, Sarah leads a team that includes a Buyer Agent, Operations Manager, Listing Coordinator, and a part-time Administrator. She also happens to be a burgeoning author and influencer in her field, contributing an informative chapter to The Success Chronicles: Real Estate Edition.
With 90% of her business generated by repeat and referral clientele, Sarah has built her business on memorable service that delivers results on her clients’ behalf. In considering her professional philosophy, Sarah cites forthright communication and interpersonal relationships as the driving forces of her enterprise. “My yes means yes and my no means no,” she says. “I’m very straightforward and clients know that if I tell them something, it’s the truth. In a process that can be as complicated as buying or selling a home, clients appreciate my honesty and willingness to speak plainly.” What’s more, Sarah goes the extra mile to ensure that her clients are attentively cared for. As a result, those relationships last long after the closing table. One way she accomplishes this loyalty is by taking a systematic approach to keeping in touch with current, former, and past clients, as well as other Realtors across the country. Her team leverages calls, emails, handwritten notes and twice yearly, they have client appreciation events that draw familiar faces back together.
When it comes to listing properties, Sarah’s approach is comprehensive. First, she completes a prelisting walkthrough to address areas for improvement. Likewise, she offers staging services and ensures that next-level professional photography accompanies each home. Clients enjoy access to a vetted vendor list if they choose to make any upgrades or value-adding repairs, while Sarah and her team provide concierge project management for any renovations they decide to do. To promote maximum exposure for listed properties, she takes to the leading digital listing platforms and to social media to reach a broad online audience. After working with Sarah to list his home, Greg Hiebert, a former Army Ranger, had this to say about his experience under her guidance: “The most impressive thing Sarah did for us was lay out a process that best positioned our home of twenty years for the most optimal sale price. While I resisted at first, because the house required significant work, thankfully I finally trusted and believed in Sarah’s expertise. On the very first day on the market, our house received multiple offers and sold for more than list price. We were delighted that all of our hard work results in such a great outcome.”
While Sarah is a native Floridian, she gives back to her adoptive Atlanta home of 37 years in any way she can. This includes regular fundraising for charities such as Trees Atlanta, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Atlanta History Center, Shepherd’s Spinal Center and UNICEF, to name a few. She also invests a portion of every sales commission by making a contribution to Atlanta’s chapter of Habitat for Humanity and she and her team have given over $60,000 in the last two years. Likewise, the Distinctive Atlanta Homes team lend their energies four times a year to assist in-person on home build projects with Habitat, working alongside the new homeowner.
In her remaining free hours, Sarah most enjoys time spent with family and friends, traveling with her husband, and making a break for the beach to return to her roots in the Sunshine State. Looking ahead, Sarah has plans to continue to grow her business, with hopes to take on a more active role coaching, teaching and mentoring in the years to come. “I love what I do because it’s about helping people on their personal journey,” she finally reflects. “We’re helping people begin a new chapter in their lives and I feel very grateful that people allow me to walk along that path with them for just a little while.” Now, with nearly a decade of intrepid experience behind her, and an ambitious outlook on her time ahead, the forecast looks bright for Sarah Mercer Chatel. “I got into real estate because of my passion for helping people on their journeys,” she reflects. “My mission statement is to leave a legacy of love by creating a-ha moments in every relationship that I have. At 60, I have the privilege to use my wisdom and compassion in what I do daily. For me, this is a calling and I feel very honored to be able to serve others in this way.”