We had the good fortune of connecting with Jeff Fedder and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jeff, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
This was a multi-faceted process driven primarily by deciding to write my own career story versus having my story written for me. The short version is I was tired of being laid off 3 times and holding my breath every January waiting to hear if the company I was working for was going to be cutting staff or not. The retail business is highly volatile and after nearly 20 years in the retail industry, working my way up from a Sales Associate to a Regional Manager position over several companies, it was time for a change. A change to a path where I am the one who decides my success or failure. Another facet to this decision to start a business was to help others in a way that is meaningful and long lasting. As a young boy, I would sit at the kitchen table and draw houses. This was a creative outlet. When the opportunity showed itself to be able to be in the business of houses and help people too, I jumped at it.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business is about a home buying or selling experience that is built on respect, trust and communication. Starting out, I was working full time in the retail industry and real estate was “part time” per se. I quickly came to realize that in order to provide my Clients the high level of service they deserve, I need to give it 100%. So my one full time job became 2 full time jobs. Working until 6 at my retail job Monday-Friday and real estate got my nights, weekends and Holidays. One lesson learned was that helping people buy or sell a home is more than just a money-making transaction. It is a life altering decision for most and the trust factor must be at 150% not to mention continual two-way street communication to ensure my Clients are informed and comfortable along the way. After about 2 years of working the 2 full time job essentially, with the encouragement of my partner, I decided to get out of retail entirely and focus on building the business and Client servicing solely. The business doubled almost immediately but to this day, 5 years later, I continue to maintain the number of Clients I take on at a manageable level so I am able to have that one-on-one personal experience they deserve, look for and come back for. Eighty percent of my business is repeat and referral based which has enabled me to really enjoy taking on new Clients. Once a Client, always a Client with me.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Wow this is a loaded question! What’s the saying…What happens in Atlanta, stays in Atlanta? Something like that. Atlanta is filled with the usual touristy things so there may be the possibility to visit the GA Aquarium and tour around to see the Benz and Centennial Olympic Park. Then we must go where the locals go….Virginia Highlands, Inman Park, O4W and Little 5 for great eats. Now though, the upper Westside has great options to check out too. Like the Westside Provisions District and The Works. But to experience the small town feel ITP, head to Decatur and Avondale Estates for a walk around and more great restaurant options.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
As with most, if not all, of the people reading this, there are many people who have been an inspiration and support to me over the years. From a career perspective, Jeanne Harlett was the person who took me under her wing and taught me how to be a great Manager. From a more personal perspective, my family and life partner have always been there supporting me through the tough times and encouraging me to push ahead. When a door closes, another will open. Just have faith and patience for it to reveal itself.