Business Spotlight: At Home With Steph and Leslie, Realty Plus, Inc.

September 18, 2020 chris
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Realtors Steph Brown and Leslie Hopper created At Home to better serve individuals and families in the community looking to buy or sale their homes.

Give brief background information about yourself. Where were you born and raised?

Steph: I was raised in Alabama and gra-duated from Arab High School.  I have been married for 25 years and have two sons, both graduates of Southside High School.

Leslie: I was born and raised in Gadsden and Rainbow City.  I went to Gadsden High School.  I have been happily married almost 24 years to Scott, who was born and raised in Southside and owns a local logistics company.  My daughter is a junior at Southeastern University in Florida and my son is a freshman  at University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Did you have any prior real estate experience before At Home?

Steph: I have been selling real estate since 2018.  Leslie and I recently decided to partner up and create a team call At Home. 

Leslie: I got my real estate license while in college and actually worked as a full time realtor for many years before I had children.  I always kept my license active and planned to come back one day.  In October of 2017, I made the decision to start my continuing ed and started back full time in Jan 2018.  It’s been quite the ride.  It’s been really cool working with clients that I sold houses to 20-plus years ago.

Describe At Home’s origin story. How did you two decide to work together?

Steph: We decided to work together because we each have different strengths that we bring to the team dynamic.  One thing that we have in common is our passion for customer service and taking care of our clients.  

Leslie: We are both very passionate about customer service and putting our all into our jobs.  We just felt like having two agents working together for the common good would be a huge bonus to anyone wanting to list or purchase a home.

How did you determine the name “At Home”?

Steph: We wanted something to make people feel comfortable, and what makes you more comfortable than being at home? 

Leslie: Steph came up with the name and I loved it from the moment I heard it.  It truly envelopes the fact that we want our clients to feel comfortable working with us and not afraid to ask questions. Real estate can be very confusing at times, and we are always learning with each transaction.  

Describe your partnership. What is it like working with one another?

Leslie: We are different in a lot of ways, but we work great together and want what is best for our customers.  

What is At Home’s mission?

Leslie: To help people in the community and have integrity in every transaction.

How long has At Home been established?

Leslie: We have worked together several years, but the team concept is new.

What areas do you service?

We can service anywhere in Alabama but we work primarily in Etowah County and surrounding areas.

What first inspired you to pursue real estate?

Steph: I’ve always loved looking at houses and picturing who lives there and what an awesome thing it would be to help someone find their dream home. 

Leslie: I have been passionate about it since childhood.  My favorite pastime as a child was to go riding around finding new roads and homes I had never seen.  I think this area is beautiful and has so much to offer.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

Steph: I love working with people.  Not only helping them find a home, but helping them gain education about the process.  I remember when my husband and I bought our first home, we had no idea what we were doing.  

Leslie: I love getting to truly help people and feel like I make a difference in their life.  

What do you hope your customers gain from working with you?

Steph: I hope that they gain a knowledge of the real estate process and don’t feel so overwhelmed.  It’s all a bit much when you are in the thick of it, but my hope is that once the deal is done and they are in their new home it was all worth it.   Leslie: I hope that they learn a lot and walk away feeling like I did my absolute best to make their transaction as smooth as possible.

What differs At Home from other realtors?

Steph: Our commitment and communication with our clients.  Our clients always come first.  We even coordinate our vacations so that we aren’t out of town at the same time! 

Leslie: We are on call 24/7 and put our job at the very top of our to do list.  We don’t let things sit on the back-burner.  We want a fast and smooth transaction and experience.  

How has business changed during COVID-19?

Steph: People are a lot more health conscious.  I have been in homes that the seller requires everyone looking at their home to wear gloves, shoe covers and masks.  We are busier than ever, though. 

Leslie: COVID has literally turned the world upside down.  However, the real estate business has been wide open due to low interest rates.  I feel that everyone has had to be patient and give lots of Grace.  Some things are out of our control.

What advice would you give to individuals seeking to buy or sell a home during this time?

Steph: Do your homework! Before you hire an agent, talk to them and make sure they have your best interest at heart and are willing to work for you! 

Leslie: Interview several agents and find the perfect fit for you.  Just because someone is a friend with a license, doesn’t  mean they are what you need.  Find someone like us that works Monday-Friday and weekends and never turns their phone off.  We do have a life outside of real estate, but we also make our job a priority.  

For more information about At Home, contact Steph Brown at 256-613-1645 or email stephanieborwn@realtyplus-gadsden.com. Contact Leslie Hopper at 256-312-3780 or email leslie@realtyplus-gadsden.com.