Lake Norman Realty is a Pillar of Our Community!
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
Lake Norman Realty puts the “real” in real estate. Real people. Real offices. Real relationships. With over $320 million in sales last year, it’s a business approach that clients really love! Founded in 1978, Lake Norman Realty has grown into one of the region’s leading full-service real estate companies. This month, in what feels like a full circle to co-owner Abigail Jennings, it just got even better.
“My dad left the corporate world in 1970, moved to Denver, NC, and began his real estate career with the legendary John Hecht,” Abigail explains. “After a few years, he spread his wings and started his own company. When the Hecht family was ready to sell, we were honored to join our firms together to continue their family’s legacy.”
Still independent and family-owned, Lake Norman Realty has proudly maintained its core values for 43 years while embracing all the bells and whistles of the industry, especially technology. In part, that’s because Abigail has one of the most creative minds in real estate. A former art major at UNC-Charlotte, she planned on a career in the arts but changed her mind after temping for her father after she graduated.
“Working alongside my dad, I did everything you could do in a real estate company,” Abigail says. “In 1993, he asked me to start a relocation department for the company, and that took me on a full-time path. I discovered that operating a business takes as much creativity as being an artist. I always look at things from different angles. Whenever I hear it can’t be done, I enjoy using my creative energy to find solutions.”
After choosing a real estate career over art, the goal was for Abigail to take over Lake Norman Realty when her dad retired. Sadly, that timetable quickly advanced after her father passed away from cancer at 53. In 1998, decades earlier than expected, Abigail became president, sharing ownership of the company with her mother, Jane Getsinger, who continues to work behind the scenes as the “company mom” and Lake Norman Realty’s biggest cheerleader.
“I love every minute of growing and supporting associates,” Abigail says. “From day one, I focused on helping every individual associate be the best they could be. I knew the entire company would follow suit. That philosophy will continue with this merger as we onboard associates and continue to provide excellent, ongoing training that helps everyone reach their full potential. We have some of the most passionate, experienced, and dedicated brokers and staff in the industry, including our general manager, Shantae Brown. She’s been my right hand for the past 11 years, and I appreciate her so much. Lake Norman Realty’s success would not be possible without our incredible team!”
Abigail and her team enjoy sharing their success with the community, and giving back is one of their core values. Helping families and children in need, conservation, social justice, animal welfare, the arts, and historic preservation are their most important local causes.
“We are community-oriented in nature both internally and externally,” Abigail says. “We operate by the Golden Rule of treating others the way we would like to be treated ourselves. Communication, organization, and continuous self-improvement are also keys to our success.”
In her spare time, Abigail still loves to create art. She’s donated many of her nature-inspired mixed-media pieces to support local charity auctions over the years. Abigail is also passionate about historic preservation. She and her husband, Randolph Lewis, restored their home, an 1897 parsonage they call home. Married for 20 years, they have two daughters, Genevieve (16) and Ia (13).
“Now we’re in the process of completely restoring an 1860s home we hope to move into later this year along with our many animals,” Abigail smiles, “including nine cats, two frogs, a hamster, a chameleon, two axolotls, and a dog. I love coming home after work and spending time with my family and our little zoo. They inspire me every day.”
Lake Norman Realty now has more than 150 associates and seven office locations providing residential, commercial, global relocation services, and the largest property management division in the Lake Norman region. Through their recent merger, they now manage a rental portfolio representing over 1,500 properties, including long-term management, short-term rentals, vacation rentals, and HOA services.