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After fifteen years in the restaurant business, and as a development manager for part of that time for independent restaurant chain Chico’s Mexican Restaurant, Bernie Gilchrist was on the hunt for his next challenge. His friend from college and future mentor David Huffman of Blue Realty, who had twenty years of experience in the real estate business, suggested Bernie try his hand at the business. Nearly two decades later, Bernie has cemented himself as an agent of note, complete with a reputation for regional knowledge, a proven track record, and a personal touch. Along the way, he has earned a host of accolades, including 2019’s spot in the Top 1% of North Carolina agents when it comes to selling high-end properties above market value, and he also belongs to the Top 100 Agents of America. For the last two years, he also placed in the Top 10 of his MLS board in Jackson County, North Carolina.
Today, Bernie spearheads his work solo under the banner of Sundog Realty, serving clients across western North Carolina region, particularly a resort called Bear Lake Reserve, Tuckasegee, North Carolina. He is an expert in mountain, lake and stream centered properties, though he is also well-versed in land sales, commercial properties, and even luxury vacation rentals. In fact, Sundog Realty is something of a one-stop shop, offering resale options, new-build custom properties, and options for investors seeking property management. To date, a significant contingent of Bernie’s business is built on repeat and referral clientele who trust his experience and hands-on approach. “I go above and beyond,” he explains. “I’ll get down, crawl around in a crawl-space and look around if I have to. I’m also diversified enough between residential land and commercial, so I know how to get the job done and not give up. My biggest strengths are my service and my personality. To me, they’re not just clients—they’re friends. I make sure their every need is taken care, and I put their interests ahead of my own.”
When listing properties, Bernie taps both tech-forward and traditional means to achieve wide-ranging visibility. Every detail is accounted for, beginning with high quality professional photography, drone footage, and walkthrough videos. All properties are showcased across the leading online listing platforms and social media outlets, in addition to exposure to three MLS boards across seven counties. He also manages a YouTube channel called Living Blue Ridge, which highlights the area and local inventory. “Whether it’s a two-million-dollar listing or $100,000, I treat it with the same respect,” he says. “I try to sell based around lifestyle, that’s the biggest thing. You can buy a house anywhere, but I try to learn about the people, and what they do, their hobbies, and make sure this area and their home is a good fit for them. It’s also a lot of fun to help people find what they really want.”
Beyond the office, Bernie gives back to his community by supporting area businesses and restaurants, in addition to serving as both a past president of his local Realtor association and networking chairman. He also gives back to animal rescue efforts through BBQ competitions that fundraise for the cause. In his free hours, he most enjoys time spent with family and loved ones, cooking, and of course trout fishing, as he lives on the Tuckasegee River, a long sought-after dream come true as result of all his hard work. “The idyllic outdoor setting of Sylva, North Carolina and the North Carolina mountains gives you a feeling that you will not get anywhere else!” he says.
Looking ahead, Bernie intends to keep business going steady as he eyes future growth. “I’d like to start sharing some of the knowledge I’ve learned with new folks coming up in the industry,” he says. Now, with seventeen years of experience, the future looks assuredly bright for Bernie Gilchrist of Sundog Realty.
To learn more about Bernie Gilchrist email Bernie@SundogRealty.com, visit BearLakeSales.com or SundogRealty.com, or call (828)-606-2900
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