Lisa Revis is Bringing The Southern Charm to Real Estate
Southern Charm Realty, Inc.
Written by Heather Pluard
Photos by Kelly Klemmensen Photography
Laissez les bons temps rouler! It’s Mardi Gras season, and while many REALTORS® are hoping to “let the good times roll” in this year’s real estate market, Lisa Revis, Southern Charm Realty’s Broker/Owner, has a sober outlook for 2022 – she has spent the last 12 months shifting her focus back to specializing in foreclosures.
“We’re on the verge of the next wave,” Lisa says. “In 2020, banks started asking me if property values would hold if they had to foreclose. Many of their customers were in forbearance. Since then, I’ve been courting banks, building relationships, getting contracts, and letting people know I’m ready for whatever they start foreclosing. I had 15 listings in the first two weeks of this year. Many agents will call me now to see what’s hitting the market, especially if they work with investors who want a first peek.”
Before 2021, Lisa was averaging about $30 million a year in sales. Then, as she poured her time and attention into building her network of banks and agents, her personal production dropped by two-thirds. But now, Lisa is poised to capitalize on any market downturn, and she has set her team of four full-time agents up for success come what may.
“We are like family here, and I want my agents to thrive in any type of market,” Lisa says. “Anyone who doesn’t have experience in short sales and foreclosures will starve in a downturn, primarily because they’ll be scared to write an offer. It’s not any harder buying bank foreclosures than regular retail. In some ways, it’s easier, because there are no emotions involved, and it’s never personal. But to earn contracts, you have to be precise on property values and float many expenses, like back taxes and utility bills. It’s not uncommon to spend $20,000 out-of-pocket on foreclosure listings, so you need a cash reserve. For my team, I’m the reserve. They can focus on buying and selling real estate as they normally do, knowing I will feed them foreclosures in the future.”
Lisa started her real estate career in 2007 at a brokerage that focused on foreclosures. She opened Southern Charm Realty in March of 2009, taking over as the broker-in-charge once she had her broker’s license that July. “I’m Type A all the way,” Lisa says. “Before becoming a REALTOR®, I owned a custom sign business, and I’ve loved being an entrepreneur since I was 21 years old. I have ambition and drive, and I don’t take no for an answer. When I want something done, I want it done now and the correct way. My whole team is like that.”
In fact, two of Lisa’s previous agents have opened firms, something she encourages all of her agents to do someday. “I enjoy guiding, training, and motivating agents to reach their career goals,” Lisa says. “It’s not about getting rich for me. It’s about promoting and growing good agents in this market who care, who respond, and who put people ahead of paychecks. Life is easier when there are more of us out there.”
While Lisa predicts a market downturn, she knows the strong will survive. “Be aggressive, think outside the box, and pick up the phone,” she says. “Clients still want that personal touch. Also, if you don’t understand the foreclosure market, hook up with someone like me who can prepare and guide you for when things turn south.”
When Lisa is ready to let the good times roll, she enjoys hopping on a RZR and riding side by side with her husband of 25 years, Gene. The couple also owns 704 Power Sports, where their children, Samantha (24) and James (28), work. The ATV business adjoins Southern Charm Realty, and Samantha’s 4-year-old daughter, Emma, loves popping back and forth between the two. “When Emma and my three border collies are here, it’s a lot of fun,” Lisa smiles. “My granddaughter is like a lot of us Southern girls – all charm but no filter!”