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Blessed to be Neighbors

by Adam Watkins

     Here we stand with 2/3rds of 2017 in our rear view mirrors, and what a year it has been so far!  Does anyone else feel like we've lived a decade in just 8 months?  From the inauguration of a new President in January on the national level, to the locally dramatic impacts of a huge tornado ripping through the cities of Hattiesburg and Petal the very next evening! Fast forward to August where we experienced the excitement of the first total solar eclipse in decades, witnessed over almost the entire continental United States, and then days later, the arrival of Hurricane Harvey to the Texas Gulf Coast.  The damage and torrential flooding from that storm is still not fully known at this writing.  It's been an exhausting year in many ways.  Our thoughts and prayers remain with so many who have been impacted by this storm.  

     It can be easy to become discouraged and angry if you spend too much time watching the news recount and opine on these events and hundreds of others that I will not take the time to detail.  Suffice it to say, there is a lot of turmoil in our world, in our country, and in our communities - both real and imagined - precipitated by the activities of nature and man.  Recently, Amelia and I made the decision to reduce our intake of the news media because we recognize that regardless of what is being reported in the media - both on television and online - that it's no where near the full story.  It often ignores the good that we can find all around us, and it leads us to a place where we are tempted to begin viewing our neighbors as our enemies as opposed to our friends. Good news and good people/neighbors are out there, mind you - I guarantee it!

     How do I know?  Because the simple goodness of people and their desire to serve others was on full display in January when thousands of volunteers flooded our Hub City to give us a helping hand after many had lost everything in January's tornado.  Our family worked alongside those coming to the aid of those in our community, and many of them camped out in our church's parking lot for weeks afterward.  They loved us and wanted to help.  Most of you have similar memories of those days 8 months ago, I'm sure.  It's often in these of times of utter devastation that we're shaken from our television sets and mobile devices, and we discover who our neighbors are and learn to love them in spite of differences (real or perceived) that may exist.

     Right now, thousands upon thousands of volunteers are on their way to the aid of millions impacted by the affects of Hurricane Harvey.  By the time you receive this issue of the Star Chat, most of you will have already heard testimonies of the work that is taking place there.  Some of you may be amongst that number of volunteers, and many of you will know volunteers who left with only a moment's notice to aid victims of this latest disaster.  It's uplifting to witness, and I encourage you to focus on and engage in those efforts.  It can help balance our perspectives and force us to look beyond our "screens and stereotypes," and into the lives and hearts of others.  What a novel idea.

     REALTORS will be a part of this effort as well!  The Mississippi REALTORS Disaster Relief Fund was established after Hurricane Katrina to provide aid to property owners who've experienced damage and displacement from their properties as a result of disasters such as this one.  Since 2005, it has distributed more than $4 million dollars in aid to those impacted by various disasters both in Mississippi and other states, including aid to victims of flooding in Louisiana last year.  No doubt, REALTORS from all over the country will engage with this current disaster in similar ways, as they always do!  REALTORS view ourselves as caretakers of communities, and we are both obligated and honored to put that belief into action!

     It's a good time to reflect on the relationships we have with our neighbors, and the silver lining of the opportunity to serve your fellow man in a time of need and witness and experience the good of others.  It's out there!  At the end of the day, we have been blessed to call the finest land on earth our home, and we at The All-Star Team, REALTORS, are so thankful to serve you as our neighbors.  May God bless you all...wherever you may be...and in whatever circumstance.  We are thankful for you!

Adam and Team

Make it a red, white, & blue summer!

by Adam Watkins

      I'm not sure about you and your family, but May is a month filled with so many tremendous annual milestones for our team and our families.  From birthdays, to weddings, anniversaries, and graduations, it's hard to believe that so much can occur inside of 31 days.  DeLois celebrated another birthday on the same day that Amelia and I marked an anniversary.  One of our dedicated team members, Lauren Lott, completed her undergrad degree in education at the University of Southern Mississippi (congrats, Lauren!); and DeLois' grandson, Robert, celebrated nuptials as well as his new bride's graduation in a single event they termed a "graduwedding."  They simply killed two birds with one stone! How's that for efficiency?  Anyone who knows Robert is not surprised by this creativity!  Perhaps he learned some of that from his grandmother?

      For me, May also included an annual pilgrimage to Washington, D.C., on behalf of the Mississippi REALTORS.  Many of you are aware of the additional work that the team allows me the opportunity to do in service to REALTORS and the real estate industry on the local, state, and national levels.  This journey of service is one that began in 2005 with my first serious efforts in association work on the local level, and it continues to this day in various capacities within our local, state, and national associations.  One of the most impactful efforts REALTORS make is our annual visit to the office of every Congressman/woman and Senator each May in D.C.  During our meetings we discuss the impacts of policy proposals and regulatory changes on the real estate industry and property owners in general.  This year, we focused on maintaining the availability of affordable flood insurance, protecting the tax advantages of owning a home, and preserving the integrity and liquidity of the secondary mortgage market through FannieMae and FreddieMac. Since housing and real estate comprises such a large percentage of the nation's economy, the overarching message to lawmakers was, "Do no harm to housing!"  As the nation's largest trade association, as well as the single entity dedicated to advocating on behalf of property owners, the message was delivered loud and clear once more as nearly 10,000 REALTORS filed into the Senate and House office buildings over the week of May 14 - 20. The effort continues on a daily basis through our Governmental Affairs teams at all levels of government.  The neat thing is, anyone can join our party - even you!  We call it the REALTOR Party because there is no political party affiliation - only the desire to support candidates who support and protect housing and property ownership rights.  I've included a few photos of events throughout the week, including meetings with Senators Cochran and Wicker as well as Congressman Palazzo.

      As you can see, being a REALTOR is far more than marketing and managing the sales of property.  On a larger level, it's becoming a caretaker of the American Dream and property ownership rights for millions of property owners nationwide. It's a role that we are honored to serve and proudly fill, and an opportunity to contribute to a high and worthy purpose.

      Speaking of American Dreams...let us not forget that if it weren't for the divinely inspired efforts of some very brave men and women some 241 years ago, the freedom of property ownership as we know it would not  exist.  It's part of the reason our team sets aside each July 4th to celebrate the birth of our country with all of our friends and past clients. This July 4th will be no different!  Go ahead and mark your calendars for our annual July 4th festivites being hosted at Canebrake Clubhouse between 11:00 and 1:00.  We invite each of you to RSVP and join us (more event info to follow in coming days).  The program is changing this year to feature the performance of  "Victory Belles" of the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.  We're excited to have secured them as special guests.  You won't want to miss it!

      As we stand on the precipice of Summer 2017, I can't help but be a little excited about the possibilities and celebrations of the season.  Our team stands ready to become part of those with you whether it be the purchase of sale of a new piece of property or simply joining together at our annual July 4th reunion.  Regardless, we are here and we are ready to deliver the power of a team to you and those you care about!

Make it a red, white, and blue summer!

Adam & Team

Father Figures

by Alisa Sewell, Buyer Specialist

     Human nature causes us to have a tendency to reflect on our lives and on the people who have impacted us in a positive way.  In the month of June, we honor fathers for the crucial role that they play in shaping their families. For many people, however, fathers are absent in the home, and other people step up to fill that role.  As I celebrate Father’s Day this year, it is not hard for me to remember the three important men who have encouraged, supported, and loved me unconditionally throughout my life:  Terry, Pete, and Ken.

     There was a picture of me as a preschooler standing next to a newlywed couple on the steps of a church.  I was supposed to be with my mom decorating the newlyweds’ car, but somehow I was drawn to the excitement happening in the front of the church.  The bride was my mother’s sister, Trish, and the groom was Terry, who became my uncle that day.  Early on, I felt compelled to hang out with him.  I loved to watch him work on cars, and he could fix most anything.  When I went off to college, he promised to look after my mother, who was recently divorced.  He kept my Volkswagon Beetle running, even putting new tires on it when I could not afford to purchase them.  When I asked how I could repay him, Terry assured me that making good grades in college was sufficient.  When I bought my first car after college, he was the one who helped me with my decision and negotiated with the car salesman.  Since Uncle Terry had kept my VW Beetle running all of those years, it was an easy decision to give him the car.  Being a great listener, Terry helped to fill a void in my life.  Whenever I was having troubles, he was sympathetic and encouraging.  He shared his personal stories helping me to view things from a male’s perspective.  When my big day came to walk down the aisle, I asked Uncle Terry to do me the honor of giving me away.  I cherish the fact that he filled in the gaps throughout my childhood and treated me like the daughter he never had.

     Another important man in my life was Pete, my father-in-law.  I began dating his son my junior year of high school.  Pete was a fun-loving person who always had a great story to tell.  He traveled extensively with his job as a furniture representative for the state of Georgia.  He never met a stranger and could relate to every person he encountered.  He was generous to a fault.  When I was driving back to college one weekend, he asked if I had any money.  He was not trying to embarrass me, but he was aware of my family’s tight financial situation.  He gave me twenty dollars with the stipulation that I did not have to pay it back if I ever had to use it, which is not standard procedure when a person receives a loan.  Of course, I used the money at some point, but, when I had a summer job, I stuck a twenty dollar bill in his shirt pocket while his hands were in a sink of dishes because I knew he would protest.  Possessing a sensitive side, Pete was the one to cry as his son drove off for college as a freshman, and he was the only one of our parents who shed a tear at our wedding.  Pete loved to laugh and to make others laugh.  He would never admit it, but he was the culprit who hired the entertainment who interrupted our wedding rehearsal dinner.  It was a PG-rated performance since the minister and his wife were in attendance.  The minister later was heard saying that he had never had more fun at a wedding rehearsal.  Pete loved his family dearly and showed it with his many acts of kindness.  His five grandchildren were the apple of his eye.  I cherish all of the fond memories that I have of him, and his legacy lives on in the hearts of his family and friends.

     It is hard to put into words how much this last man has impacted my life.  My husband, Ken, has been my biggest role model of unconditional love and support.  He possesses so many great qualities that won my heart in adolescence.  Ken and I attended school together from third grade through college.  When we began dating in high school, we discovered that Ken’s family had lived in the same neighborhood as my Uncle Terry and Aunt Trish when he was younger.  We vaguely remembered playing together in the neighborhood when I would visit my uncle and aunt.  It seemed our paths had crossed sooner than elementary school, and we were meant to share our lives.  Ken and I will celebrate twenty-seven years of marriage in July, and we are blessed to have our three children.  From changing diapers to teaching life-long skills, Ken has been a devoted father who has always been involved in all aspects of raising our children.  He has been faithful to be present at games, dance recitals, school programs, emergency room visits, but also he has made himself available when our children have needed him, such as speaking words of comfort and truth to mend our daughter’s first broken heart to accompanying our son out of state for his first job interview.  Ken has encouraged our children to follow their dreams and has instilled in them a strong work ethic by his example.  Following the role model set by his father, Ken loves his family dearly, possesses a great sense of humor, and believes the best of others. 

     I cannot imagine how my life would have been altered had I not had these three individuals in my life.  I am forever grateful for their positive influence.  I wish a Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers and father figures who have made a difference in the lives of their families and of others.

Again… You Do Not Need 20% Down to Buy NOW!

by The KCM Crew

survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is required to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. There are two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 40% of consumers think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less.

Many renters may actually be able to enter the housing market sooner than they ever imagined with new programs that have emerged allowing less cash out of pocket.

2. FICO® Scores 

The survey also revealed that 62% of respondents believe they need excellent credit to buy a home, with 43% thinking a “good credit score” is over 780. In actuality, the average FICO® scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower.

The average conventional loan closed in February had a credit score of 752, while FHA mortgages closed with a score of 686. The average across all loans closed in February was 720. The chart below shows the distribution of FICO® Scores for all loans approved in February.

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective buyer who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to act now, but are not sure if you are ‘able’ to, call The All-Star Team, REALTORS, will over 300 years experience and over 5,000 properties bought or sold, we can help you every step of the way.

 

1,500 Properties Later...

by Adam Watkins

       Although, I've been a part of The All-Star Team since late 1999 (almost 18 years), this past month marked a milestone in my real estate career as I completed my 15th year as a real estate licensee and REALTOR (I write it that way because those two are not one in the same)!  A lot has changed in our market, on our team, and in our lives during these years.  There's also a lot to be thankful for in those 15 years - most of all, those of you who took the chance on a young 22-year-old guy in those early days who had a big dream and a desire to be an ambassador for the community he loves.  Now, close to 1,500 properties later, I can say that I've not only gained experience, but most importantly friendships that continue to bless my career as well as my life.  I'm also grateful for those members of our team who've been a part of the journey - those who are currently serving along side of me, and those who've served alongside me on this journey.  Thank you to DeLois and our team of agents and staff - both past and present who have supported me along the way.  Thanks of course to my wife, Amelia, who has been able to work alongside me daily in this business for the last 10 years and who will celebrate 14 years of marriage with me in May.  Most importantly, thank you to God for blessing my life with the ministry of this career.

       I've always been a little bit of a statistics junkie.  When I first started in the business, I would truly get lost in them.  In fact, for years before I was licensed, I did the research for our team's monthly market updates (like the ones we provide with this newsletter each month).  Calculating the supply and demand for each price range was something I looked forward to doing.  One time I created a chart showing the change in supply and demand over a period of several years!  Add a couple of kiddos and managing a real estate team, and it gets a little more challenging to devote the time it takes for me to produce these things manually these days.  Plus, technology and our MLS systems are more robust to do these things automatically now, which helps.  It always intrigued me how quickly our market levels could change, though.  That's why when folks ask me how the market is, it's important to realize how complex markets are and how quickly they change in order to answer such a question.  For instance, a major disaster, sudden economic downturn, or other factors can quickly impact a market.  Many of you recall the days after Hurricane Katrina and how our market became under supplied for a period of time. Nearly 2 years later in August of 2007, the exact opposite was true as the supply of new construction homes that were listed in the MLS system increased by approximately 400% in only 30 days time (end of July to end of August 2007). Suffice it to say that real estate markets can be compared to the weather in Mississippi.  They can change quickly and vary from location to location!

       So what about now?  Well in general, and for many of our locations (Petal and Oak Grove in particular), we've been experiencing low supply levels in the price ranges between $100k and $200k in our market.  This is partially due to the reduction in inventory in these price ranges following the January 21st tornado.  Several homes that would have been in this price range were removed from the market, and the need to replace those homes increased.  As we migrate to the $200k to $250k ranges, the inventory is abundant in the City of Hattiesburg, but in the 4 to 5 month range in Oak Grove, Petal, and Sumrall, again underscoring the principle that markets are local in nature and driven by specific factors within each market.  Where there is agreement in our market is once you go over $300k, where our supply levels are quite high and our selections are abundant.  We began noting the oversupply in these price ranges particularly in the $300K to $500K range in the first and second quarters of 2016.  For a while we were trying to determine why this was. The fact is that purchases in this price range are driven by strong employment in job sectors where income levels are high relative to the median incomes in our market.  After reviewing previous years sales activity, we were able to pinpoint the oil and gas industry as one job sector that produces jobs meeting this criteria which has experienced difficulty over the last 18 to 24 months.  And, as a result, the number of buyers entering this price range has been reduced when compared to the years prior to 2015.  

       Perhaps some of your eyes are glazed over by the discussion of statistics, but I thank you for sticking with me (assuming you have).  For those who are curious, hopefully your understanding of our market at this moment has been increased.  Either way, I hope what you will see in our team a desire to understand and study our market in such a way that when you hire us, you're hiring a group who values understanding these factors and how they impact your property investments.  When you're recommending REALTORS to others, or choose to hire us to serve you, please know that we make it our business to understand our markets so that we can best counsel and advise.  Our mission is to serve you again...and again with the best service and knowledge in our marketplace.  Have questions about our market update?  Feel free to e-mail me at adam@allstarteam.com.  I'll be happy to discuss it with you. It's just one of the ways in which we strive to be your Greater Hattiesburg Market Experts.

 

Looking to move up to a luxury home? Now's the time!

by The KCM Crew

If your house no longer fits your needs and you are planning on buying a luxury home, now is a great time to do so! We recently shared data from Trulia’s Market Mismatch Study which showed that in today’s premium home market, buyers are in control.

The inventory of homes for sale in the luxury market far exceeds those searching to purchase these properties in many areas of the country. This means that homes are often staying on the market longer, or can be found at a discount.

Those who have a starter or trade-up home to sell will find buyers competing, and often entering bidding wars, to be able to call your house their new home.

The sale of your starter or trade-up house will aid in coming up with a larger down payment for your new luxury home. Even a 5% down payment on a million-dollar home is $50,000.

But not all who are buying luxury properties have a home to sell first.

In a recent Washington post article, Daryl Judy, an associate broker with Washington Fine Properties, gave some insight into what many millennials are choosing to do:

“Some high-earning millennials save money until they are in their early 30s to buy a place and just skip over that starter-home phase. They’ll stay in an apartment until they can afford to pay for the place they want.”

Bottom Line

The best time to sell anything is when demand is high and supply is low. If you are currently in a starter or trade-up house that no longer fits your needs, and are looking to step into a luxury home… Now’s the time to list your house for sale and make your dreams come true.

 

Surviving the Storm

by Adam Watkins

The last time I recall this feeling was over a decade ago - August 29, 2005.  That date of infamy certainly has not been replaced, but Friday, January 20, 2017, will be added to 8/29/05 as a date I will never forget.  Where were you that Friday evening and early Saturday morning?  On Friday afternoon, I was on my way back to Petal from Tupelo and Corinth, MS, after having visited their respective Boards of REALTORS on behalf of our state association.  Following a busy week, my awareness of impending weather was extremely limited, I must admit.  I arrived home that evening excited to see my girls and somewhat exhausted from a busy week.  By Saturday morning, so much had changed.  An EF-3 tornado had traveled from just north of Purvis through Hattiesburg, devastating my beloved William Carey University, and beyond into Petal.  Over 1,000 homes impacted and 4 lives lost, not counting the businesses destroyed.  So much quickly changed for our community, and so much was simultaneously placed into a proper perspective.

The past couple of weeks have been consumed with recovery and clean up.  And though this is a new experience, and one I confess that I never want to relive, it's a familiar one.  Hurricane Katrina, the 2013 tornado, and now 4 years later - a larger tornado, have developed a resiliency in our area that inspires pride and confidence in our community.  We don't wish for these challenges, but let's face it.  We've been here before.  We know how to rise from the devastation, and in the process, we grow closer and stronger as a community.  It's inspiring to witness and be a part of it, and it's a reminder of the beauty and quality of South Mississippians.  If you're new to our area, I hope you'll take note of this special quality amongst our people and seize the opportunity to embrace it for yourself.  

By late Saturday and Sunday, thousands of volunteers were working to help those devastated by the events of January 20th.  Amelia and our girls gathered with our Carterville Baptist Church family that Sunday morning to worship and pray.  We were also greeted with the news that Samaritan's Purse would be basing their operations from our church campus.  Mississippi Baptists were setting up operations at Petal First Baptist, and hundreds (if not thousands) in our Hattiesburg/Petal community were rolling up their sleeves, opening up their hearts, and giving of their resources to help.  It truly has been a beautiful picture to witness and take part in.

The recovery will take months and years, but it's reassuring to know that we are a part of a community that cares, gives, and loves.  There are dozens of organizations contributing to the rebuilding of our beautiful Hattiesburg Metro.  If you're interested in serving but don't know where, teams are currently setting out daily to Hattiesburg and Petal at 7:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from Carterville Baptist Church in Petal (1115 Carterville Road in Petal).  Regardless of your experience and skill, you can be used.  Won't you join us?  All you have to do is show up!  Together, we will bring Hattiesburg, Petal, and the Pine Belt home again....post 1/20, and along the way, your real estate team is ready to do its part!

Your REALTORS for life...

Adam & Team

Why settle for 1 agent when you can get the entire All-Star Team?

by Adam Watkins

I am finding it terribly hard to wrap my mind around the fact that 2/3rds of 2016 is now in our rear view mirror! Fall is upon us which means back to school and football.  Whether it be high school, college or professional - Americans relish the opportunity to gather around and watch their favorite teams compete in a weekly cycle of team sport that will fill our weeks all the way until next February!  It's also a good reminder of the power of a team when they're working together and leaving their best on the field each week.  It takes each player putting their heart and soul into playing their position in order to get the win.  It also requires teams to recruit new talent and bring them into the team over time.  Beyond just the players on the field stand coaches, trainers, and support personnel working behind the scenes to create a truly dynamic team. 

I'm quickly reminded of our real estate team.  We function differently than our competitors because we decided nearly two decades ago that our ability to serve our friends and clients was increased when we relied on the strength of many instead of only one or two.  There have been countless times that I will share with a potential client or past client, "When you hire one of us, you hire all of us."   As I was thinking about who the "us" is in our team, I was quickly reminded of the unique attributes that make each member special - not simply what they do, but elements of who they are.  We couldn't do the work we do without each one of them.  So, I'd like to share with each of you the names of the members of our team, their role on our team, and a few descriptive attributes that I believe bring true value to our clients and our team as we work together to provide the best possible service to those who choose us to represent them as they purchase, sell, and invest in property. In no particular order, (but the first 3 are our newest Buyer's Specialists):

Alisa Sewell, Buyer Specialist. Steady, diligent, works ahead of schedule, prompt, and trustworthy.  Alisa is a dedicated mom and was a teacher prior to entering real estate.

Rebecca Bryant, Buyer Specialist. Unafraid, focused, available, seeks to truly understand, and a direct communicator.  Rebecca is also mom and a pilot!

Lauren Pace, Buyer Specialist.  Cheerleader, vibrant, approachable, concerned about making a genuine connection with clients, and social media expert. Lauren's son, Noah, is a social media rock star!

Debra Pace, REALTOR.  Team player, selfless, encouraging, always willing to fight for the underdog, and keeps us grounded.  Debra spends countless hours in community service and will serve on our associations Board of Director's next year.

Dana Quesenberry, Listing Manager.  Incredibly smart, dedicated, loyal, willing to stay up late to get the job done and strives for the best possible answer to our market value questions. Dana's so efficient and dedicated that she works from the Coast part time, plus she has the best laugh!

Jennifer Upton, Marketing Director.  Superb multi-tasker, creative, quick at critical thinking and analysis and believes in our team concept and how it benefits our clients.  Jennifer also has a wicked sense of humor and knows how to create a laugh no matter the circumstance.

Scott Holmes, REALTOR.  Dedicated, detailed, problem-solver with an engineers mind and a father's heart. Scott is also involved with our local association of REALTORS (he'll be president in 2018.) He's great at technology and never fails to find ways to remind us of how great his hair looks!

Brenda Blackwell, Buyer Specialist. Charming, magnetic, disarming, positive, inquisitive, who makes everyday an adventure and is always looking for the opportunity to go somewhere new. She's unbelievably smart and humble at the same time.  She's sort of a rule breaker too - but only if the rules she's breaking don't really matter. Linda Seifert, Buyer Specialist.  Diplomat, wordsmith, and guru on style and appropriateness and manners.  She is intensely loyal and trustworthy.  Her knowledge and history of our market is extensive. She's not scared to join a party or start one if the mood strikes her!

Patty Herrington, Petal Office Manager/Property Manager.  Inquisitive, positive, eager to learn and grow.   She is a lady seeking Christ in her daily life.  She is able to be direct when necessary and make tough decisions. Her daughter isn't half bad at playing softball either!

Ame' Karoly, Client Care Specialist.  Artistic, curious, world traveler.  Ame' is our "voice with a smile" to our clients when they call. She enjoys creative pursuits with her friends.  Ame' lived in China for several years before moving back to join our team!

Savanna Watkins, College Intern - Petal.  Soft-spoken, smart, and very capable. She's a Watkins, so capability comes with the territory (I'm only a little biased). Technologically savvy and a very quick learner.  Savanna is considering real estate as a long term career!

Lauren Lott, College Intern - Oak Grove. Also soft-spoken, smart, capable, and versatile.  Super-quick learner and able to adapt and work efficiently.  Lauren has plans to become a teacher.

Gatlin Hubbard, Courier (a.k.a. "Sign Guy).  Eager to please, bright personality, who's also creative (he's a gifted videographer).  He knows how to rock a pair of ear buds while attending to the signage demands of our team.  An Evil Knievel of sorts...competitive motorcross and wake boarding!

Hulene Jones, Office Administration (Evenings and Weekends). Loyal, trustworthy, reliable, consistent, efficient, "one-in-a-million."  She is a direct communicator.  Hulene has been with the team since before it was a team; we would be quickly lost without her talents.  I'm partial because she loves my girls (Abigail and Hannah) so well!

Kim Moore, Staging Assistant.  Responsive, efficient communicator, dedicated, and creative. Kim makes routine, thorough checks of our vacant properties and provides assistance to our Home Stager. Before moving to Hattiesburg, Kim helped operate a private airport in Florida!

Vickie Iverson, Home Stager. Ultra-multi tasker, brilliant organizer, artistic with a business mind-set. Able to manage multiple projects and do so with ease. Vickie is also a very talented painter; for DeLois' 75th birthday, she painted a personal portrait.  It hangs in DeLois' office!

Steve Floyd, Commercial Broker.  Positive, Godly man, full of integrity and a lot of fun to hang out with. On top of that he's full of experience and knowledge in his field. He lives by the golden rule. He is a die hard Southern Miss fan, too, and Husband of the Century to his wife, Toni.

Dennis Baum, REALTOR. Determined, resilient, unafraid, fashion conscious, politically minded, and willing to offer and receive feedback with the best. Dennis made his way to us from the "Big-D" (Dallas) and brought with him one of his best attributes (and he won't mind my saying this), his wife: Dixie!

Paula Claret, Closing Manager.  Cool-headed, teacher, well-spoken, trustworthy, and dedicated.  Paula is eager to do the right thing in all circumstances and feels a deep obligation to deliver on promises to our clients. When necessary, though, she can tap into her South Louisiana roots and cut right to the point!

Emily Shattles, Marketing Assistant/Photographer.  Creative, eager to please, stylish, and always smiling.  Always willing to lend a helping hand and chip in where needed.  Emily also leads a Bible study class at her church and is working on finishing her degree!

Amelia Watkins, Team Administrator.  Fast, accurate, selfless, ultra efficient, and multi-tasker extraordinaire.  Gets things right the first time nearly every time she attempts it. She's able to create a system to tackle any problem and keeps the checks flowing and categorized at The All-Star Team, REALTORS.  I'm a bit biased since we share a household, but she's the smartest person I've ever known!

DeLois Smith, Listing Partner.  Driven, focused, energetic, and determined.  She never tires of this business and is always excited at the opportunity to solve another problem or master another challenge. She's been instrumental in raising the bar of professionalism in real estate in our region.  On top of that she's a mom, granny, and wife as well.  She and Lavon just celebrated 40 years with a trip to Europe!

And so, this is a snapshot of who we are.  Collectively, we aim to be a dynamic and synergistic team of "All-Stars" that you're delighted to call upon when you need us and proud to recommend!

Go team!!!!

Adam

 

The All-Star Team, Realtors Update from DeLois

by DeLois Smith

Dear All-Star Team Clients and Friends, 

      Thanks to so many of you who helped make our 16th Annual July 4th Celebration a “best ever” event! Your great patriotic spirit, participation, enthusiasm, and encouragement made us all feel enriched and uplifted. Special appreciation to our program presenters: our veterans’ voice of the Pine Belt, Ted Tibbett; Dr. Nathan Barber, MS State Guard Chaplin; Brittain Allgood, dance performer; Joey Fillingane, State Senator; Dr. Taylor & Kerrin Hightower and Sam Bruton, USM Music Department performers; Joe “Val” Overstreeet, Commander US Navy, Retired, keynote speaker; William “Bill” Thomas, Commander US Navy, Retired and wife Sally and 32 members of the Thomas extended family, Great American All Star 2016 Honoree. Adding to the fun and festivities were boat cruises around Canebrake Lake made possible by the sharing of his beautiful boat by Judge Prentiss Harrell. 

      The beautiful Canebrake setting offered a great opportunity to make memories and we were able to take snapshots that will be remembered. We are sending some of these snapshots to our guests sometime very soon. Also visit us on Facebook to enjoy the participation all over again! C.D. and Mary Johnson said it best, “Many thanks for another special July 4th celebration. It was so inspirational and I’m sure we all left with renewed feelings of patriotism.”

      Team Name Change . . .  We are changing our name! To our long time friends, this change may seem odd. The truth is we should have done it quite some time back because of the participation of so many within our team. We are officially The All-Star Team, REALTORS®. Adam Watkins now takes on a major roll in administration and Steve Floyd has top leadership in our new Commercial Division. This change is NOT in any way directed towards my retiring. I will probably await my promotion to my Heavenly Home first. All it means is that we are working toward more growth under the banner of The All-Star Team, REALTORS®. 

      Team Work . . . Special Team recognition has been announced recently by REAL Trends via The Wall Street Journal. The All-Star Team, REALTORS® transactions were ranked in the top 1% nationally of residential teams. Ranking #117 out of the Top 1000 for 2015. This translated into exceptional productivity for Hattiesburg, MS - with current average sales of $156,053, contrasted with high-end markets in cities in New York, California, Massachusetts, and Connecticut with average sales at more than $1 Million. 

      One of our team’s early repeat clients made us especially proud this week. Riki Hyde’s husband built their house, causing a great amount of sadness as she began to prepare to sell the property. She says that she is not sure she could have made the move if it were not for the capable assistance of our Staging Professional and Color Expert, Vickie Iverson, who so capably helped plan for the Estate Sale. Following the sale, Vickie helped Riki update the floors, complete the painting, and get the exterior of the home washed down. The pre-sale effort helped secure the contract and close the sale in 90 days – even with the “slowed-down” closing process our market is experiencing.  Riki’s statement to me was that we have a “full team of specialists who perform with amazing harmony.” Thank you Riki for the honor of serving you and your family!

      40th anniversary . . . Lavon and I will be celebrating with an Eastern European River Cruise down the Danube in mid-August. This will be a Dr. Milton Wheeler style trip led by Robert Byrd, who traveled dozens of Dr. Wheeler’s amazing trips. Thankfully, Robert has elected to extend Dr. Wheeler’s life experiences to us and we are grateful. Our last trip with Dr. Wheeler and Donna was also their very last - 2011 to Turkey. 

      Our team is blessed daily by you, our loyal clients. We remain grateful for your support and encouragement. 

Blessings to you and your family,
DeLois and Team


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Contact Information

The All-Star Team, REALTORS®
Bringing you home...again and again!
4 Willow Bend, Suite 2A
Hattiesburg MS 39402
601.545.3900
800.335.6477

The All-Star Team, REALTORS brings you over 200 years of accumulated experience along with the most innovative marketing strategies in the real estate industry. We specialize in the real estate properties located in Hattiesburg, Oak Grove, Petal, Sumrall, Purvis, Columbia, and the entire Pine Belt region. Put The All-Star Team, REALTORS® to work for you as you consider your next home sale or purchase. Experience the team approach to real estate and make us your REALTOR® for life! See how The All-Star Team, REALTORS® really is bringing the Pine Belt home again and again.