The fact that Wes Hight settled on a career in real estate makes complete sense, given the trail of breadcrumbs that have seemingly led him on an interconnected journey to find his niche in all things property related in WNC. The roadmap to pursuing real estate and working in the Team Billy Taylor office was already laid out - all he had to do was follow some clues and add a ‘ville.
Wes has officially practiced real estate in earnest since 2016, though the seeds of his interest in the market and properties were planted several years prior. Growing up just north of Raleigh, he fondly remembers learning about what goes into creating a home while his parents were building a house; he loved being on the construction scene, hammering nails and assessing the progress, eager to be involved in the process, it just came naturally to him. Playing Monopoly as a kid, his leading strategy was to own as many properties on the board as he could. While attending Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he studied management and marketing, he tuned into the growth of the local real estate market, taking note of the sudden uptick in development in the area at the time - so he decided to get a real estate license during his senior year. Though he was still a college student, he used that real estate knowledge and his own renovation experiences to help out small businesses in the area while continuing his college studies. That was in 2007. It was nearly a decade before Wes received his first paycheck as a result of that investment in his future self, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Wes held on to that real estate license and paid the fees to keep it current, even after moving out to Colorado post-graduation to take a marketing job - one that just happened to be with the largest property management firm in the Telluride, CO area. So, more property knowledge, more experience in yet another facet of the real estate industry, more breadcrumbs. However he couldn’t utilize his N.C. real estate license in CO, so when the job had given him all that it could, he headed back to North Carolina, the mountains and Henderson - county this time, anchored by Hendersonville. Not the town of Henderson N.C. - the place he grew up, just north of Raleigh - which few people he encounters in WNC seem to believe exists, assuming he neglected to add the ‘ville. He didn’t. And so it came full circle - Wes Hight, from Henderson, found himself in Hendersonville and surrounds, helping buyers and sellers realize the next chapter in their property ownership dreams.
Here in the ‘ville filled mountains, he is delighted to be a member of the Team Billy Taylor office of Beverly Hanks Realtors. That N.C. geography lesson he so often dispenses is an added value service - although it seems like the Henderson, N.C., Chamber of Commerce might owe him for the free publicity.
1. What do you love most about working in real estate - do you have a favorite part of the process? Do you work with both buyers and sellers, or do you have a preferred niche that works best for you?
“Interacting with people - making property ownership dreams a reality in WNC, or helping clients relocate to their next adventure - I work with both buyers and sellers”.
Wes also just plain loves looking at and showing properties - not only houses, but especially vacant land lots, for which he has a special affinity. Early in his real estate career, he strategically partnered with one of the top home builders in WNC. Wes would take him to lunch, then they’d go out and look at land. He gained invaluable knowledge of what made a great home site and most importantly what did not, developing an eye for what features would make future construction go smoothly - or those likely to drive up costs. While Wes understands why many agents prefer turning a key and showing a house - he enjoys this side as well - he really does love getting out there and selling land.
“Showing land can be very vague”, says Wes, “you can show up - there is no sign out there- a lot of time you’re tromping through snakes, ticks, bugs and spiders…and people don’t want to mess with that…aside from that, it’s a whole different inspection process than a house”.
Wes also credits tapping into agent Billy Taylor’s grading and development knowledge as another important factor in helping him and the whole Team Billy Taylor office gain a firm grasp of what land sales are all about. That developer that used to take Wes out, teaching him how to look at and analyze vacant lots? Now he takes the developer out to look at great potential homesites that are for sale - ones he knows the developer will like, that have all of the right features - which he often then wants to purchase. A full-circle kind of relationship…again.
2. 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?
Wes believes with the current competitive market, it’s more important than ever to work with an agent, especially from a buyer’s perspective - it can be a task right now to even get under contract. In North Carolina, we are a ‘buyer beware’ state: “I don’t know why anyone would not get an agent on their side to go through the process and help you get your offer accepted.” And those sellers who think DIY is the way to go? There is so much that goes on behind the scenes of any real estate transaction, in addition to the guidance an agent provides in helping you present your home in the best light. Succinctly, Wes put it this way:
“It’s not as easy as you think, Mr. And Mrs. Seller - good luck and call me when the frustration sets in.”
3. 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?
While it is certainly true that real estate is a competitive field, Wes doesn’t let it phase him and adheres to the “head down, work hard and things will happen” school of thought. He is a full-time agent - and that makes a difference in results and longevity in the industry. He notes that 55% - 60% of agents in the local MLS conduct only 1 real estate transaction or less annually. That is the real statistic. He didn’t get his license so he could sell his cousin’s house - nor did anyone else in the Billy Taylor office - and as a result, the entire team thrives on a “plenty of pie to go around” mentality that is sustained by mutual support of one another. According to Wes :
“We are truly a team of individuals who would bend over backwards not only for our own clients but for each other’s clients.”
It’s a super fun team, he says. Everybody cares, and is ready to assist one another in any way, at any time.
4. 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 Buyers: “Be ready and have your proof of funds! Otherwise, you may get really excited and then miss out.”
Also - “don’t skimp on the inspection side of the process”. He is baffled when buyers are ready to spend 5OOK on the house, but then limit their budget around the inspection - which in turn may cost them so much more later.
For Sellers: “Prep your house! The market isn't going to just do it for you”.
Listen to an agent who has a real understanding of the comps in your area. Even in this robust market, he explains, you won’t get top dollar if you do nothing. Wes feels the same goes for land - prep your land! Maintain it, provide an open space so that potential buyers can see and envision something from that vacant lot.
5. The WNC real estate market is certainly booming - any predictions on where it will go next, or new trends you are seeing?
Wes admits he has “no idea- we are in an ever-changing industry”. He did speculate that the recent trend of investor groups scooping up properties may continue, as interest rates are ticking up there, which may slow buyers down. Or not. “Time will tell”.
6. 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)?
“Every day is an adventure in real estate”, according to Wes. He recollected one particularly trying comedy of errors that ensued when taking buyers through the final walk-through before closing.
The seller was still in the house at the walk-through, which is not supposed to happen. The space was still full of stuff: closets full of clothes, books on shelves…even food still in the refrigerator. It was a bad way to start a final walk-through - as if the seller didn’t get the memo, and forgot they sold the property.
Then a bird flew into the house.
It took Wes about 30 - 45 minutes to get that bird out of the house, providing ample time for the bird to generously soil the floors, which also then had to be cleaned. Wes felt like he “just couldn’t get it together” on this walk-through.
Then the power went out. The buyers had not transferred the contract to the electricity account.
Wes says he felt beat up - his mettle was really being tested. In retrospect, he realizes it is just like real estate to do that to you- sometimes it can really knock you down, then just as quickly on another occasion, it can pick you back up.
Clearly, Wes Hight is well suited to this seesaw, and this little debacle did not tarnish his zeal for the industry. He says the craziest story he has ever heard involved a colleague from the downtown Beverly Hanks office, who was evidently greeted at the front door of a home by a monkey, who then may have ended up in her car for some reason…?
7. 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?
Not surprisingly, Wes had just the story in response to this question. He’s also a musician - in a band with some guys who still play back in Colorado as well as locally in Asheville. They call themselves The Realtorz, "with a z." The day after they had played at local brewery Ginger’s Revenge, the bar received a phone call from some folks from the prior evening’s audience. “Who were those Realtor(z)s that were playing music last night? I need to buy a house.”
The bar gave them Wes’ number, and you can likely guess the rest. He eventually not only closed on a house for them but also sold their father a home in the area. Yet another full…need we say it?
Wes hanging with his circle at the Top Producers event.