Stephen Gift with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices hits the ground running as this month’s rising star! Read more about this born natural below.
Written by: Allison Michaels Parker
Photography by: Kelly Klemmensen Photography
Talking with Stephen Gift is like chatting with an old friend—comfortable and easy. It’s no wonder that real estate became his career of choice and that within his first year and a half with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, he’s closed 40 homes.
Graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (concentration in Marketing) from UNC Wilmington, Stephen had many career options open to him upon graduation. He started off in retail management, and then landed a sales role at a small non-profit association. Working with a small company for about 7 years, he was the only salesperson on staff for the first few years.
While he enjoyed the sales portion of his latter position, it became a bit repetitive day-to-day. Conversations with friends in the real estate industry convinced him to give real estate a shot.
While still working full-time, Stephen started taking weekend classes in February 2018. In Mid-May, he joined the John Siddons team at the South Park office of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services. John Siddons was a long-time friend of Stephen’s, and it was his motivation that convinced Stephen to join the real estate industry. Stephen made the transition to real estate full time in August 2018. Gift recollects, “I think it was by the end of my first month I had 4 houses under contract and my head was spinning. The best way to describe this career so far is; a constant learning experience.”
Gift credits Siddons and the team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices for his initial ramp-up support. “John had the experience to help answer the endless questions a first-year REALTOR® would have. Sheryl Bare, my Broker in Charge, has helped me through several ‘learning experiences’ my first year. She has been a constant support role, and has helped navigate me through a lot of high-pressure situations.”
It also helps to be with a supportive partner. Stephen is engaged to Ashlyn who is a loan officer’s assistant. He credits Ashlyn with her constant 100% support over the past year while he transitioned into real estate. With both of them changing career paths around the same time, they have been a valuable resource to each other, as well as a support system through the hectic demands of the real estate industry.
His efforts have not been unnoticed. Gift has been recognized with awards within the office for “Million Dollar Months” as well as recently being nominated for Rookie of the Year with our Regional Association.
When asked about the most rewarding part of his business, Gift notes, “Easily, Great feedback from clients who have expressed their appreciation for my help with such a big purchase. I also didn’t expect to make so many friends from doing this (real estate), but I have made a lot of really great connections.”
Stephen has made it his mission to continue moving forward in furthering his knowledge-base; as well as his understanding of the industry acumen. He looks forward to growing his business over the next year, as well as closing on his own new home. “My fiancé and I are planning to buy a house together next year—that will be the first piece as to how this career has helped us with our dreams and goals,” Stephen tells us.
When not working with clients, Stephen finds himself busy with family as well as hobbies and volunteer opportunities. With his parents and other family living in the Lake Norman area, he maintains a close relationship with them. Stephen is #5 in a line of 6 siblings who are scattered on the east coast from Virginia Beach to Ft Lauderdale. He is an uncle to 6 nieces and nephews. Stephen shares, “We are all very close!”
Stephen’s hobbies include sand volleyball, losing golf balls at courses around Charlotte, woodworking, and volunteering as an Ambassador for the UNC-Wilmington Charlotte area Alumni Chapter.
Balancing personal time and career focus is always a challenge, however, Stephen is learning how to make it work in his new career. “For me, my career was always just one piece of the puzzle,” explains Stephen. “Having the time, resources, and health to have fun with the people I love is what it always came down to for me.” As well, Gift adds, “I put a lot of pressure on myself to make sure that the people I work with are happy throughout the home-buying experience.”
When asked what the main thing that drives his success so early on, Gift reflects, “Communication changes everything. You have to communicate clearly and through the right mediums depending on your message. Everyone knows a handful of REALTORS®, so it is so important to build and keep trust, as well as be a point person for providing information and solutions that clients can use to help themselves. Most importantly, you don’t need to be pushy and aggressive to succeed.”
To reach Stephen Gift, please contact him at (704) 576-3148.