Ask Brooke Wahl what she dreamed of becoming when she was a child and she’ll tell you she couldn’t imagine working in any field but the family business. Brooke is a fourth-generation realtor, following in the footsteps of her great grandfather, grandfather, grandmother, and mother. She grew up hearing the stories of selling homes following World War II, through the Great Recession, during booms and challenging times over the generations.
These narratives give Brooke a wide perspective of the ebbs and flows that come in real estate and shape the hands-on approach she brings to every interaction she has with clients as one of ARC Realty’s most successful agents. More than ever, people are asking Brooke how the market is doing. They want to know if COVID-19 has affected the value of their home or their ability to sell.
“The good news is that in Birmingham, the real estate market has stayed extremely strong and home values are at an all-time high,” says Wahl. “Right now is a great time to live in a mid-sized city like Birmingham where there is so much confidence in homeownership. That plus the record-low interest rates have created an incredibly strong market.”
Experts across the country have pointed to real estate as one of the primary drivers to pull the economy out of recession. The home market has long been considered a catalyst for positive growth. Since most of us either own or aspire to own real estate, many people are interested, but few truly understand the real estate market. This is where experts like Wahl play an essential role, even in a time when workers in many industries had to shut down.
“It was a very strange and humbling feeling to be deemed ‘essential’ during COVID. My husband is a surgeon at UAB, so I saw first-hand how hard it was for workers on the front line. While selling real estate is a very different atmosphere, it felt great to know that I could still help people and push the economy during trying times.”
Wahl says people realized their homes were more important than ever while sheltering in place and spending more time than ever inside. The need for people to move did not disappear despite the challenging circumstances.
“The reality is that a lot of the time people need to move more than they want to. New jobs, new home situations, and new cities arise, and they need to be able to find a space that will work for them.”
Most evolutions in industries happen over generations, but the pandemic caused business and customers to adapt overnight and continue to make changes as new information became available. Wahl says realtors rose to the occasion to make clients feel comfortable and meet their needs.
“People are less comfortable having face-to-face meetings, having strangers in their house, and going in strangers houses for showings. We are now better equipped to meet virtually, have no contact showings, provide masks, and sanitize. Really, if someone were so inclined, they could go through the whole process without being more than six feet from someone outside of their household.”
Wahl says the most important aspect of her job has not changed. She continues to communicate with people in the same way, to provide constant updates, and to be heavily involved in the process. It’s this commitment to service that helped Wahl achieve the highest volume of any agent in the state of Alabama through the month of May.