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Zachary K. Underwood found his career in real estate while he was looking for a side job. “I was in business school in 2009/2010 and the housing market was bad and the job market was terrible,” he says. “I figured the best way to get a job out of school would be to already have some experience, and I thought that I wouldn’t have any trouble getting a commission-based job. I got my real estate license on weekends while in college, and then once I actually started working in real estate I found myself addicted to it.”

Getting started so early allowed Zachary to become the youngest licensed broker in Ohio – he was 24 at the time.

Part of what hooked Zachary was the prospect of making a difference in people’s lives. “I love helping people,” he says. “I especially love helping people get into homes who have never owned a home before. That’s a big part of what we do.”

At Trio Ohio Realty Zachary serves Columbiana, Mahoning and Jefferson Counties, which are largely lower income areas. “Our area has a lot of Section 8 and HUD housing,” he says. “It’s wonderful to see people get out of there, to get out on their own and take pride in having home ownership. I would say 65, 70 percent of our business is with first time home buyers.”

Working with first time buyers means Zachary wants to make the process as easy as possible, and to do that he’s created personal portals for his clients. “We listen to our clients and hear what they’re looking for,” he says. “What school districts, what geographic areas they want, and then rather than having them go through Zillow or a bunch of home search websites we create a personal portal so the information comes to them when there’s a listing in their interest area. They love being the first to know that something is on the market, rather than having to keep checking the listings.”

That speed informs Zachary’s approach to business. “In today’s day and age people want service right now,” he says. “You have to call them back within a half hour. So the biggest priority for me is just keeping in touch with clients. I keep everything transparent with them, and when an issue comes up I let them know. But I also let them know to not be stressed – the issue will be handled, and handled quickly.”

When he’s not putting people in their first home, Zachary loves skiing and spending time with his family, but he also loves giving back to the community. “I’m the acting president of the Beaver Creek Area Association of Realtors®,” he says. “And between there and Tri Ohio Realty we do a lot of donation-based work, especially with volunteer fire departments. Our local volunteer fire departments don’t get funded as well as they could, so we like to help them out. We also give to Habitat for Humanity, which rehabs homes in the local area.”

Zachary is looking to a future that is more online and that gives him more tools to support his agents. “We do so much for clients online,” he explains. ”Next I want to make it more seamless for the agent, allow them to have a virtual office. We’re a small office but we’re growing, and I don’t want to grow too much without having the technology in place to support my new agents – if we have agents who don’t have the tools and support they need, they won’t be able to help our clients. Supporting agents means supporting everyone in the business.”

To find out more about Zachary K. Underwood, visit his website at, call him at 330-853-6738 or email him at [email protected]


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