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Laurie Howell became a real estate attorney in 1982. In 2005, a developer client suggested that Laurie go to real estate school so she’d be better able to help the developer with legal questions related to marketing. “I had no idea that I would enjoy it!” Laurie says. She started part time with a real estate company, but soon leapt full time into work as an agent. Laurie now works with Home Towne Realty in Clayton, a large company with offices in Clayton, Garner and Raleigh. She usually works solo, mainly because she wants to support her clients through every step of the process. “I actually enjoy doing everything myself,” Laurie explains. Laurie primarily serves the Johnston County Clayton area where she lives, as well as Eastern Wake County, though she also serves Raleigh, Durham and Cary. “I’m happy to show and sell homes in the Triangle area in general,” she says.
What sets Laurie apart from other realtors in the area? “I think it’s my professionalism,” she says. “I don’t look at the practice of real estate as just sales and marketing. I look at it as a legal process, the biggest purchase of someone’s life, and every step of the way needs the attention of someone who understands the process.” Laurie’s legal background and attention to detail give her an advantage over realtors who have marketing savvy but lack a deep understanding of real estate transactions. As a result of her expertise, Laurie’s rate of repeat and referral business is an amazing 90%. Her clients keep coming back due to her ability to close complicated transactions.
To best market listings, Laurie starts with staging, working with her clients to prepare their homes for the high-quality professional photographers Laurie employs to photograph each listing. “I talk to the client about making those photos pop,” Laurie says. “I’m a certified stager and once I’ve helped the client make the house look its very best, the photographer goes through and takes great photos.” Laurie also hires someone to professionally measure the home; so each listing includes a floor plan. “That way people can visualize how the house is laid out even if they haven’t seen it.” Laurie also covers the sellers with a warranty, so that if something does break down during the listing period, there is a company to cover them. This relieves clients’ worry and stress. To keep in touch with past clients, Laurie reaches out by telephone or email. “It’s more personal,” she says.
Laurie’s favorite part of her job is the people she works with. “Contrary to the practice of law, which is very contrary, in real estate, the buyer wants to buy, and the seller wants to sell. So if you can get everyone on the same page and not make it an adversarial process, then you are one step ahead.” Laurie’s focus on a smooth, professional, amicable transaction makes the process pleasant for everyone. Her clients always appreciate that Laurie explains every aspect of a purchase or sale to them, not in legalese, but in a manner they understand.
For the past five years, Laurie has been involved with the Johnston County Association of Realtors, first as Director, then Treasurer, then President-Elect, then as the 2016 President. She’s focused on educating members and helping with community service projects such as the Miracle League Network, which helps children with disabilities to play baseball, and Habitat for Humanity. The JCAR members also named her 2015 Realtor® of the Year. In her free time, she loves to read novels and sail. For the future, Laurie would love to create a more concrete referral program so that the next generation of realtors can gain some of her knowledge. With her commitment to professionalism and service, she’s sure to make that dream a reality!
To find out more about LAURIE HOWELL,
contact via phone at (919) 614-0305 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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