Joe Hammonds-Swain, Realtor for FATHOM Realty
Joe is an 18+ year resident of Woodstock, “Not your Average Joe REALTOR” – Top Producer 2019 Atlanta Board of REALTORS®, Top 10 REALTORS® while at Red Barn Real Estate and Around Woodstock Magazine’s 2019 and 2020 Reader’s Choice REALTOR® – “Changing the face of Real Estate – one Client at a time!”. Joe has a Successful 20+ years in Sales and Marketing. Demonstrated history of successful Consultative Sales and Cultivating Relationships.
Attributes and Strengths:
Self-Starter who needs minimal direction and quickly builds and nurtures relationships. Excited by a fast paced, forward thinking and innovative environment.
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Speaker1: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Woodstock, Georgia, this is Woodstock proud, spotlighting the individuals, businesses and organizations that make Woodstock one of the premiere destinations in metro Atlanta to live, work and play. Now, here’s your host.
Speaker2: [00:00:28] Hello and welcome back once again to Woodstock browed here on Business RadioX, I’m your host, Jim Bolger. Now, if you’ve been with us before, it’s great to have you back. And if you’re joining us for the first time, we really appreciate you spending a few minutes with us as we get better acquainted with the individuals and businesses that are making a daily difference here in the Woodstock community. Today’s guest is Joe Hammond Swayne, another proud resident here of Woodstock and an award winning realtor with Fathom Realty. And Joe focuses on residential properties and has firsthand knowledge of the housing market here in Woodstock, in Cherokee County and in north Georgia. He’s also an active networker in the Woodstock area and a newly appointed board member of in Woodstock, one of the local organizations that connects businesses and spurs the economic growth in the community. So we’re going to talk a little about real estate. We’re going to talk about networking maven, even talk a little bit better about barbecue before it’s all over, though, Joe. Welcome to Woodstock Browed.
Speaker3: [00:01:33] Hey, Jim, thanks for having me. I really appreciate the time.
Speaker2: [00:01:35] Now, we’re happy to have you here. So let’s let’s start with a little bit of background. Like many realtors, this was not your first career. So give us a brief idea of your background and how you ended up at Fathom Realty.
Speaker3: [00:01:48] Sure. No worries. I started many years ago doing sales, I would say. I think one of the first things we do is, as anybody growing up should wait tables, OK? And you learn real quick what customer service means. And then that turns into, you know, college, which then turns into retail, and then it kind of evolves. And before you know it, you’re working in some sort of sales capacity selling technology, at least I did. And then I spent probably 15 years selling technology, some of the biggest companies here in the southeast. And then through some changes, through some technology, through companies, I decided that it was time to break out on my own and become my own business owner. And I found that real estate is one of the fastest ways to get into being know an owner of your own business. So.
Speaker2: [00:02:34] Well, that’s great. And the move from technology companies to realty is kind of a unique one. So as you look at it, what skills, what knowledge, what experiences were you able to transfer from your technology roles into being a realtor?
Speaker3: [00:02:52] Sure, I I think that when it comes to real estate, it’s about setting appropriate expectations. OK, and then as you learn more about what people’s needs are, you become a problem solver. And I think a lot of that equates back to technology, because when I was selling technology, my job was to come into an organization, understand, spend time learning about processes, spend time about different systems, and trying to bring all of that together with a solution that would resolve a specific pain point that the client may or may not know in this case with real estate. A lot of people do know that either they want a home or they know that they want to make a change from one home to another home. And so your job is to help solve for that equation. And so that project management background, working inside real estate allowed me that kind of comfort when we moved over to this one from like a big, large global kind of mindset to a very communal mindset by moving to real estate. It’s just some of the same transfer of some of the same processes.
Speaker2: [00:03:59] So. Well, it’s interesting that you mentioned project management, because every customer interaction you have is really kind of a project unto itself between the needs analysis and then looking for the possible solutions and making sure that that meets their needs. I mean, when you first meet with somebody, talk a little bit about that needs analysis, how do you help them decide, you know, really what they’re looking for so that you can narrow down the choices for them and manage their time to? Sure.
Speaker3: [00:04:33] Well, real estate is interesting because there are so many different styles of homes, so many different architectural capabilities. So when you start thinking about do you like a traditional home or do you like a modern home or do you like a contemporary home? A lot of people don’t know what those differences are and those different types of architectures. So you spend the time sitting down and going, OK, so where are you in this stage of your life? What style do you want? Do you want to be in a more urban setting where you’re walkable to all of your work, play, live environment, or do you want to be out further in a more rural environment? Maybe because you want to have some animals, maybe you want to have a farm. So once you sit down and have that conversation, you kind of uncover. What they’re looking for, and then then it becomes a discussion about, OK, so where can we find tune that? Where can we add this? Where can we pull away from that? What are your primary? If you were to do a list and this is probably something I tell a lot of people, do your pros and cons write down all the things that are must have? You know, I have to have this many bedrooms.
Speaker3: [00:05:37] I have to be on this size lot. I have to be in this particular city or town and then go, what are your nice to have? Well, if it had a kitchen, they’d be great to in. But if it had if it’s got like a backyard or a fence, that’d be nice. Maybe it has a pool, maybe that would be nice. And then the, the deal breakers, as I call it, that’s the column that we really need to pay attention to. These are the ones where people will say if it has this item, then it’s a no go for me. In other words, has to have a basement. If it doesn’t have a basement, don’t even bother sending me this particular property, OK? Because it is a priority for me to have a basement. But if it doesn’t have one, then you can take that off the list. So those types of things do come up. And I do find sometimes people they want that pool, they want that hot tub. You know, they want that spa. They want the land, OK? And those are deal breakers. If it doesn’t have those, then, you know, that’s it.
Speaker2: [00:06:34] Well, and for most of us, I mean, buying a house is the largest personal investment we’re going to make in our lives. And it’s an exciting time, but it can also have a lot of tension and nervousness and twitchiness do it. And so holding down those frustrations where they’re looking at a lot of things that don’t meet their needs, I’m sure helps you in building your relationship with them, that doing that initial needs analysis, you really can narrow down to just what they’re looking for.
Speaker3: [00:07:06] You can. And then on top of that, sometimes what you may see online. May be completely different when you walk through the front door. I hear that all the time. Yeah, so the front door is is there is the gateway, right? So you may see pictures online that are beautiful. They have fantastic lighting. They have, you know, staged. And then you walk through the front door and it feels like it’s either a basketball court because it’s miles and miles wide or it’s this tiny is like a closet. OK, so you have to you really may not know until you walk through the door. And so sometimes even I don’t even know until we do step through that front door.
Speaker2: [00:07:42] You know, somebody mentioned to me not long ago, they had said that, you know, they were looking at some houses on Zillow and some of the other sites. And then they went out to actually look at them and they said, you know, it’s kind of like reading somebody’s resume and then meeting them, that there was a big difference there between what they expected to see and what they actually saw.
Speaker3: [00:08:01] Absolutely. That is something we deal with on a daily basis. And again, back to your topic. You know, how do you set those appropriate expectations? OK, and so having those conversations where it’s open and you have that dialog allows us to further understand those needs. Right. And, yeah, it just it’s really interesting when it comes down to that.
Speaker2: [00:08:25] Well, and I would think one of the other transferable skills you brought was I mean, I spent a lot of years in technology companies, as you did, and the technology is always changing and being able to adapt to those changes seamlessly is a big part of it. And obviously, we’ve seen a lot of changes in the real estate market. I mean, as we sit here in August of twenty, twenty, one of the local real estate market is strong. And as we’ve mentioned on the show before, I mean, Woodstock has gotten a lot of attention over the past year. Is Money magazine’s number 17 best city to live in in the US Homes magazine, third best U.S. suburb to move to in just a few weeks ago, Woodstock was named the fifth safest city in Georgia. And do those kinds of awards prompt people to consider a move to our area? What kind of changes are you seeing in the market right now?
Speaker3: [00:09:19] Absolutely. I mean, the market right now is unprecedented. I mean, we’re seeing stuff that’s been in the works now for 20 plus years. OK, the housing shortage has been something for quite a while. And so when you add the pandemic last year and then you add to the reduction of mortgage rates right now being some of the lowest ones, you know, very, very long time, it creates demand. And so when you have those two things playing, you instantly have more competition. It’s that competition mindset, supply and demand, I mean, this basic economics. And so when you have homes on the market and you have multiple offers, which we are seeing, OK, and then you have to make some decisions based upon the offers themselves, the owners, the sellers have to do that. And as a buyer, you want to position yourself as strong as you can. So when you work with both sides of the equation, like I do, you have a very well rounded ability here to to really help people find those homes and try to win. And it becomes competitive. It really does. And but we are seeing some people, you know, transplant here from other locations maybe where there are real estate markets. Values are even higher than they are here in the Atlanta market. So we’re seeing a lot of that as well. And that creates more competition, too.
Speaker2: [00:10:40] So so let’s say there’s someone who is looking to take advantage of the market right now. They’re thinking about selling their home. What advice would you give them as far as preparing their home to make it as attractive as possible to potential buyers?
Speaker3: [00:10:57] Ok, so the word advice, I’m going to frame that by saying to be me providing advice, that would mean that you would need to be under contractual arrangement with me. OK, but knowing that these things are pretty commonplace, I will say that the biggest thing is to clutter the clutter, clutter, clutter, remove unwanted furniture that maybe makes a room feel very claustrophobic, OK? Make sure you clean, clean your ceiling fans, clean your light fixtures, wipe down the countertops. OK, these sound like simple things, but you would be surprised if some homes when you walk into them and those things haven’t been done, if you have a stainless steel refrigerator or stainless steel appliances, might not be a bad idea to wipe it down with a stainless steel wipe. OK, because fingerprints really stick out. OK, you windows. Clean the windows, I mean, it sounds crazy, but it really is the simple things that make it stand out, but it really is one of those first impressions are everything curb appeal? OK, make sure your house looks great from the street. If you need to put down new mulch, Moorestown, maybe add a splash of color with a few flowers, you know, pick some seasonal flowers depending on when you’re going to list your home.
Speaker2: [00:12:11] So so it doesn’t have to be big changes. These are all pretty simple to do.
Speaker3: [00:12:16] Yeah, I think the House is going to sell itself if it’s priced right. And I’ll come back to that. It has to be priced right. And I feel like sometimes you deal with people who have unrealistic expectations, you know? You know, sometimes they’re like, I’ll sell if I can make X number of dollars, that’s great. I can’t guarantee anything. OK, but we can try it. But the reality is, is if it doesn’t sell, I want you to understand that the way it does sells through price price resolves a lot of concerns. So.
Speaker2: [00:12:49] I have a friend who’s a home remodeler, and we were talking a few months ago and he was telling me that, you know, HDTV in the other home improvement home buying shows for his business have prompted people to reevaluate their current space, get a little dissatisfied with their current space and look at remodeling or even moving as a realtor. Have you seen any impact from those kinds of shows?
Speaker3: [00:13:19] Yeah. So, I mean, this morning, matter of fact, it said my realtor only works with me and shows me three homes and I have to decide which home to buy. OK, because that’s an excuse me, a television show kind of mentality. But the reality is I can show upwards. I showed one client last year, 60 homes, while for we we closed it was 11 months, you know, time frame that we spent looking at homes to find the right home because they were very specific and what they were looking for and. So when you talk about the television shows, people do see trends, everything’s trends, and so you do see some television shows that do follow those trends and people do like to see those trends. But the reality is, is a four thousand our kitchen makeover, where you rip out new cabinets and new countertops, new flooring, new appliances, it’s a little bit unrealistic. OK, so having a realistic expectation is key. And sometimes the designers have added, if you can do it, fantastic. But if you’re going to try to sell and maximize your amount of money, it really is going to require very quality remodels. And so that’s the key.
Speaker2: [00:14:31] So, I mean, obviously, you get to work with a lot of people and it’s very individualities. I mean, everybody is going to be a little bit different. But as far as just general trends, what kind of trends do you see as far as what buyers are looking for?
Speaker3: [00:14:45] Buyers want Turkey right now. A lot of them want to be able to move into a property, but a minimum amount of money into it and then be able to live. So they’re looking for updated kitchens, updated owner suites, updated landscaping, OK, they’re wanting updated appliances. They want what’s on trend. And that’s what we’re seeing a lot of sometimes going that extra mile when you’re getting ready to list your home, maybe choosing a painkiller that’s popular. Yeah, that’s great. The thing is, it may not go the style of your home, so you have to think about that, too. So, yeah, it’s a lot. I mean, I’m not an architectural expert at all, OK? And I’m not I’m not an interior designer either, but I do have access to those tools for people who would like to use them so well.
Speaker2: [00:15:33] And you talk about people wanting something that’s move in. Ready? And tell me if this is right, but I’m hearing, you know, a lot of houses right now are only on the market a couple of days and yeah, you can push out a closing date a little bit, but people have to be ready to move pretty quickly. And if a home needs a lot of repairs or a lot of updates or a lot of remodeling before they can move in, it may delay them being able to sell their current house. Hmm.
Speaker3: [00:16:03] I’m thinking through that because I think that price resolves a lot of that. Sure. OK. But if there are remodels that have to be done, then doing those quickly would be the key. OK, as far as selling a home. It’s going to be it needs to be what the buyer needs, OK, which is going to be. You know, that turnkey look now, some homes like a home I went and visited yesterday. They’ve spent the last 90 days fixing the home up in preparation to put it on the market, landscaping, exterior, paint, interior paint, new deck. You know, I spent some money to overhaul the kitchen countertops, new cabinetry, took down a wall, opened up the space, which are all things buyers are looking for. And I think it’ll be a very attractive property when it does hit the market. And I think we will see multiple offers. I mean, the trend right now is four point four offers per listing. OK, things are cooling off, OK? It’s not as aggressive as it would have been back in May or even early April of this year. We are still seeing, you know, homes on the market for a period of time. But I don’t know the exact days on market today, but it is relatively under a month. Right out amount of inventory, so,
Speaker2: [00:17:36] Well, you mentioned earlier that, you know, mortgage rates have remained pretty low. Is that from what you’re seeing, is that prompting some people to get into home ownership who really maybe before were renting or hadn’t really consider that?
Speaker3: [00:17:50] I think so. I think a lot of people see the six hundred dollars and eighteen hundred dollars and two thousand dollars worth of rent every month is they’re paying somebody else’s mortgage. And so you see people looking at that and analyzing that and then making some decisions based on that so that they can, you know, either save money to put down because every real estate transaction, it does require some cash or they put some aside for their own remodeling that maybe they want to do once they get into a property. But we are seeing more people because money is, quote unquote cheap. And I’m using finger quotes here, people that more people want to do become homeowners, you know. So it’s neat. It’s interesting to see. But there are some things happening and on Wall Street that is creating additional competition where they are buying homes, cash, OK, and that’s non financed, by the way. So that makes it an interesting when you have multiple offers. So.
Speaker2: [00:18:48] Well, and for those of us who are more uninformed about this, you know, I hear people saying, well, inventories are low right now that, you know, looking for a house, if you’re ready to move, move fast, try to make a decision, because, you know, there’s just not the kind of inventory out there that there was before. I mean, if you found that to be true,
Speaker3: [00:19:13] There are more agents right now than there are homes on the inventory and on the market, really. That’s a stat I read somewhere in the past couple of months, but yes, there are more agents than there are homes on the market to be sold. Wow.
Speaker2: [00:19:27] Now, you we talked before about you making this change from your past career into real estate. If if someone listening is considering becoming a realtor. Let’s talk a little bit about what advice you might have for them, what traits do they need to do to need to have? What can they expect?
Speaker3: [00:19:54] Sure. This is an industry where. You I mean, you’re running your own business, much like if you want to set up an Amazon shop, you’ll be running your own business. If you’re going to be setting up a brick and mortar where you have people coming in to buy stuff from you, whether it’s a food, whether it’s clothing, it is a business. So you have to manage it like it is a business. And I think a lot of people don’t realize that because you do have to network, you do have to spend time understanding your financials. OK, you do have to spend time marketing and you do have to spend time seeking business and becoming a salesperson person. If you’re not a sales person, you can learn those traits. And you can evolve and you can be very successful sometimes being part of a team of people that help support you does help you grow faster. OK, I came into this industry cold feet. OK, I just had what I call myself Chop’s, OK, and so I just didn’t understand this vertical, this industry, and so I needed the right tutelage, the right mentor to help me through that. And I was lucky I was lucky to find a great mentor that could give me the right information I needed when I needed it so that I could be successful.
Speaker3: [00:21:13] Doing what I needed to do, which did require cold calling, did require knocking on doors. It did require responding to leads coming through the Internet. So these are all what I call typical sales tactics. Now, that’s not to say you can’t be very successful if you’ve been a teacher for 20 plus years and you’ve decided to make an evolution and become a realtor, you can still be very successful. I’ve seen a number of agents that have done something similar, and for that I’m excited for them. You know, it is a sales role, but it’s also a relationship. This is a relationship business. It’s about how you take care of your clients. It’s about the people that you know. It’s about the businesses that you choose to support, OK? It’s about being involved. These are just typical community stuff. And that’s why being in Woodstock has been so great. I’m so grateful to be here and have been here for 18 plus years. It’s just a neat, neat environment.
Speaker2: [00:22:10] I’m with you all the way on that, you know. I think a lot of people are going to suspect a lot of people have a vision of what it takes to be a realtor that may be different from reality as far as the amount of work it takes, as far as the kind of schedule they’re going to keep. As far as you know, I mean, there is a going out and showing homes to people. Part of it, there’s a paperwork, part of it to talk a little bit about that as far as the the amount of work it takes to schedule things of that sort.
Speaker3: [00:22:49] It’s funny you say that because I tell people all the time I work when most people don’t work and I work when most people don’t work. You know that. I get that right.
Speaker2: [00:22:56] Yeah, OK. So I work
Speaker3: [00:22:58] When people work and I work when people don’t. So there are you do have to set boundaries. I mean, I do have a family, have two wonderful, beautiful daughters that I have to take care of and and make sure that I’m involved in and their lives. And my lovely wife, of course. So I want to make sure that I have time. But you have to allocate that time. I mean, again, back to time management, being a business owner, making sure you carve out those things because those are priorities and at least they are to me. OK, and I know when starting any new business, you struggle with time. You know, I really need to go. It’s that that famo is the term I hear a lot if you’re missing out. If I’m not here, I’m not doing this and you don’t know where business is going to come from. OK, you know, what I have found is a lot of businesses come from your network, which is great as long as you’re actively involved in your community. So as a new agent, you understand there’s a lot of outlay of costs. People think that business falls in your lap. When you get your license, you put it on the table, you know, hey, I’m a realtor. Raise my hand, everybody. You don’t want to lose your house to me. And that’s not the answer. I’ve learned. Some people just don’t want to disclose their financials. OK, you may have some really close friends that love you and have been on your holiday card list every year.
Speaker3: [00:24:12] And they’ve come to your parties. They just may not choose to use you because they may not want you in that side of their their life. And I accept that. I’m sure I’m not for everybody. I’m very direct. I’m very honest. You know, I’m very busy. So it’s like, you know, I want to make sure that, you know, your priority to me. But at the same time, you know, there are things that I want to make sure I’m not wasting your time. OK, so you have to manage all that and expectations. People, they don’t know what they don’t know. And sometimes you have to tell them, OK, and so sometimes just tell them three times that they will say, all right, tell them once, tell them again, tell them a third time. And, you know, so when it comes to buying a home, you become a coach, you become an educator, you become a consultant, and you have to have your quiver, as I call it, full of all the tools that you can possibly use to give them the best experience possible, whether that’s access to a specific cash buyer, an investor, a Web portal, maybe it’s part of being part of a group that says, hey, I got a I know something coming soon here that might be of interest to you. You know, knowing what those tools are and how to effectively use them. You don’t use a hammer as a wrench. But, you know,
Speaker2: [00:25:31] When you talk about sales and obviously this is a very consultative sell, you know, someone who’s coming from a hard sell consumer package, goods kind of background and things of that is going to have to adapt to this kind of sales. And you talk about time management, and I think it goes back to what you were saying earlier about the prep work that you have to do. I mean, I would imagine and again, I’m not a realtor, so I’m just looking from the outside in. But I would think just the pure activity of going out and showing homes, going out and looking at homes prior to bringing your customers in, that can be a real time sponge if you haven’t done the prep work earlier to really know what you’re looking for.
Speaker3: [00:26:22] Absolutely. You can burn up the roads and burn the miles and the fuel in your car show and houses somebody that doesn’t even have an intent to buy insurance. So you have to learn some of that is through hard knocks, you know, but there are times where you can ask those questions and you learn how to figure that out. You learn how to adapt because sometimes you show up to house and you’ve got let’s say you have five houses schedule to show one client over a three and a half hour window. You might have to drive an hour to the other side of town, OK, from your location, you have them all lined up and each home’s thirty minutes showing or fifteen minutes showing, OK, and you get there and when they pull up to the house, maybe it’s the third house. They stop and say, this is not for me. Now you’ve got thirty minutes of dead air. What do you do with it. So knowing how to adapt. Knowing how to, you know, take a step on the back foot and figure out how to move and then have the ability to well, maybe maybe there’s one in the neighborhood we can get into right now. Let’s call. So you make some few calls, maybe because you’re trying to maximize their time, you’re trying to maximize your time, and then maybe you find something, you know, that’s close by that you can get into and still squeeze in that window and still make all your other appointments because you’re still trying to hit those targets. And if and if it doesn’t happen, it’s a chance to build relationship, a chance to ask a few more questions, find little bit more about what makes them tick. You know, so you have to be in that mindset
Speaker2: [00:27:51] All the time. Well, and I know and hopefully I’m unique in this because I know when my wife and I were looking at houses years ago, as we looked at houses, our wants would change. We’d see things in certain houses. We say, OK, yeah, we want that or we don’t want that. And so even over the course of that relationship with our customer, does it change the kinds of houses that you’re looking at typically?
Speaker3: [00:28:18] Yeah. Yeah, because you at least I have a process where I ask, what are you like about this property? What do you dislike about this property? What would make it if you were to make a few changes? Could you live in this house? These are questions that you know, intuitively you don’t figure out when you first start. You have to think about them. And so things do change, areas change. Maybe they decided they didn’t want to live in this specific county or the specific city. And then all of a sudden, what you may have shown, 20 houses. Now you shift, you know, 30 minutes away into another neighborhood or another house. Maybe there’s an opportunity, you know, of coming in a specific area where they’re starting to build houses. Maybe the house is going to be a different price point. Maybe that’s going to be something that could you could potentially get into. So things may change, but your job is to always service the client, address their needs and protect them as much as you can from from everything that can happen.
Speaker2: [00:29:13] So how do you keep up with all that? I mean, obviously, you work here in Woodstock, but you’re also working Cherokee County. I know you also work further up in north Georgia. How do you personally kind of stay on top of all the different communities, all the different options that are out there?
Speaker3: [00:29:29] I can’t know at all. I try. It’s so hard. It’s so hard. Things change. It’s like technology moves at such a fast pace. The new developments being build. I’m not in every city council meeting or every county meeting talking about zoning. I just don’t have the time here. So so you you do your best with what? The tools that you have. And I’ve got some amazing tools. These tools, you know, I pay handsomely for they give me access to data because I’m a technology person. I have data at my fingertips. You can slice and dice data left and right and you can pull some very creative reports. So once you get those creative reports and creative, alerting gives you sometimes a heads up on what’s happening as far as knowing every new construction neighborhood between here in the state line in Tennessee or North Carolina, I have no idea. I can’t keep up. OK, but if I can get access to the data that maybe there may be posted in, then that gives me some more information.
Speaker2: [00:30:27] So I’m going to guess there’s probably times two when you are partnering with other realtors who may know other areas specifically better than you do.
Speaker3: [00:30:38] Right, exactly. We would if there’s if there’s something where I can’t service effectively, like, for instance, I don’t drive to Savannah to show houses I can. I’m licensed in the state of Georgia, which means from the coast to Alabama to from Tennessee to Florida, I can work anywhere in there and do any business in the state of Georgia. But I’m not going to have time to drive to Savannah, show three houses and drive back. So it makes best sense to me to put somebody that’s a local expert to put those people in our local experts hands so that they can have the best service possible. And that’s what you have to figure out. You know, I have been here for 18 years. I understand Woodstock. So that makes me probably more of a local expert here in Woodstock. And for that, I’m grateful. You know, if I lived in Savannah for 18 years, it’s probably a good chance I would be a Savannah expert, you know, or one of the islands or something.
Speaker2: [00:31:27] Well, and I would guess for most people, I mean, yes, looking at the house is primary and choosing the house is primary. But they’re going to have other questions about the area, about school systems, about business climate, about, you know, arts and entertainment. I mean, they’re going to have other questions there that if you’re not a part of that community, it’s going to be real tough to answer those questions.
Speaker3: [00:31:50] Yeah, like, here’s an example in Savannah. I happen to know of a development going on down there that’s going to you know, it’s a really great overhaul, kind of like what’s happened in Keine at the mill. They’re putting a lot of money into developing this for business, for restaurants, for art. And it’s a neat little place, but I haven’t seen it personally. You know, I can only see what I’ve seen online. And I have some people I do know down there that know it and say it’s really a great environment, but. I can’t be the best one to talk about what’s going on in that development, that’s going to have to be somebody that lives in Savannah.
Speaker2: [00:32:22] Now, you talked earlier about how important networking is, and as we mentioned in the intro, you’ve been an active member of in Woodstock for years. In fact, I think that’s how we first met. It is. And were recently appointed to their board. Congratulations on that. Thank you. But I know you’re also involved in a lot of other networking groups in and around the county. Let’s talk a little bit about not only how. Important, you feel those groups are not only to your business, but just to you, as far as knowing the community and how you feel other people can benefit from them.
Speaker3: [00:32:59] Sure. And a group like in Woodstock is, you know, it’s a great environment that’s that’s part of the city of Woodstock. And it’s a five on one see six five one three five one one six six. It’s a membership driven nonprofit. Let’s just say that. And what is designed to do is to help foster the community here. And so if you’ve ever been part of the scarecrow invasion or been part of any of the goals that happen or any of the Ypersele, for instance, these are all groups and opportunities for you to connect with the community. And so I find that being part of that community, you do make contacts that can help your business. Like I’ve made a number of contacts for vendors and my clients may want to use. OK, so you compile a list and you provide those to your client and you let them choose who they want to work with. And so you need a plumber here, three plumbers that I happen to know here. The electrician hires three electricians that I happen to know. So it’s kind of nice to to know those businesses develop those relationships again, relationship with the business and then supporting those restaurants. Like last year when we were locked down, these restaurants needed a little bit to get through to the next day, to the next day. And so coming together and and ordering the takeout or stopping by and picking up, you know, kept those doors open, those businesses that we love. But it has to be because, you know, those business owners, you know, you know what they’re doing. And so by knowing those business owners, it just it’s that community aspect. And we we have a community here in Woodstock.
Speaker2: [00:34:33] It’s really nice. Well, I think it’s the community, but I also think it’s. You’re well-known in the area for your ability to build relationships, and obviously that’s part that, you know, it definitely helps you in your business because there’s a trust relationship that that customer has to have in that you’re looking out for them. But I’ve seen you plenty of times just connect people at different networking events that have nothing to do with real estate, and I have nothing to do with your business, but it’s just, oh, you’re looking for this. I know this person and bring the two of them together. And that happens all the time.
Speaker3: [00:35:10] It does. And it is because I’m there. It is a priority for me to be involved, to be part of this community, because I want to see this community continue to thrive. And so by participating, I get out of what I put in, you know, and I think that comes with anything that’s a priority. This just does a lot here that we have to offer. And I really am excited to see this blossom. I’m excited to see where this is going to go the next 20 years. I mean, it’s it’s an interesting I’m here for a while, so.
Speaker2: [00:35:44] Well, and if we we’ve talked about Woodstock five years ago, 10 years ago,
Speaker3: [00:35:48] Totally different kinds of really different conversation. Yes, yes. The businesses that were in downtown or weren’t a lot of them weren’t there? A lot of them were, but a lot of them weren’t. So, yeah.
Speaker2: [00:35:58] So let’s talk a little bit about your your life outside of work. I mean, I know that, you know, besides the networking, you’re a big hearted guy and have a real hard for supporting some of the local philanthropic efforts and other things in the community. Let’s talk a little bit about your involvement there.
Speaker3: [00:36:15] Sure. I mean, as part of real estate, I do have access to you know, you have to have professional photography. So one of the things that I do as part of my professional photography is when I do purchase a photo shoot for a listing, for instance, I have the ability to click a box and part of those proceeds could donate it to a national nonprofit. So that’s a benefit there that I like to try to do. But on top of that, there are plenty of nonprofits that are based here in Cherokee inside of Cherokee County, Woodstock, in Alice Springs, Alaska. And those nonprofits, they need as much support as anyone else. I mean, that’s you know, if you’re going to put your money out, let’s put it towards local. And so an example of that would be like limitless disability services and Goshen Valley and, you know, like a circle of friends coffee. You know, these are all environments that are local here. You know, most ministries is one. The next steps is another. I mean, the list is long, OK? But it is nice to be, you know, have the access to those that are here where, you know, your money, if you do donate, is going to be directly impacted on your community.
Speaker2: [00:37:20] That’s right here. And you can see the impact.
Speaker3: [00:37:22] You can see it. That’s right now.
Speaker2: [00:37:26] I promised at the beginning we would talk a little bit about barbecue. Now, a couple of years ago, you started a Facebook group called Cherokee Barbecue Society, where a local backyard grillers and smokers come on to this Facebook group. They share tips, they share pictures of what they’re cooking. And I mean, as a member of this group, I mean, it ranges from chicken and hamburgers to briskets and ribs and pork butts and kind of all points in between. Talk a little bit about what prompted you to start the Cherokee Barbecue Society.
Speaker3: [00:38:06] Well, it was on a whim, right? So it’s it was the closest thing to, like, a passion project, OK? I just felt I have a close circle of friends that I do work with that are out of the Cobb County area. And we’ve competed in a couple of barbecue competitions. And and so it’s been a hobby. OK, but I do enjoy standing behind the smoker. I do enjoy all the different techniques that come from it because it’s a process thing for me. It’s a problem solver kind of concept. So how can I improve? How can I move it forward? And so on a whim, one day I just decided to create this group, OK? And I just invited a few people and it’s kind of grown organically. I mean, I’m not marketing it and I’m not pushing it out there. But, you know, if I can see somebody that’s tried something on a smoker that I’ve never used and it turns out it looks beautiful and my mouth waters and says, hey, I want to taste that. You know, that’s a nice looking brisket. How can I get a cut or how did what did you use the season at or how long did it cook or, you know, what is the temperature? You cooked it. I mean, these are all things that run through my head, so how can I leverage that potentially on my own? And so I just saw it as an opportunity to create just a little community that’s surrounded by one thing, cooking behind a grill.
Speaker2: [00:39:19] Well, and I think it’s amazing. I mean, it’s over one hundred and thirty people now. I think so. It’s grown significantly over the years. But as you go there and look at the membership, a lot of them are people, you know, in the community who you never knew were standing behind a grill or a smoker on the weekends like you were. And I’ll tell you, you look at the pictures that they post on there and those pictures are going to make you hungry. They do. And there there’s some pretty talented cookers out there. And, you know, I don’t want to give the I mean, these are not professional, you know, cooks, but they’re putting out restaurant quality food in their backyard. And, you know, it doesn’t matter if you have the big set up or anything else. I mean, there’s people who are doing it on a little Weber. So I just find it interesting. And, you know, it is just I think it’s a great community. And I think it’s one more example of how this community of Woodstock just enjoys common interests comes together and whether it’s around business or music or art or barbecue, some people want to share. They do. And the tips on there, I know I’m constantly writing down different things that. What’s the best tip you’ve ever gotten from turkey barbecue society?
Speaker3: [00:40:45] Low and slow is what everyone says over and over, low and slow, low and slow. But you know what? You can actually accelerate that. There are certain techniques out there called the fast and run where you essentially crank the heat up and it runs in a hotter temperature and you cook it faster and you get similar results. So just know that it really depends on your smoker, your grill, your environment, how much time and effort and energy you want to put into it. But there are ways to modify any recipe. And that’s what I love recipes and love hearing about, you know, ways people modified it. There have been many nights that I’ve gone to bed at two a.m. only to wake up at four thirty and find out that I’ve burned the entire meal for tomorrow’s lunch. OK, and it happens. I’ve been there. It creeps up. And before, you know, it is eight hundred degrees and it’s been that way for two hours. You have a charred briquette right there sitting in your twelve dollar report. But I’m like, that’s great. I guess time to adapt, you know. But you roll with it, right. But it’s a learning process. You always have to be learning new stuff. And this is a way for me to learn new stuff.
Speaker2: [00:41:47] So well, again, I just think there’s a closeness that these folks have and it gives you some insight into other people that maybe you didn’t have before. So before we wrap up here, Joe. Final thoughts for someone thinking about moving into Woodstock, moving into Cherokee County, moving into the area, what would you tell them about the area as a whole, as far as someone maybe coming from outside the area who’s looking at our community?
Speaker3: [00:42:15] Well, if you’re looking to work, play and live. Woodstock is some of the best capabilities for this, such as coworking spaces, restaurants and downtown, your live entertainment that you find on Thursdays, Friday, Saturday nights, and even sometimes on Mondays and Tuesdays, depending on where you go. We really have some great places to go. You know, the concert series that was put on is a great, well attended communal event, you know, and then you have, of course, arts. If you want to do anything with Elm Street Green or the Elm Street Woodstock Arts Group, it’s a fantastic place to tie in and participate. You actually have a chance to come and volunteer and participate in those events. And so I see it as a potential here if you want to be outdoors. We have some of the best trail systems out there, whether it’s a bicycle or running or are walking, we have those abilities. We have a dog park. How many cities do you have? A dog park is pretty crazy. So, I mean, you know, it’s a chance for you. If you want to be outside, you can be outside all day long. If you want to be inside, you have plenty of options for that, too. So I’m excited where we’re at today and I’m excited to see this evolve and become, you know, maybe a bigger community of much more cooler stuff. So.
Speaker2: [00:43:31] Well, I think one of the things that’s interesting about and we’ll talk about Woodstock specifically, and I’ve lived here for over 30 years and there’s been a lot of growth, but new people coming into the area constantly are commenting about how it still has a small town feel, how it hasn’t lost that community, how it hasn’t lost that sense of history that it had 20 years ago when it was much smaller. And, you know, the train depot was empty and there were only a few shops downtown, you know, and I think that’s a real tribute to city leadership. I agree. And the people that have made some real wise decisions to grow the right way. But thank you so much for sharing your knowledge, your expertize and and your advice with us. We wish you and the team at Fathom continued success. And if someone listening would like to contact you about buying or selling a home in our area, how can they best get in contact with you?
Speaker3: [00:44:39] It’s really easy and pretty easy to find at the real estate, Joe. And then my websites at the real estate, Joe Dotcom.
Speaker2: [00:44:46] Well, thank you again for being here. We really appreciate it. And thank you for listening to Woodstock. Proud. We hope you enjoy getting to know Joe Hammond swaying a little bit better until next time. This is Jim Bulger saying take good care of yourself. Please stay safe. And we will talk with you again real soon.