We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Vandever and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
I’m at an age now where I do think about getting to the end of my career… although one of my grandmothers lived to 103, so I feel I probably have a few more good years in me! When I started out professionally, I had visions of grandeur, I’d work diligently, do my time, but I wanted to be on top. Now, it’s much more important to me to do really great work with the people I’m fortunate to call my clients, to be able to enjoy my time with family and friends, and to be there to help my dad as he faces issues with aging.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
What brought me to real estate is probably different than a lot in the industry. I was ready for a career change, but needed the flexibility that being self employed gave me. My dad lives in Florida and is having health issues and then sustained significant damage to his house as a result of Hurricane Michael. I wanted to continue to be available to help him when needed and go to Florida regularly.
My good friend Stephanie Brewer, had joined Keller Williams after she got her license. I’d had Keller Williams as a client before getting my license and was very impressed with the organization. Stephanie had tried to recruit me in the years after getting her license so given my need for a change and my need to remain self-employed, I decided to jump in. I love helping people and problem solving, and that’s what residential real estate is all about!
What sets me apart?
I see a lot of agents that really care about their clients and work hard to help them.
I think maybe I use more spreadsheets than the average real estate agent! I really like digging into the numbers and the details to help my clients get the best price possible for the house they’re selling or buying.
I may overthink things, but it’s really important to me to be the best advocate and advisor that I can be to my clients.
My experiences as a speaker and trainer I think have helped me guide clients through the process, making sure they understood their options so they could make decisions that were best for them.
I’ve enjoyed creating real estate related educational videos for my YouTube channel, https://YouTube.com/
My business has come primarily from referrals, either those who’ve known me in past lives, or those who’ve learned of me through my PowerCore team and YouTube and are willing to introduce me to their clients and their loved ones to take care of them.
Given the challenges of helping my father and with the ages of some of my earliest clients, I’ve become naturally drawn to help people 50 and older with the complications that often come when making decisions in buying and selling houses. I have received the Senior Real Estate Specialist (R) Designation from the National Association of Realtors (R) to even better serve my clients in the over 50 category.
But I also love working with first time homebuyers. They are sponges for information, and I love helping them understand real estate just like our first real estate did when we bought our first home.
I love people. I love helping people. And my strange mix of background, from being a military veteran as an offer in the Navy for 11 years, from being in corporate America in the IT industry for 13 years, and being a professional speaker and trainer for 10 years, and all the people I’ve learned from along the way, have really helped me be a better agent and resource to my clients today.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Oh my gosh… can it be a friend that rides a motorcycle???
Then I’m taking them to North Georgia to the amazing roads we’re so lucky to live so close to!
If they don’t ride, I absolutely love any excuse to take someone to the Georgia Aquarium! I love that place!
If we’re just hanging out locally in Alpharetta, then the Greenway for sure. If there are little kids involved, then a trip to the Wills Park playground. If they like barbecue, then ‘Cue bbq on highway 9 to be sure! Mexican? El Don on Highway 9.
Concert? Love the Amphitheater in Alpharetta! What a great venue!
Local theater. ACT1 Theater if they have a production going.
Want to learn to ride a motorcycle? The Alpharetta campus of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has classes for dirt bikes for kids as young as 6. Plus the 2-day basic rider course for those who want to ride on the street. That’s the class that I’ve been teaching.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’ve learned so much along the way from so many! My parents. My faith. My husband Rich is the wisest, smartest, kindest man. During my time in the Navy, my fellow Ensigns – Lisa Cook & DeJae Johnson. My first Executive Officer Stephen K. Jones. My first department head… I can see his face but I can’t think of his name. The officer who used to undermine me at every turn, yet sometimes he’d say something brilliant and useful, so he taught me to listen. My staff in that first job, especially Charlie Brown and Cathy Yonke. They taught me how to be a good leader, more than any leadership course I ever took. My 2nd boss in the Navy Phil Wrobel. That man taught me so much about customer service and how to treat people. Senior Chief Cullison who among other things shared the wisdom of her grandmother who used to say, “common sense is an uncommon virtue.” My primary sociology professor in college. I especially loved the books, “First, Break All the Rules” and “Now, Discover Your Strengths” and “E-Learning and the Science of Instruction” and have quoted them often. I love the approach to coaching used in the Situational Leadership model.
My colleague and friend John Southworth who taught me much more about leadership, and that some of your best work would only be witnessed by one person. I loved all the lessons I learned through my many friends and colleagues in the Georgia Chapter of the National Speakers Association.
My friends in the Speakers Roundtable Toastmasters club from whom I’ve learned and who have made me better. Special colleagues and friends I’ve met through the Association for Talent Development, especially JoAnn Labbie & Paul Terlemezian and the late Lisa Calhoun.
My boss Austin Guest at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation who is a model of a leader giving his employees everything they need to be successful. My mentor in real estate, Stephanie Brewer, who has been so generous with her time and sharing her knowledge, as have the other members of the Brewer Home Team and Keller Williams North Atlanta.
My clients in real estate who are simply the best clients ever! Plus my business coach Julie Allen has been a great friend and support on this journey. There have been many, many others who have taught me lessons and helped me learn. I’m ever so grateful for the people God has put in my path.