Laura Peery is a Global Real Estate Advisor with expertise in the Richmond and Chesapeake Bay areas of Virginia. Before working as a realtor, Laura had a career as a behavioural health counselor, spending her time focused on helping others, including active duty military veterans, get their lives back on track.
Laura understands what’s involved in buying and selling a home and uses her previous training along with her real estate expertise to help put her clients at ease during a traditionally stressful time. Her knowledge of the market and relaxed approach helps keep her clients happy.
What inspired you to pursue a career in real estate?
I was a therapist for a number of years and wanted a change. Since real estate is a career where people are making huge and stressful decisions, I figured my previous career would make me a good fit for the field. I am a good mediator and therapist and this allows me to help people make the important, albeit stressful, decisions involved in buying and selling real estate.
Tell me about how you got started in the industry?
I have been in the business for six years. After I took the real estate exam, I joined a brokerage that was family owned, and the same company where I had bought two of my homes. Their core values aligned with my own, they had just joined the Sotheby’s brand, so it was a no-brainer for me to become a part of this team.
What aspects of the real estate business excite you most? Why?
My speciality is representing sellers. I am hands on from the beginning through to the end of the process, and enjoy working towards the first showing (which is online) and making sure the home looks fantastic both online and in person. I enjoy making sure that things look great aesthetically and consider that part of my brand. Over the past year or two I’ve had the opportunity to work with more buyers and have been able to help them strategize through competitive situations where they are up against multiple offers, to help them get the best possible deal. I love finding negotiation points along the way to help put them in their dream home.
What is the most rewarding/challenging thing about working in real estate?
Easily the most rewarding thing is the relationships that I have with my clients. The most challenging aspects of the job have helped me sharpen my game to help create an efficient process that everyone is happy with. Since buying and selling your home can be very stressful, this is where my therapist training comes in handy, giving me an intimate knowledge of what’s going on behind those stresses.
What's the best way for someone to explore a potential neighbourhood?
Walk the neighbourhood, drive around, go on the weekend when people are out and about, see what it’s about, and get a feel for the vibe to see if it’s right for you. You can explore an area online but you won’t get the same sense unless you go out and experience it for yourself.
Where do you live and what do you love most about living there?
I live in Windsor Farms, a neighbourhood in Richmond Virginia that I’ve called home for 27 years. It’s the oldest formalized neighbourhood in Richmond with a lot of interesting history, and architecture. The neighbourhood has older homes and was built in the 1930s, which I love. I also enjoy the convenience of being close to all the local highways and only 20 minutes away from the airport.
Why did you decide to be a part of the Exceptional Agent Network of Sotheby's Agents (EAN)?
The EAN is a great way to get to know other colleagues within the brand. The quality and calibre of their business is similar to mine and what I aspire to be. It’s a group of like-minded professionals who are ready and willing to share best practices. I used a member of the EAN as a resource because it’s filled with people who understand the business but aren’t your direct competitors.
Recently I used the EAN to speak to people who had experience in real estate relating to a vineyard property. I connected with people within the brand and was able to get valuable feedback including what questions I should be asking. Thanks to the information I gained from my EAN network I am bringing the vineyard listing to market this spring. I couldn’t have gotten that without the network from the EAN. I know how to market and leverage my brand, but being able to call in on my EAN friends, I’m able to fill spaces where I might not have as much knowledge. The people in the EAN network are giving and able to share without hesitation because we are all in different markets.
Dev Parikh: Berkeley, California | Richard Silver: Toronto, Ontario | David Gemme: Lake Tahoe, California | Shawn Woof: Muskoka, Ontario | Andy Stephenson: Victoria, British Columbia | Laura Peery: Richmond, Virginia | Mckinzie Casey: Denver, Colorado | Paul Ybarbo: San Francisco, California
How did you become an expert on Virginia's luxury home market?
I have a specialty in Richmond and the nearby counties, but my other area of expertise is in the Northern Neck of Virginia where many people have secondary homes near Chesapeake Bay on the waterfront. There’s so much waterfront in Virginia, and it’s about an hour or two away from many people’s primary homes, making it the perfect location for weekend homes, summer and vacation homes, or a place to retire.
I have a home in the area and discovered there was no other luxury brand with a presence there, and homes are being listed primarily by local realtors. Since the housing issues of 2007-2008, sellers are looking for ways to have their properties attract the most buyers, and this is where my expertise comes into play. Until recently it has been a buyer’s market in the area, although this has begun to shift, as people are selling their secondary homes, so they rely on my help to have their home show best. Buyers tend to care more about getting a beautiful view more than what county their secondary home is in. Today I have a heavy presence in the area and people have even nicknamed me “the river queen” because of my knowledge of the waterfront area. I get a lot of referrals within the area, and I’m contacted by people remembering the work I have done with other nearby homes.
One of Laura's Listings - 220 Middle Quarter Lane Henrico, Virginia
What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
I am proud that I am one of the top sales leaders in my brokerage after only being in the business for such a short period of time. I love travelling within the brand and meeting people around the world.
Last year I had a client, a couple, who wanted to sell their house in Richmond, buy a smaller place in Richmond, by a secondary property on the river, and rent a place for a month during the process. It was a domino effect of transitions but being able to navigate a seamless group of transactions like this was a real accomplishment. They rented a house that I owned; we completed four different transactions within a month of each other. They were thrilled with the entire process and end result, and I was happy to manage that.
What would you say are some of the most important things a person should consider when buying a home?
Location is the primary factor because you can always make changes within a home, but that land where that dirt is can’t be changed. You need to live in a location that will meet your needs in terms of: where your children go to school, where you work, proximity to the airport, or whether it’s wanting green space - making sure that your home meets your lifestyle needs. Secondly, they should make sure they have a realtor they trust representing them to help look out for their interests and to help get the best deal possible on their purchase. People use doctors, carpenters, and lawyers for their expertise, and it’s no different in the world of real estate.
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