WEST JEFFERSON-When the housing market bottomed out in 2008, Sherry Goodman was faced with a dilemma.
Should she continue her career in real estate or switch gears and find a more lucrative profession?
Goodman recalled some sage advice bestowed upon her by her father.
“My dad was a smart man,” said Goodman. “He was very wise. One of things he told me is when you have a problem look at your resources and what you can to do to solve the problem.”
So Goodman did just that.
Knowing the housing market was destined for a prolonged slump, Goodman swiftly transitioned into property management and Ashe Rental Agency was born.
Relying on her past experience in real estate and acquisition, Goodman was able to see the value a rental agency could have to those individuals looking to sell their house, but needed to profit while waiting for the home to sell.
“When the market crashed, it was hard to make a living on a commission when there weren’t any sales happening,” she said. “I was looking around for a way to stay in business.”
Property management felt like a natural transition for Goodman, who has been a real estate broker since 2000.
She also credited the formation of her business to timing.
“Being in the right place at the right time,” said Goodman on the company’s success. “A lot of my initial customers were folks who had homes listed for sale and here they’re sitting with an empty house. So when I got started (with my company) I went and talked with these people and said maybe can make money through renting.”
Goodman also knows listening to her clients’ needs has been instrumental in growing the company, which now manages an inventory 130 properties.
“Part of what has made Ashe Rental a success is helping home owners maximize the best use for it,” said Goodman. “If the market is not conducive to sell, why not rent it? A lot of times, if I have good tenants, they become buyers.”
Being able to evaluate the best use for a property helps out both Goodman and her client.
“Some properties are vacation rentals,” she explained. “They have views and rustic character folks are looking for in a vacation home. Other homes don’t really have the required perks to be a vacation rental, but they make a great long-term rental. Part of what I do is look at a property and help the owner evaluate it.”
A major component of property management is routine maintenance that is required in up-keeping the homes.
“We have really good relationships with individual contractors and cleaning folks,” said Goodman. “They are not employees, but we have good relationships with them. We try to make sure they are paid quickly and they are happy to have smaller jobs if they have enough for them. We couldn’t do what we do without them. We also have general handymen that do small job.”
It is relationships, after all, that assist in customer retention and forging life-long friendships. Goodman referenced a family that recently bought a house after years of living in a cramped apartment. The kids had never had a yard before and were delighted in the personal space. So, Goodman sweetened the deal by adding a swing-set as a closing gift.
“Seeing the kids happy and being able to put their toes in the grass…that’s the really good stuff,” Goodman said.
Visit Ashe Rental Agency at 412 BackStreet in West Jefferson or call (336) 846-6800 or Google “Ashe Rental Agency” for more information.