Some might argue that Billy Taylor is really a land ambassador disguised as a real estate agent. While the idea of a smart steward of the land also being a developer of it might seem contradictory - then Billy Taylor is happy to embrace that paradox.
As a Fourth generation Ashevillian with a family legacy in local building and land grading, he not only truly knows this landscape, but has built a career out of working with it, granting equal respect to both the spectacular features - and inherent quirks - that define the dazzling and dramatic topography of WNC. With this insight, coupled with a supernatural work ethic and sharp mentorship skills, he has built a top-performing office of agents, growing over 50% in two years, with no slowdown in sight. Just be sure to fasten your seatbelt (quite literally should you climb into an ATV with him) - Billy Taylor has big ideas and makes bold moves to make them happen, to the perpetual delight of his team and clients.
1. What do you love most about working in real estate - do you have a favorite part of the process?
Billy believes his affinity for real estate and the possibilities therein are part of his inheritance - it’s in the blood, so to speak. Both of his grandfathers were instrumental in major Asheville development projects, including 240 & Tunnel Road, and the Grove Arcade building downtown. His father carried on the legacy as a developer of several Asheville area neighborhoods. He explains that in his late teens and early twenties, he worked with his father on regional contractor and grading projects, not only in western North Carolina but in TN, SC, and GA. He took naturally to this work, developing a kinship for the topography of the region. Not surprisingly, his favorite part of the real estate process today?
“Development - surveying the land as it is in its raw form, understanding and interpreting the contours of that land, then visualizing how a neighborhood of home sites can take shape to complement that land.”
As such Billy is a listing agent on all of his development projects and is heavily involved in sales. One gets the sense that their true excitement for him hinges on helping buyers find that magical moment when they can really envision the potential a piece of land has to offer in creating a home, not just building a house.
2. Do you work with both buyers and sellers, or do you have a preferred niche that works best for you?
With his current focus on creating new communities and generating homesites to sell, these days Billy works primarily as a seller’s agent. According to members of his team, he’s earned the moniker of ‘charismatic closer’ (just one of several codenames he’s picked up over the years, more to follow on that topic…) However he’s done it all, and still selectively works with buyers if the circumstances are right - often with friends, family or close acquaintances. Under the right scenario, he is a fully supportive buyer’s agent. It’s as much about the realities of time as anything else. Though fueled by work and always up for adding more projects, even Billy must occasionally admit -
“One person can only do so much.”
3. Technology has created far more resources than ever before for both buyers and sellers who think they can ‘do it on their own’ - what do you say to folks who think they don’t need a real estate agent anymore?
In the spirit of efficiency - a necessary trait for any successful business owner - Billy shares:
“No problem. Call me when you’re ready to get serious.”
4. Real estate is considered a fairly competitive industry in the greater AVL area, with numerous agencies and a steady stream of new agents - what differentiates you and TBT agents from the rest of the WNC real estate crowd? What is your favorite thing about working with the TBT team?
“I am not afraid to invest in myself and my team members - as a result, Team Billy Taylor is one of the top 10 real estate teams working in this area.”
‘Robust’ is the word that comes to mind when talking to Billy about the work culture of his team and the nature of his ever-growing development projects. He isn’t going to sign off on anything or anybody he doesn’t truly believe in, and he honors this good judgment by investing in tools and resources to drive success. This includes technology support systems such as a one-of-a-kind automated lead generation platform created and customized specifically for the TBT team, unique branding and websites for new projects, and a work culture driven by fellowship. Every agent on this team lends a hand to every other, and the absence of competition in the air is almost startling. It’s almost like if you have an agent on your side from the TBT office, you’re really getting all of them in terms of knowledge and resources. Kind of like how you don’t marry just a partner, but rather the whole family.
5. Takeaways from what you’ve learned in your industry: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to prospective homebuyers? And to home sellers?
Responding with the brevity and unwavering confidence of an exclamation point, Billy responds:
“Work with someone you know and trust”
6. The WNC real estate market is certainly booming - any predictions on where it will go next, or new trends you are seeing?
“This is such a desirable area. I have traveled all over the world, and there is no place I’d rather be.”
Billy foresees only continued growth and activity in the local market, as folks discover and move to the greater Asheville and WNC area. After all, he wouldn’t invest in all of the talent, technology and projects if he didn’t!
7. Can you share the funniest or most memorable moment - anecdote or experience - you’ve had during the course of a real estate deal (positive or negative)?
While there are many examples, Billy draws on a bit of TBT lore for this one. Why not go with the story that produced that regal nickname?
As the story goes, Billy was selling his own home in Cane Creek Valley, a stunning pastoral region just slightly southeast of Asheville. This area is also the location of one of the upscale communities which he envisioned and developed - the bucolic Farm at Cane Creek. One day Billy and his marketing and sales cohort Ally Howell - his gal Friday, also known as the ‘glue that holds the office together’ - were in the car traveling through Cane Creek Valley, working on a zillion things per normal. A call came in from the realtor representing the buyers of his home, who were in the ‘due diligence phase of their offer. They had come up with a list of work they proclaimed needed to be done on the house before closing, and their agent was calling Billy to share their concerns, ready to negotiate. A major attribute that has been established thus far about Billy is that he is thorough, conscientious and most certainly not sloppy - so one might deduct that the condition of his own home, now listed for sale, would be rather good, not to mention his professional presence in the area.
“Aren’t you from Charlotte?” Billy shot back in response to the convoluted requests.
“Don’t you know who I am? - I’m the king of Cane Creek!”
That was the beginning and end of the conversation.
And - the creation of a handle that Billy Taylor may never live down!
8. Do you have a favorite hobby, pursuit or interest that might surprise your clients - or that has worked to your advantage in connecting with clients?
Billy loves offshore fishing and travels far and wide to pursue what is known to sport fishing enthusiasts as the big fish trifecta. Not surprisingly, he has a very impressive track record as an angler. This is also his preferred pastime for relaxation - and serious rejuvenation. It’s also generally after these sojourns that Billy comes back to the office, full of vim and vigor, ready to share all of the big ideas he came up with while on the water, hanging with the big fish.