Check out gorgeous cover agent Jean Benham with Allen Tate Charlotte – SouthPark!
Ask Jean Benham, an agent in Allen Tate’s SouthPark location, how she wants to one day be remembered by her peers and clients, and she quickly recites the classic adage: “It’s not what a person does, but how they make people feel.”
Benham, who has represented Allen Tate for more than 15 years, has made it her life’s work to not only make her clients feel valued but more importantly, see the value she adds to their real estate properties.
As a result, Benham can regularly be found working behind the scenes on any number of properties, suggesting simple aesthetic changes, such as painting and flooring; to designing entire kitchen and bath remodels. She also routinely oversees and schedules subcontractors, and stages homes as a finishing touch to each makeover she creates.
Benham’s ability to help a home reach its full potential and go the extra mile has catapulted her to the top of her field. Last year, she sold 65 homes (25 of which were located in Piper Glen) and was named Allen Tate’s Top Selling Agent for closing more than $40 million in sales.
Maintaining such a high level of activity isn’t easy; Benham seemingly works non-stop. Her typical day includes listing houses, meeting with photographers and clients, working with vendors, and/or partnering with her husband Jim, owner of Benham Builders, to identify future build sites or analyze new building plans.
As a result, Benham’s professional network has far exceeded her expectations. The circle of peers and friends she’s cultivated
over the years has helped her grow her business into what it is today. This is a tremendous accomplishment for the Rockville, Maryland, native who essentially started her career over after relocating to Charlotte in 1994.
Benham graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. She met her husband shortly after college when they were both assigned to work on a condo conversion. The duo quickly set to work renovating historic homes in and around the Baltimore, Richmond, Virginia, and D.C. areas after marrying in 1980.
But the appeal of the south, coupled with friends in North Carolina suggesting they move to the Queen City, was hard to ignore. So, the pair decided to “head south” with their family and relocate to Charlotte. They purchased a house in Piper Glen, “because of its beautiful terrain and basement homes,” explains Benham, and started anew.
And thus began Benham’s career in Charlotte real estate. Jim quickly started building custom homes and suggested to his wife that she obtain her license and sell the homes he was constructing. With the support of her good friend Mary Crowder, Benham got her real estate license in 1995 and immediately hit the ground running.
She sold one of Jim’s first homes to the CEO of Duke Solutions who was overseeing the company’s corporate relocation of 50 engineers to the Charlotte area. The CEO was so impressed with Benham’s abilities that he hired her to oversee the company’s relocation efforts. She spent the next two years selling homes to Duke’s new crop of employees and discovering her love for serving others as a buyer’s agent.
“I had just been through a relocation myself, so I was up to speed on
the area’s school system, its nearby amenities, and surrounding neighborhoods,” explains Benham. “I used that information to my advantage and began building my network.”
As a result of that experience, Benham was able to broaden her real estate insight as well as her knowledge of people, learning how to read clients and understand why specific homes resonate more (or less) with certain buyers.
“It’s the funniest thing, clients can tell you what they want in a home, but then are attracted to something totally different that doesn’t necessarily check any of their boxes,” says Benham. “Sometimes a home just speaks to a buyer; and as a Realtor, you must recognize and respect that when it happens and switch course as needed. The adventure can be pretty crazy, but the reward at the end is worth the wait.”
Thankfully for Benham, the thrill of the hunt is her favorite part of the job. It’s what brings her closest to buyers, giving her the opportunity to build relationships and develop friendships with new people.
Adds Benham, “In this profession, you work with your clients on a very personal level. I enjoy the variety of clients real estate brings. Each day I get to interact with individuals from all walks of life, homes of all ages, and agents from all backgrounds. It helps keep me current, and I recognize the value in that.”
To say real estate has only kept Benham “current” over the years is an understatement. The truth of the matter is, it has been everything to her and her family. It not only afforded her the flexibility to work from home, ensuring a parent was always there to raise sons Joe, Matt, and Jimmy, but also work in partnership with her husband, adding value to each of his builds thanks to her keen eye for design and her deep understanding of Charlotte’s real estate market.
So, does the family that works together, play together? Absolutely. In fact, Benham makes it a point to schedule at least two big family trips a year to ensure everyone makes time in their busy schedules to enjoy one another’s company and create memories that will last a lifetime.
The Benhams visited Greece in September 2018 and traveled to Paris the previous year. But until she receives that next stamp in her passport, Benham will continue doing what she does best – being a top producer in Charlotte’s real estate scene.
To contact Jean Benham with Allen Tate SouthPark, you can email her at email@example.com or call her cell at 704.363.2938.