Robby Brady grew up amid the glorious mountain greenery of northwest South Carolina—a region the locals call, “upstate,” rife with scenic hiking trails, waterfalls and views of the Appalachians—so it is perhaps not surprising that he graduated from Clemson University with a degree in forestry and began a career among the tall timber.
But Brady, who today leads the eight-person Robby Brady Team serving the greater Greenville, South Carolina, area under the banner of Allen Tate REALTORS® found it lonely.
“There’s an old saying among lumbermen,” Brady said, “that it’s okay to talk to the trees, but when the trees talk back, it’s time to move on.”
He sought another degree and taught school for two years, until a friend talked him into taking a class in real estate—and the rest, as they say, is history.
Barbara Pronin: When did you begin your real estate career, Robby, and what was it that drew you to it?
Robby Brady: I will celebrate 17 years in the industry next spring, and what I love about it now, as in the beginning, is the people—both the genuine people who practice real estate and the people who depend on us to help them make some of the most important decisions of their lives.
BP: What was your pathway to Allen Tate REALTORS®?
RB: I was working with an independent company that was acquired by Allen Tate in 2007, just before the last recession. It was the best thing that could have happened, because the innovation and support the Tate company provided during that tough time was really the springboard for me.
BP: Why did you decide to establish a team?
RB: By the end of the recession, I was so busy that I was working 80 to 100 hours a week. I needed help. And I loved mentoring and coaching. It was what I enjoyed most about teaching. So, in 2011 I hired my first buyer’s agent. Today, we are a team of six buyer’s agents, two administrators and myself.
BP: So, you are the team’s main listing agent?
RB: Yes. I want my agents focused on being the best buyer’s advocates in the region— and I believe they are.
BP: How would you typify the team’s production?
RB: In the past 12 months, we’ve sold 166 units valued at more than $46 million, with an average sales price of under $290,000—or about $1.3 million in gross commissions sold and under contract.
BP: What do you think makes you a sought-after team in the Greenville area?
RB: Integrity and trust, mostly. We have cutting edge technology. During the worst of the pandemic, thanks to technology, we sold several homes sight unseen—and it’s a great tool to have in the toolbox. But it’s mostly old-fashioned service that keeps the referrals and repeat business coming. Every customer is our top priority—and they know it. We make it a point to understand their needs and goals, to advise them when they need help, and to be there for them at every step of their home-buying experience—and afterwards.
BP: In what way?
RB: Above and beyond digital communication, we believe in the face-to-face—again, the old-fashioned way. We stop by now and then just to say hello, see how things are going, maybe drop off some popsicles if the weather is hot or a pumpkin before Halloween. We like to be more than their real estate agent. We want them to think of us as friends.
BP: I imagine your team is also active in the community?
RB: Absolutely. We support a number of local causes—and we just celebrated my 50th birthday by raising $7,500 for breast cancer—a fundraiser that was followed by a big party for the donors. It was fun.
BP: How do you operate as a team, Robby, to be sure you are all on the same page?
RB: We have a great team culture—a family mentality, really—and we have a stand-up meeting every morning at nine. We look at the upcomings, see that everything’s under control, sometimes do some role-playing, mostly as a teaching aid for our newer agents.
BP: How do you recruit and hire agents, and are you looking to expand?
RB: I prefer to hire newer agents because they are coachable and eager to learn—and we’re good at this size, but as we get busier, I may hire one or two more.
BP: I understand you were recently named REALTOR® of the Year by the Greater Greenville Association of REALTORS®. Congratulations!
RB: Thank you. I’m grateful this Thanksgiving for a great team and an active lifestyle in a beautiful corner of the world. I feel like everything I’ve done in my life has led to this moment in time.
Barbara Pronin is a contributing editor to RISMedia.