Bruner: "Honestly, after leaving the Military, the more freedom I could get in my next career, the better. Freedom to travel whenever, and make my own schedule was something I craved, as soon as I left the Coast Guard. I loved what I did in the military; however, my entire adult life I worked for Uncle Sam. After a few years working as a real estate broker, being a 1099 employee was not enough; I was still an 'employee.' I needed to fully branch out on my own and create something that was solely mine to fail or succeed at."
GWBJ: How has your experience as a veteran influenced your business?
Bruner: "The discipline I learned from serving my country has truly been the foundation of my civilian career. If you are not 15 minutes early, you're late. I attribute my accountability, punctuality, and organization completely to my military experience. That and my ability to stay calm and level-headed under pressure. No one is dying during a Real Estate transaction; it takes a lot for me to get worked up.
"From a veteran cultural perspective though, a large part of why I became a real estate broker was to help military families. Buying a home is the largest financial transaction most Americans will ever make in their life, and military families typically move every three or four years. I pride myself on supporting these families to leverage their VA benefits to make the most out of each transaction and build potential financial freedom for their families through smart real estate investments."
GWBJ: How would you characterize the state of the local real estate market
"Shocking, to say the least. I remember in March of last year when the first executive order was issued in North Carolina. The market practically froze for two weeks. Rumors of the 2008 real estate recession were swarming and people were just lying-in wait for a 'good deal.' However, that two weeks ended abruptly with the market taking off in the Wilmington area.
"Many of the families I sold homes to over the last year bought their homes purely online, site unseen. They never saw their home until they had their keys in hand and closed on the house. Most of my clients in 2020 and I never even met face to face. The industry of real estate adapted, just like everything else during COVID and created an online safe experience for families to continue to buy and sell homes."
GWBJ: What are some of the challenges Realtors are facing?
Bruner: "Speaking from my own experience, I think one of the largest challenges I have been facing in this business, since COVID, is 'connection.' The people aspect of real estate is crucial. Connecting face to face with your clients, to truly see their facial expressions and understand their needs is important. Networking to build your referral resources is a huge aspect of this industry.
"Hosting in person open houses, client appreciation parties, and real estate trainings is part of the comradery, and building platform of our business. Learning to recreate this in a virtual space has been challenging and I know many of us are looking forward to being able to connect in person more often in the future."
GWBJ: What should buyers/sellers know about real estate in the current climate?
Jenny Callison - Feb 26, 2021
Christina Haley O'Neal - Feb 26, 2021
In a transformative time for downtown Wilmington, the organization tasked with economic development efforts there is rethinking its mission...
Ray Pastore, associate professor and Esports program coordinator for the University of North Carolina Wilmington, shares his tech and info p...
For the Clemons family, running a good restaurant centers around simplicity – providing fresh, affordable, tasty food that is served well....