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Realty Executives

Realty Executives

By Kristie Darling

Photos by Shane Greene Photography

On the cover–Owners of Realty Executives, Kevin and
Debbie Spencer

Right–Left to right, front to back;
Teresa Hensley, Kevin Spencer, Sandra Watts, Dawn Kilby, Elizabeth Franklin, Floyd Humphreys, Jade Isenhour, Anne Barrier, Gina King, and Brad Bollinger


Realty Executives


“Realty Executives has always been about our people—our buyers, sellers, and our Executives,” Debbie Spencer told me. “It’s easy for our agents to tell people they work for Realty Executives, because we absolutely follow the Golden Rule and treat our clients—and each other—like family.” Indeed, the Spencer’s business is family, with husband, Kevin, and sons, Chris and Ryan, all integral players in the firm’s success. Debbie and Kevin started as owners of Realty Executives in 1993 and have built a hugely successful real estate enterprise here in Hickory.

The company has grown from a handful of agents to close to 50 Executives now, due in large part, I’m sure, to the agency’s outstanding reputation, integrity, and ethical standards. Kevin explains, “Debbie and I bring years of experience to the table. I’ve always been associated with homes. In high school, I was a handyman—my dad and grandpa taught me—and I think that’s what got me into contracting and real estate. I’ve been broker-in-charge for over 25 years, and I think our agents, new and long-standing, know they can call on me for most anything.” Kevin was a top producer for many years, so, when an agent has a question about a contract or other details, he can help. If there’s structural or repair questions about a home, he can help there, too.

“Kevin’s career started in building and contracting, and when I began selling real estate, our team was off and running. Everything was different back then. We didn’t have cell phones, laptops, Facebook, and drone videos to help us sell houses,” Debbie explained. “We spent a lot of time in the car delivering keys, making phone calls at home or in the office. I can remember when contracts were written with carbon paper and interest rates were 16%! So much has changed, and our Executives put technology to excellent use serving their clients.”

When Kevin and Debbie bought the franchise, they had already established themselves in the real estate business. “I started in 1985, buying and reselling properties. I discovered that working in real estate gave me some flexibility as a mom with two little boys,” Debbie said. “The advantage of flex time is important to our agents, and we strive to protect parenting and family time. Most of our agents have been with us for many years, and we’ve created a culture of trust and support. With our agents, we don’t bring in just anyone; it has to be a good fit.”

Families play a huge role in every residential real estate transaction, and that concept is not lost on Debbie and Kevin. Whether you’re selling a home, buying a first or next home—if you’re the agent in the mix—your family and their wellbeing come into play. “Watching the economy grow as it has recently is encouraging,” Debbie continued, “because we want our Executives to thrive and sellers and buyers to have plenty of great housing options. Right now is a great time to sell a home.” Kevin is considered a regional real estate specialist having both residential and commercial expertise. He pens “Expert Excerpt,” a monthly Hickory Daily Record column covering real estate market trends.

Chris Spencer has followed his parent’s lead and has become the lake expert of the family. He is broker-in-charge of Realty Executives’ Lake Norman location and is a man of imagination and drive. “I grew up on Lake Hickory, and I have over ten years of experience selling homes on all our beautiful lakes: Hickory, Rhodhiss, Norman and Lookout Shoals,” Chris explained. “Did I say I love lakes? I’m one of just a handful of agents who take folks touring listings on the lake. It’s exciting every time I share an up close and personal view of someone’s potential new home from my 24-foot pontoon boat. When I’m there, sellers know I’m cruising past their property, showing their home from the best possible view. Is there any better way to buy or sell a lakefront home than from the lake itself?” Chris produces drone videos of properties, a very cool addition to a seller’s listing. “I feel like I’m not just selling someone a home, I’m selling them the whole lake.”

Ryan Spencer is another family member who works in the business. Ryan has a natural talent for repair work and putting things back in working order. The family owns multiple properties, and Ryan has the responsibility of maintaining them. As an added bonus, he is available to Realty Executives agents for any problems that seem to pop up right before closing—the grass isn’t mowed, the window didn’t get painted, there’s trash left in the house, the old sofa is still on the deck, etc. His contribution is possibly more valuable than anyone’s when the Realtor is trying to close and get paid.

“With technology supporting them, our Executives can work a much larger market than we did years ago,” Debbie explained. “They cover the foothills, the Piedmont, all around our beautiful lake-filled central North Carolina. If you want to build, we represent ten custom home builders. We’re members of the Catawba, Mecklenburg, and Burke associations of Realtors. Our Executives can help you find a first home, your next home, a retirement or vacation home, or the perfect lot for your dream home.” The Hickory Daily Record named Realty Executives the Best Real Estate Firm five years in a row, and Hickory’s Finest Firm in 2016. “We’re a one-stop shop for real estate services,” Kevin said, “with a mortgage broker and attorneys on-site—our offices fill 7,000 square feet on the first floor of our building. Our agents are devoted. Some are top producers, some have decades of experience, some are bi-lingual, and all are here to get you where you want to go.”

Realty Executives’ online marketing strategy is innovative. Office Manager Katie Keisler is the first in this area to have created the agency’s own app. “Real estate marketing and technologies are ever changing. The most rewarding part of my job is to see our Executives adapt and succeed. We’re successful because of our people,” she shared. Katie’s skills in web design, social media, and marketing make her a critical cog in the wheel. “We couldn’t run this office without her,” Kevin and Debbie told me. At their website, www.RealtyExecs.net, you can search, save listings, schedule showings, and more. With over 30,000 visits a month, the website is a major avenue connecting them with buyers and sellers. New users register on an hourly basis.

“I’ve known a lot of these people for years,” receptionist Tina Leagon told me. “I come from a real estate family. I sold real estate for over 30 years—it’s in my blood, but I love that I’m not selling anymore. I’m really glad I can share my experience to help run this office.”

There’s a very good reason that about 90% of sellers partner with a listing agent—selling your house is hard work, and if you don’t have the time, knowledge, experience, and skills, you should run, not walk, to Realty Executives when it’s time to put your house on the market. Good people, great service, and superior results!

Realty Executives
(828) 328-8900
785 HWY 70 SW, Hickory

(704) 966-4659

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