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Realty Executives Associates



Defining Why: Tyler Fogarty

(Published on - 1/28/2023 3:10:56 PM)


Defining Why with Tyler Fogarty- Realty Executives West Hillls 


Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Tyler Fogarty, team lead of the Fox & Fogarty team and REA top producer.


1. How did you get into real estate? What motivated you to choose this as a career?

Both my mom and dad have spent most of their professional careers in Real Estate. However, growing up, my parents didn’t tell me what they did every day. I knew it was Real Estate only because I would call a real estate office to ‘page’ my dad to let him know I was going to spend the night at Jimmy’s house. There was no formal introduction to this business and I was completely in the dark on their work life through childhood, high school, and college. Probably for the better!


I had plans to move to Chicago after college. I had job interviews and a roommate lined up. It was summertime 2007 - I still had one semester of school left and my mind was already working towards getting started in the real world. I decided I would get my Real Estate License that summer and work for a few months in a real business environment for some experience before I graduated and made the move to Chicago. (Naïve, young Tyler didn’t know RE can’t provide real business world experience as it’s nothing like any other office environment you could work in!)


I was licensed by August and Rusty Ensor helped me sell my first home in September. One deal was enough to pique my interest big time. I felt I was getting a formal introduction to the business, I understood the economics side (I had an Economics Degree), I had a natural local network to tap, the paycheck was nice, and it seemed fun and flexible. I worked part-time that fall while finishing school, then I decided to make this my full-time career.


I showed up at the office 9am on January 1st, 2008 to work my first full day in my new exciting career in Real Estate. The market promptly crashed a few months later and sparked one of the toughest economic environments in a generation. Beautiful. On top of that I had no sales skills, no financial IQ, no savings, no business training, and no real work ethic. I went completely broke in 2009 and wrote the last dollar out of my checking account. I cried in the plumbing section of a Home Depot while looking at prices of new water heaters. While on a client call.


I thought several times that year about quitting and becoming a bartender or waiting tables. I’m not exactly sure why I didn’t quit other than survival seemed to be this puzzle that I knew I could figure out if I spent enough time and energy on it. I started putting in the long hours, like the reallllly long hours. I figured out first how to work hard. Even today I keep a couch in my office because I slept at the office many times from 2009-2013. I started digesting business books and finance books and sales books. And I started bothering the older, more experienced agents for their tips. There are several agents at REA right now (and some not with us anymore) I owe a major gratitude of thanks for helping push my career growth curve along.

2. What is your "why" for waking up everyday? 

Over time the motivation shifted. At the very beginning it was – solve the survival puzzle. How do I survive in this business and make it to next month or next year even?


Then once some momentum got going, the motivation was – solve the growth puzzle. How do you push or pull things in the right way to keep on growing?


Then I had kids.


Today the motivation is – This is my career. I’m good at it, I’ve built a business. Now how do I manage my career in a way that provides a great life for my kids? I need to be able to spend time with them. I need to be able to save money for them. I want to demonstrate how to be a hard worker, how to be a good leader, how to make smart decisions, how to make tough decisions, how to manage your emotions. I want them to see me getting better every day. I want to curate relationships that enrich our lives and I want them to see the importance of maintaining good relationships.

3. How do you challenge yourself? 

The challenges are everywhere. Obstacles are in every facet of our work life and personal life. There is no shortage of competition internally and externally. The trick, I think, is to focus on only a few areas you want to improve.


I do this primarily through written goals and a tracking system. Whether it’s Nutrition, Fitness, Finances, Fun, Friendships, Sales, Marketing – any area I want to push – I make written goals and put together a simple system to track it.


Then after putting in some work, I celebrate the progress 1st and foremost. Focus on the positive and don’t be so hard on yourself for not doing better. Then set a new goal, tweak your system, and track again. Rinse and repeat.


Slow progress is fine. My target is to be a little better version of myself than I was last year.


4. How do you define success?

Said best by Naval Ravikant:


A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love.

These things cannot be bought - they must be earned.



Tyler Fogarty | Jan. 2023 | | 124 N Winston Road Knoxville, TN 37919




Defining Why: Carrie Dougherty

(Published on - 10/10/2022 1:29:16 PM)




Defining Why with Carrie Doughtery- Realty Executives Farragut 


Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Carrie Doughtery, an award-winning agent at REA Farragut.


1. How did you get into real estate? What motivated you to choose this as a career?
My career in real estate began in early 2006.  I was in my fifth year of staying at home with my kids, with a goal of staying home until they were in school.  I failed at that part.  After five years, I was ready to transition back to work, and my former career wasn't really an option.  I taught high school English and speech and the goals that I had for myself were quite lofty.  My Bachelor's degree is in Rhetoric, so I always wanted to teach my students how to write, how to research, and how to document sources in their written works, so that they could go to college fully prepared.  To teach writing, the after-hours commitment was quite intense, because you then had to read and grade everything that the students wrote.  After a horrific first year of teaching, I left the public school system and went to a private school system, only to discover that I didn't like that either.  At the private school, however,  they invited me to be an assistant in the Development Department, organizing and executing fundraising events for the school.  I enjoyed that, so I decided to pursue my Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration, and then worked at Illinois State University as their Director of Development for Student Affairs.  I traveled the states, meeting with alumni, soliciting scholarships for the University's first-ever capital campaign.  I loved it, but I couldn't go back to that career while still having young children at home.  That's how and why I chose real estate.  
My background in education and development seemed to perfectly fit the skill set needed to begin a successful real estate career.  I chose a small shop to hang my license, and Tom Biggs mentored all new licensees on the industry.  He taught us how to generate our circle of influence, how to manage and nurture prospects, and ultimately how to structure and build our businesses.  He taught us that if we created a strong marketing plan for selling homes that we would get listings and then the listings would generate buyers.  He was right.  As I am now completing my seventeenth year in the industry, the majority of my clients are repeat clients or referrals from repeat clients.  I love that.  
2. What is your "why" for waking up everyday? 
I wake up every day with a desire to experience life to the fullest.  A consistent description of me has always been "highly energetic".  I work hard, and I play hard.  My husband and I have many hobbies which include boating, kayaking, 4-wheeling, and motorcycling.  And if it's up to me, we rope in as many sunrises and sunsets as humanly possible, because they bring me back to center.  When I'm centered, everything in my world runs better. 
3. How do you challenge yourself? 
I challenge myself every day to try to do better and be better at *everything*. When I stayed at home with my kids, I always said that I wanted to "wear the cape."  I wanted to be great at being a mom, being a wife, and being a Realtor.  When I was building my business, I put in grueling hours.  There were so many less tools when I started that now save time.  A 16-20 hour work day was normal for me for many years, and I still put home-cooked meals on the table, taxied children to activities, did laundry, cleaned the house, paid bills, planned vacations, and the list goes on.  In 2012, I started to break down.  I couldn't do that pace anymore.  I woke up one morning and went to work literally 6 feet from my bed at my roll-top desk.  I had 16 homes under contract.  I had the files all laid out on my bedroom floor.  16 contracts, 16 negotiations, 16 home inspections, 16 repair negotiations from inspections, 16 repair lists, 16 appraisals, 16 different lenders and title companies and agents.  My brain was exploding.  I was failing at wearing the cape.  It was then that I knew I had to buy back some of my life.  It didn't matter how much money I made, if I had no time to enjoy it.  
I became a small 4-person team at that time. . . me, an assistant and two buyers agents.  Together we were incredibly strong, but not without growing pains.  Since that time, I've just used my gut to manage my business.  Right before Trump got elected, I felt the housing shortage come on, and I didn't think I was going to be able to sustain the team.  We ultimately disbanded, and I went back to being a solo agent again.  That was the right decision.  


4. What advice would you give to another Realtor that is juggling family and a large work-load?
Advice for new agents juggling the family load and work load:  Value Your Time... especially when working with buyers.  It's ok to ask for the buyer's lender information prior to showing them a home.  It's ok to ask them to contact your lender of choice.  It's ok to ask them to drive by a property prior to you showing them the property.  It's ok to ask them questions to gauge how serious they are as a buyer and whether breaking from dinner will result in a sale or a missed opportunity to have dinner with your family.  If you are doing something with your family and the business CAN wait, then let it wait.  And ALWAYS Trust Your Gut.  It's ok to say no.  It's ok to drive past and not go inside.  And it's always a good idea to tell someone where you are going.  I would also recommend finding a real estate friend to cover for you while you are on vacation or are in situations where you can't get there.  I forged a relationship with a veteran agent and it was invaluable.  He covered for me for years, and I gave him clients when I was too busy to handle them.  It worked out.


Defining Why: Aaron Fowler

(Published on - 8/16/2022 1:47:43 PM)




Defining Why with Aaron Fowler- Realty Executives Maryville 


Welcome to this month's edition of our Defining Why blog, where we peel back the layers of our top agents and learn more about why drives them. This month, we sat down with Aaron Fowler, team lead of the Fowler Hall Group at REA Maryville.


1. How did you get into real estate? What motivated you to choose this as a career?
Various interests and networks in my life created a great opportunity for me to jump into this business.  I started to dabble in real estate shortly after graduating college by investing in rental property with a business partner.  I ended up working in a role for the county government as a Property Assessor for several years and learned a tremendous amount about market trends and the valuation of real estate in our area. The motivation to get my license came after countless requests from friends to help keep an eye out on real estate opportunities while working in the field as an assessor. Running my own business was something I had ambition and drive to do. The timing and experience created a unique opportunity for me to transition into this business and grow rapidly
2. What is your "why" for waking up everyday? 
My why is most certainly my family and having the freedom to enjoy life.  Fortunately I was able to make sacrifices and invest in myself and my business prior to having little ones.  My focus has shifted as our family has grown and it makes me grateful for the timing of the opportunities I have had. 
3. How do you define success?
A successful person is someone who has sincere humility and recognizes the things that matter.  A successful person makes something of themselves through the pursuit of knowledge, hard work, and integrity. Someone who has experienced it is a good listener, they share credit, they remember their roots, they help others acheive goals, they show the janitor the same respect as the CEO.  In my eyes, success is truly a mindset. A person who has very little but is grateful is far more successful than a person who has a lot but lacks humility.  
4. How do you challenge yourself? 
I challenge myself to become more efficient with my time in all aspects of my life. In business, I can be a perfectionist to a fault and am in constant competition with myself. The end goal is to provide a top notch service to clients and help those who work alongside me to achieve goals that would not have been possible without working together. It is a constant challenge to create and fine tune processes within our business so that we can operate efficiently and these goals can be met at a higher level.
5. What advice would you give to another Realtor that is juggling family and a large work-load?
Find the balance.  Ambition and strong work ethic are key attributes for a productive agent. Of course sacrifices are inevitable especially early on.  When a bit of good fortune is mixed in, this business can easily consume your mind.  However, work/life balance should be at the top of the list of priorities.  I would advise any agent with a large work load to let go of some control.  There will never be another person you can hire who does it the "exact" way you do.  Step out of your comfort zone and teach someone, support them, help them problem solve.  Challenges will always be present.  Life will become far more enjoyable long term when all of the pressure is not on your shoulders.  Getting caught in the rat race and not devoting attention to yourself or your family will cost you time that you will never get back.  


Fall in East Tennessee: Our Favorite Places

(Published on - 11/10/2021 9:24:51 PM)

Fall in East Tennessee: Our Favorite Places


Home Sweet Knoxville – Fall Edition 


When the air turns crisp and the leaves change – that is when Knoxville truly shines! 


Beautiful shades of reds, greens, oranges, and bright golden yellows blanket the trees to signal the changing of the seasons and form a backdrop that is truly breathtaking. One of greatest things about Knoxville is that there is something here for everyone here to enjoy, and fall is certainly no exception! 


For locals (and even those who are not) fall is synonymous with some of the greatest words – IT’S FOOTBALL TIME IN TENNESSEE. It doesn’t take long to realize that Tennessee Football and being a Vol is not just something you do every Saturday in this town, it truly is a way of life. There is nothing better than driving down Neyland Drive on a Saturday taking in the sights of the Vol Navy, the sea of orange covering campus, the smells and tastes of delicious tailgate food, and hearing Rocky Top. Gameday on Rocky Top is something I believe everyone should experience at least once in their life. The passion and experience of it all is second to none. Not a fan of the elements and inside events more your speed? Catching a Tennessee Basketball game inside Thompson Bowling arena is an event that is fun for all ages! The possibilities (and fun) are endless!


Maybe sports aren’t your thing, but live music is. Knoxville has you covered! There are so many great venues to catch a show with up and coming artists all the way to some of the biggest names in music. The Mill and Mine, The Bijou Theatre, Thompson Bowling Arena, and the Historic Tennessee Theatre are some of my favorite places experience a great show. If you are catching a show in downtown Knoxville, I always suggest making an evening of it and grabbing a bite to eat and some drinks beforehand.


When it comes to great places to get food and delicious drinks, Knoxville has hit the jackpot!  Almost everywhere you go downtown, you will find a must try spot with a great atmosphere to enjoy the fall. Tupelo Honey, Café 4, and Downtown Grill and Brewery are some of my favorite staples in the area. If you are looking to try out some new spots, Vida, Osteria Stella, and A Dopo are some new faces in town that are making quite the splash. Fall is also the perfect time to enjoy the views from Downtown Knoxville, which can best be seen from one of the rooftop bars. The Radius Rooftop Lounge and Five Thirty Lounge are two of my favorites. I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention where to get what is in my opinion the best burger in town – the Abridged Burger at Abridged Beer Company. Abridged is the perfect place to enjoy fall weather and catch up with friends over some great bites. I also recommend the pot roast nachos to share!


Knoxville also prides itself on being a family friendly city! If you are a family that loves to cook together, the Market Square Farmer’s Market every Saturday is the perfect place to pick up some fresh ingredients for all those fall recipes. Love to decorate for fall? Pope’s Creekside Nursery is a great place to bring the kids to pick out pumpkins, mums, and other goodies to spruce up your entryway for the season. You can also find an abundance of Fall Festivals filled with tons of fun activities for all ages throughout the fall months as well. My favorite annual family tradition is to make the short drive to Gatlinburg to view East Tennessee in all of its fall glory. Taking the scenic drive along the Foothills Parkway or exploring Cades Cove are my top must dos to take in all of the beauty and brilliant colors of fall. 


With so much to do and see, Knoxville really has it all. Each year millions of people flock to East Tennessee to experience all that the area has to offer – the fun, the food, and the natural beauty that surrounds it all!


There truly is no place I would rather be than enjoying the Fall season in Knoxville, Tennessee!



Written by: Catherine Jones, REALTOR




Relocating Elderly Clients

(Published on - 10/7/2021 2:58:39 PM)

The tables have turned and now it’s time for you to help your parents move into the next stage of their life. Maybe they’ve realized they want to downsize from their forever house and find a single-level home, or you’ve noticed they need the kind of additional help provided in a retirement community.

Whatever your parents’ situation, the keys to staying calm while navigating this challenging time are careful planning and understanding, with a healthy dose of patience.



This can often be a tension-wrought time for you and the entire family. Plan to have an honest, open discussion with your siblings and parents about what the right next step is. There are many reasons for elderly parents to relocate, from financial to medical. If you’ll be helping relocate both parents, it’s important to consider that they may not agree about what to do next — or they may require different levels of care. Either way, it can be an upsetting conversation if not handled thoughtfully.

Research housing options based on the level of care each person needs, the costs involved, and how it will be paid for. That way, when you bring it up to your parents, you’re ready with some informed answers to help make the discussion and decisions less stressful.



Sometimes these decisions have to be made on a fast timeline, particularly when there’s a medical situation. However, if it’s not an emergency try not to rush your parents into a decision. Let them adjust to the idea of finding a new place to live, then help them see how it will benefit them, whether in terms of finances, safety, being closer to family, and having an easier way of life. The key is helping your parents feel more in charge of the process and less like a burden to you or other family members involved.



If your parents are moving to a new state or city, it’s important to have their healthcare set up right away. Check to see what doctors will be in-network for them or how far the drive will be from their current doctor. Also take into account how far their new place will be from a pharmacy and consider setting up mail-order prescriptions to save time and money.



Once the decision about their next home has been made it’s time to start preparing for the move. Dealing with decades of belongings and family mementos can be overwhelming. Most likely your parents will be downsizing to a smaller home or apartment, or even a room in an assisted care facility. Another possibility is that they are planning to move in with you, which will most likely require downsizing their belongings, not to mention a big shift in your family dynamic. Keep your conversations open and make sure each member of the family has a voice. Involve your parents in the process of organizing their items, asking them what they want to have in their new place, versus what they may want to keep in storage.

If you have a parent experiencing memory loss, consider doing the organizing yourself and be sure to pack items that will immediately be familiar to them, such as important family photos, a favorite armchair, one place setting of a cherished dishware set. Then, have an estate sale or contact a consignment company for anything the family doesn’t want to keep.



When researching movers for your elderly parent, make sure the company is licensed and bonded. Fraudulent moving companies are an increasing issue and the government has recently tried to crack down on the growth of moving company scams. Many of them even appear to have a location on Google maps when you’re researching. This is why finding a licensed and bonded company is crucial. Look at Yelp and Angie’s List for reviews or ask friends and family for recommendations.

The level of moving service you need will depend on the distance of the move and the number of items your loved one will be taking with them for this next phase of life. A traditional moving service might be too costly or stressful when you’re downsizing into a smaller space given their rigid schedules and the risk of damage. A portable moving container offers more flexibility, time, and control over the process

— something that will be highly valued by you and your elderly parent – plus you have the option of hiring professionals to assist with packing and loading.



Remember that traveling is more difficult when you’re older! Plan their trip in ways that will minimize stress, like picking nonstop flights and scheduling for the time of day they’re usually feeling their best. If they’ll need special assistance for mobility, you can arrange for the airport to provide a wheelchair for easy maneuvering. Make sure there’s someone available to drive them to the airport and pick them up when they arrive at their new destination.


This can be an emotional time for elderly parents and for you. Consider having someone from the family travel with them to help with the trip, whether it’s a cross-country flight or a few hours on the road. Then, once you get to their new place, it’s a good idea to have someone stay for a few days to assist with unpacking and getting them settled.

Written by Karin Burkey, CRP, VP of Corporate Services 


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