Showcase Realty was formed in 2008 by Nancy Braun, simultaneously when the housing market in Charlotte crashed. During its initial years, Showcase Realty represented bank owned foreclosures and underwater homeowners seeking relief through a short sale. Currently, Showcase Realty is largely focused on servicing traditional buyers, sellers and investors in addition to representing banks and HUD with their foreclosures. We had a chance to talk with Nancy to find out how she quickly shifted gears and capitalized on the distressed property market.
Charlotte Business Resources (CBR): What is Showcase Realty?
Nancy Braun (NB): Showcase Realty is an innovative boutique real estate firm in Charlotte NC, located in the historic district of South End. Founded on the principles of innovation, teamwork, and community mindfulness, Showcase provides professional service, personally delivered. We are committed to creating a home buying, selling and or investing experience that surpasses our customers’ expectations.
CBR: How did it get started?
NB: After 10 years of working within the confines of a bigger brokerage office I really wasn’t able to expand my business. So in 2008, I decided to start my own company. I wanted to be able to go in to property management in addition to the general residential brokerage that I had been doing. I started out with just one full time assistant and one part-time assistant. Eventually we started to outgrow that office – we were sitting on top of each other! It was a very confining and it was very hard to focus. We realized when our lease was up that it was time for us to move our location to a bigger space. That’s when we moved into our South End office.
CBR: What challenges did you face while starting this company?
NB: When I opened Showcase Realty, it was right around the summer of 2008. I didn’t realize that the market was going to shift so dramatically. I actually thought that Charlotte was shielded from the rest of the world and we were going to weather the storm that was coming. But our real estate market took a big dive and we had to make adjustments for that. Many Realtors in Charlotte had to leave the industry and get other jobs.
I quickly shifted gears and capitalized on the distressed property market. During those initial years, Showcase Realty represented bank owned foreclosures and underwater homeowners seeking relief through short sales.
CBR: Do you have advice for people who want to start a business?
NB: Don’t start a company just because you think you’re going to make more money – the opposite is probably true. Do it because you want to do something really incredible. Do it because you have a great idea and a tremendous amount of motivation and endless energy. You’ve got to do it because you really want to create something very unique and very special and you think you have the abilities to do that.
It’s also important to find the right team! If I had it to do over, I would have more mid-level managers in place so I could focus more ON the business than IN the business.
CBR: Do you have any plans for the future?
NB: I am about to publish a couple of books on our innovative marketing initiatives and how we are able to sell homes faster and for more money! We are also on track to open more offices in surrounding areas. We have just launched HowstheMarketTV.com, a video series that delivers local, regional and national real estate news and information on the web. The new video series distributes original content weekly focusing on current news, breaking developments, and the latest trends in real estate.
CBR: How can other businesses take advantage of your business?
NB: One way Showcase Realty can assist other businesses is with our relocation services. When companies are hiring talent outside the Charlotte area, Showcase can assist businesses with their recruiting efforts by providing their top candidates with individual and personalized tours. We can even arrange bus tours for families or large groups. We can help educate prospects on the numerous advantages of living and relocating to Charlotte and surrounding areas as well as assisting them with their temporary and permanent housing needs.
CBR: Is there anything else we haven’t asked that you would like people to know?
NB: I strongly believe in Corporate Social Responsibility. I aligned myself with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Charlotte within one year of starting my business. I found creative ways to raise money to support their efforts that really saves kids’ lives. Shortly after, I was asked to be on their Advisory Board and now I am Chairperson of their Resource Development Committee and on the Executive Committee. We adopted a family for Christmas and gave over 75 presents to this family and brought them a home cooked meal. These initiatives are so very rewarding for me, Showcase, and our partners. This is an awesome organization and I love that I am able to be a part of it and make a difference in so many children’s lives.
We also wanted to share with you that in the past twelve months Nancy has been the recipient of many awards, most notably the 2014 Charlotte Business Journal Women in Business Award, 2014 City of Charlotte Crowns of Enterprise Award, ranked 11th nationally in transactions by “The Thousand” – Wall Street Journal and Real Trends, and selected as one of fastest growing companies in the nation by HousingWire Fast 50 and Charlotte Althena Leadership Award Finalist.
We appreciate Nancy taking the time to talk with us! To learn more about Showcase Realty, you can visit their website or give them a call at 704-997-3794!