Protecting and Serving While Staying Calm, Cool, and Collected
Joel Hargett of EXP Realty
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Meredith June and Zachary Salter
Emotions can run high in real estate, but REALTOR® Joel Hargett is unflappable. As a former police officer, he’s used to facing life or death situations. He knows staying calm, cool, and collected is the best way to win, and his track record proves it! Licensed less than three years, Joel sold $4 million in 2021 and recently launched the Hargett Group.
“The more people around you with similar values and goals, the faster you can go and grow,” Joel says. “Everyone needs help in real estate because we all have different strengths and skillsets. Teamwork is about sharing the burden while being part of a tribe where everyone is successful.”
Joel has spent his entire adult life as a team player. After graduating from UNC-Greensboro with a Bachelor of Communication Studies, he spent two years as a fitness coach. One of his clients was an officer in Charlotte who became a good friend. Curious about his line of work, Joel asked to do a ride-along and was instantly hooked on the idea of protecting and serving the community.
“A friend of mine had passed away under tragic circumstances, and I wanted to do something to help,” Joel says. “As an officer, I was able to save lives in many different ways, such as stopping a girl from being trafficked, finding a missing elderly person, and preventing someone who overdosed from dying. It was rewarding to know I was making a difference, and the danger never bothered me.”
However, all the time he spent away from his family bothered both Joel and his wife of 10 years, Whitney. “The police force was always understaffed, so officers were constantly being called up to fill in, which didn’t leave much time for me to be a family man to Whitney and our three boys, Jax (11), Julian (8), and Joel Dexter (6),” Joel says. “I started praying to find a way to spend more time with them while still being able to put food on the table.”
Real estate was the answer. Committed to making a change, Joel found time in his busy schedule to take classes. Then, in December of 2019, he obtained his license, initially thinking he would only work part-time to supplement his off-duty income. A few months later, Joel helped a friend from the academy to buy a house. As soon as he saw his first commission check, he left the police force to pursue real estate full-time with Keller Williams.
“It just made sense,” Joel says. “I had stepped out in faith and prayed for it to work out, and it did. Faith and family come first to me. If I take care of those, I am at peace and can be a problem solver. We don’t have a specific product in real estate, all we are doing is brokering deals, and every deal has some type of problem. When you are less stressed, it’s easier to find solutions.”
Six months after starting his new career, Joel decided to build a team. His former broker suggested he join one instead. Knowing that he was ready to lead and refusing to accept any self-limiting beliefs, Joel turned to his mentor, EXP REALTOR® Kristin Vining, for advice.
“I talked to Kristin about my goals, and she told me she could help me accomplish them,” Joel says. “So I switched to EXP in June 2020. Kristin did all she promised and more, introducing me to people, providing resources, and helping me grow. I love EXP because everyone here genuinely wants to help you out and see you thrive. Agents will take the time to call you and share trade secrets. There is an incredible sense of camaraderie at EXP that aligns perfectly with my mindset and values.”
Now Joel is paying it forward. “I love helping agents who are willing to do the work because I know how much real estate has changed my life, and I want to share that with others,” he says. “It’s another way to give and serve. That’s why I was excited to launch the Hargett Group. We’re a dynamic team of three, including Whitney, and we plan to add one agent a month. We want to ‘wow’ our clients, add value at every opportunity, and deliver excellent outcomes. Our clients expect and respect outstanding results, and that’s how we’ve built our referral business. The police academy taught me failure is not an option. If someone needed to be arrested or saved, it just had to be done. Today, my duty is to protect and serve my clients, and I don’t freak out when things get complicated. Staying calm helps me get things done even in the most difficult circumstances.”
To relax and unwind, Joel works out four or five times a week, listens to daily sermons, and spends quality time with his family. They love going to the beach, visiting the White Water Center, and riding roller coasters at Carowinds Amusement Park.