Congratulations to Barbara Walker who has just one of of the Charleston area’s Realtor.com Online Marketing Award for Excellence.
And a congratulations to Kristin Walker who has been nominated for the Charleston Marketing Association’s Marketer of the Year Award.
We’re so proud they both represent Dunes Properties!
Just one of the many relaxing places in Mt. Pleasant
Facebook and Twitter offer insights into what’s important to people RIGHT NOW! After reading a number of posts on both, I started to see a pattern that I hadn’t expected: Lots of us are expressing appreciation for what we have around Charleston, SC.
Many posts are about good meals at various local restaurants. There have been a few about the weather and some about what’s the economy doing. Others talk about various activities that people are enjoying and a number that express appreciation for friends, or share family moments and dishwashers that don’t work…lots of people offered suggestions on what to do about that one!
One post talked about driving to the Ravenel Bridge to walk across the bridge (a favorite pastime of many), but the rain there caused her to have to find sunshine on a walk on the beach instead. I thought that one was particularly interesting since it helped me to appreciate that there are options for something as simple as a daily walk!
My wife and I were driving back from a trip to Hilton Head on Sunday. As we were driving on 17S, we both commented on natural beauty that surrounds us. We decided to move here to for business reasons, but fell in love with the area because of what it offers, the people, the food and the natural beauty that surrounds us everyday. When I read posts that show the appreciation that others have for what surrounds us it makes me smile. People from other areas want to be here. They buy second homes, or take vacations here because of what we get to enjoy everyday.
I have come to appreciate what we have and look forward to enjoying it for a very long time. I hope you do to!
This past Saturday, Dunes Properties’ Rebecca Narkiewicz along with vice chair of the Mt. Pleasant Pride Committee (Patricia Fuchs) helped clean up the Ocean View Cemetary in the Old Village of Mt. Pleasant. They were part of a small group consisting of student volunteers, church organizations, city employees and neighborhood residents. Low hanging branches were trimmed, weeds were pulled, litter was picked up- it was a great big success.
Congratulations to Kristin Walker- one of the Locals We Love by Charleston Scene magazine.
Kristin Walker is a woman inspired.
The bike and pedestrian enthusiast has taken time to find her passions, earning an MBA, working in Europe and New York and serving as a back-road tour guide in Italy — all before choosing her dream job in Charleston’s real estate market.
As a guide, Walker was influenced by the positive effects of biking and walking.
“I wanted to … move the city in a more bike- and pedestrian-friendly direction. It makes people happy, confident and connected to their environments,” she said.
Never one to abandon a dream, Walker began incorporating the idea into her real estate business with Pedal to Property bike tours.
Next, Charleston ladies were targeted with Cycle Chic, a critical mass ride for women.
“I wanted women to get that it’s OK to ride your bike to a restaurant in your high heels and a dress,” she said.
Her increased activism has led to Walker’s recent selection to the board of Charleston Moves.
While some might call this a full plate, Walker is far from finished. During Bike Month in May, she is planning an event closing King Street to cars, and the launch of bikecharleston.org.
“Out of all this stuff, what defines me are livable community initiatives. It means experiencing your community in a way people haven’t been doing and connecting.”
To learn more about Walker’s initiatives, check out: www.bikecharleston.org, http://charlestoncyclechic.com and http://p2pcharleston.com.
Patricia and I met in Morristown, NJ when we were loaned to AT&T by our operating companies to work on divesting the Bell System. We worked in different areas and had been in New Jersey for several weeks already. We got to visit home, New Orleans in my case, and Dayton/Fairborn in Patricia’s case, at least once a month.
On one of my trips home, a colleague, Martha Vinot, told me that her group would be moving to the building where my group worked and that her manager was someone I should meet. That happened the next Monday morning and Martha was right! Patricia was someone I should meet! Our temporary assignments went on for months and eventually turned into permanent jobs with AT&T. Our friendship turned into love and we were married on March 9 at the Madison Hotel in Convent Station, NJ, 26 years ago today.
We have had an interesting walk together over the years. Patricia and I determined from the beginning that we were committed to each other, and the work that we would need to do to keep walking together. I often reflect on something I heard a long time ago. A beautiful pearl is produced when some irritant enters the shell of a pearl and the pearl continuously covers the irritant with something that makes it smooth and less irritating to the oyster resulting in a beautiful pearl. We have been working on a pearl of our own for 26 years. And since no two pearls are alike, any married couple can produce their own.
I owe Martha Vinot a debt of gratitude for introducing me to Patricia. She has no idea how that one generous act has made my life so complete! And to Patricia, thank you for being my wife making a pearl out of me!
Maybe you have read about the real estate market in the Charleston, SC area and are wondering what to do. You wouldn’t be the only one! Information is valuable when you understand the context and what it means.
The number of new real estate listings is slowing. The number of current listings is decreasing. There are more price reductions each week than there are price increases. Mortgage rates are low and there are tax incentives that are about to expire. Is it the time to buy real estate?
Making sense of the information can be difficult. Especially if you think that we haven’t hit the bottom yet! After all prices are being lowered more than they are being raised. But maybe we have essentially hit bottom because there are fewer listings and fewer new listings coming on the market. Rates are low now, but they WILL go up…soon, maybe. What should you do?
One of the Dunes Properties professional real estate agents can help you to make sense of the market. I am one of those agents and I can help you make sense of the confusing information you read each day about real estate. Our market is good. Whether you are buying your first home or moving to you dream home, we can help you make the best decision for you.
If you have never been to an Apple Retail Store, do yourself a favor and stop in the next time you are in a city that has one. Those of us in Charleston are eagerly awaiting the opening of the new Apple Retail Store on King Street, just a few blocks from our new dunes properties location, The Real Estate Studio, also on King Street.
Apple knows what the customer wants and they prove it with astronomical sales numbers all over the country. They know it’s not just a product we want; I can buy an ipod almost anywhere now. They know we want an experience when we shop, in a welcoming environment, one where we tend to stay awhile. They know we want information, without obligation. And boy oh boy do they deliver. You have to see their store to believe me.
About three years ago, while visiting New York City, I stopped by the Apple Retail Store. It was Apple’s first NYC location in SoHo and my wife, Kristin, (an Apple techno nut if there ever was one) insisted we visit. I was amazed. The staff was courteous, knowledgeable and knew when to leave us alone; but they were always available to answer any question or demonstrate their products. They even had a learning center towards the back where customers where sitting, discovering new applications and even more technical details of the computers they had purchased. The place was alive with people playing on all kinds of gizmos. I did not want to leave. It was not long after returning to Charleston that I purchased my own Apple computer.
So, why can’t that work with those interested in real estate, I thought? I mean, haven’t we in our profession been ignoring our customers’ real needs for too long? We have known forever that those looking to buy a home, condominium, or homesite wanted good information, and details without obligation, but somewhere along the line our profession believed you had to pay for it with your name and phone number. Honestly, have you ever walked into a real estate office dreading every moment, since you just knew an information card was waiting to be completed before you could talk to someone? You know the drill; ask for a list of properties, then wait to be assailed by an agent who will try every trick to get you in the car. And I am sure many people leave a real estate office thinking the information received may have been limited or not quite complete.
So, give credit to Apple for our idea: THE REAL ESTATE STUDIO. Once I saw that space in New York City, I began thinking how their idea could be adapted to better serve a visitor’s need for complete, detailed information about our real estate market in Charleston. What began as an idea, quickly became a real plan. But first, where in Charleston? We have offices on the Isle of Palms, Folly Beach and Seabrook & Kiawah island. What better place than the center of Charleston’s historic shopping district. Almost everyone visiting Charleston will walk down King street at least once during their stay. So, we picked the center of all activity across from Saks and Brooks Brothers and just three doors down from Charleston Place. Then, with well-known architect Neil Stevenson’s help and Heidi Walker’s interior consulting, we designed a very cool, comfortable space with a technological edge. Using many large, wall mounted, plasma TV screens and software designed to mesh all the latest search applications (including the Multiple Listing Service, Zillow, Trulia, Google Earth and others), we created a space where anyone can see every property available in a matter of minutes. Compare that to two days in a car, all over town, hearing all about your agent’s life story. Also, keeping what the customer wants in mind, we chose a concierge to introduce the simple, point and click-ability of our customized search software instead of an agent. Our concierge staff aquaints our guests with the listings interface, answers techincal questions, and best of all only ask question in return…… coffee, tea or lemonade? We even copied Apple’s learning center and created a “tech-desk’ with Apple computers just so our customers can privately check their email or get a quick work detail in, while away from home on vacation. Charleston is known for its hospitality and The Real Estate Studio was built to reflect the Holy City’s demeanor. Just like an Apple Retail Store, you have not seen anything like this before, or so we are told by all who have visited us over our first year. Those wishing to sell see The Real Estate Studio as an advantage over the same old same old, since the screens display professional videos of our exclusive listings. A large, private conference room with a separate garden entrance is offered to the business community for meetings and those clients whose homes we feature. Always on display at the Studio is art and sculpture from known and not-so-known local artists. We host events and art openings, occasionally with live music since The Real Estate Studio and Staff support the Charleston Symphony through donations from each sale downtown.
Our concierge also assists our guests with their plans to return to Charleston; from Oceanfront homes or beachfront condominium accommodations, or though our affiliation with Charming Inns, offering Charleston’s finest Bed and Breakfast Inns, golf, dining, sailing, fishing or plantation hopping.
The whole idea behind the Real Estate Studio was to give our customers and clients what they have always really wanted: complete, detailed information in a relaxed non-threatening space, with no obligation. We at dunes properties have always believed that professional service, courteousness, patience, creativity, well thought out marketing and great information is what the customer wants and will always win the day. So, from the start twenty years ago, we have always offered more, much more, than one could expect from just another real estate office. So, with a little inspiration from Steve Jobs and Apple, dunes properties created The Real Estate Studio.