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Meaghan Austin – This Globetrotter Calls WNC Home

Meaghan says there’s no doubt – she and her husband have a travel bug – and they have it big time. They’ve lived everywhere from Australia and Hawaii to Vail, CO, Yellowstone, WY and many points in between. As certified sommeliers, working in the food and beverage business afforded them a flexible lifestyle. They got married in Italy and then 6 years ago, decided to settle in WNC for many reasons – but mostly for the work/life balance as that travel bug is not going away. Now, they just take really long vacations.

1. What do you love most about working in real estate – do you have a favorite part of the process?

I love having a process and sticking to it. It’s the same every time – consistency is the key to making people feel comfortable when it comes to buying or selling a home.

2. Do you work with both buyers and sellers or do you have a preferred niche that works best for you?

I work with both, but I have more of a niche with first-time buyers and veterans. They want an easy process to follow and I like making them feel well cared for with a seamless process they can trust.

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?

A computer cannot negotiate and it doesn’t understand the local market. It only gathers stats and data. You need a person to fine-tune that data to ensure buyers find homes quickly and sellers don’t have properties that sit on the market too long. Agents give both a hand up.

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?

We have a big step up because we have so many years of combined experience and knowledge. We do a lot of land sales too and will often know about properties before they’re even available.

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?

For both buyers and sellers: Trust the process.

6. The WNC real estate market is certainly booming – any predictions on where it will go next, or new trends you are seeing?

I think we’ll continue to see a demand for properties for years to come. Why? For many, it’s about peace and safety. We live in an area that has no real climate extremes, yet we still have four seasons. People can be active outdoors, year-round. I’ve been working with people from Texas, California, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania and they all want a more peaceful life and to live in an area that still provides a strong work/life balance. I also believe we’ll continue to see a good amount of new construction and retirees moving here – again – for peace and safety.

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)?

Well, I got a call one day that a buyer who had signed a contract with me was in jail. We had to terminate the contract and I had to go to the jail to meet with the buyer to figure it all out. That was pretty crazy. You can’t make this stuff up.

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?

Baking and beekeeping. I’m passionate about both. When I meet with new clients they usually get some cookies, scones or muffins and that connects us right away. And, people are always amazed by beekeeping. I give honey out as client appreciation gifts.

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