The Knoxville Area Association of Realtors is headed this year by Shannon Foster-Boline, one of the busiest agents in town. How does she fit in this huge volunteer task?
“We have an amazing CEO and staff,” she says. They handle the day-to-day business of the 5,200-member organization. KAAR is located on Weisgarber Road at Papermill in Bearden. Continuing education classes remain virtual, but the office itself has been open to members since April 5.
“I’ve always believed in being involved in the community and giving back,” Foster-Boline said in an interview. She’s served on several professional committees and has worked with community nonprofits as well.
And she loves working with fellow real estate professionals. As she was sworn in, amid a pandemic, she said, “I am always amazed by the resiliency of our members, the ability for us to be competitors but also collaborators.
“This past year, all of you have sacrificed much, and in so very many ways. Continuing to work during the pandemic as essential workers, while also balancing the needs of loved ones, teaching your children from home, personal health issues, client needs and on and on.
“But that is what we do every day, isn’t it? Juggle a million things, and make it seem easy!”
She expects new challenges in 2021, but promises to “adapt at lightning speed” to the larger economy. “We cannot overstate the intensity of today’s market competition and the escalation of pricing. It is rare that a listing does not have more than one offer, and we are seeing offers between $30,000 to $70,000 over list price as the norm.”
Shannon Foster-Boline has lived in Knoxville since 1993 and attended graduate school at UT. She worked in retail management from 1996 to 2009 before shifting to real estate, first with Coldwell Banker Wallace and now with Realty Executives Associates, based at the Bearden office, 109 S. Northshore Dr., Ste. 200. She is a broker with various designations including GRI, CRS, ABR, SRES and more. She was a Double Diamond Award winner with Realty Executives in 2018 and 2019.
Her team sold $77 million in real estate in 2019 and closed 331 transactions. “We are committed to excellence in service and take pride in our involvement in our community. Our overall philosophy is simple. We are here to help our clients sell and/or buy a property, and we will make the process the best experience possible!”
She has challenged other Realtors to take the “buzzwords” of diversity, equity and inclusion to heart. “It is imperative that all feel welcome, supported and advocated for by this organization. Understanding and support a broad range of members is what we should be doing every day, and it is critical to who we are and the communities we serve.”
Homeownership, she says, is not just about owning a house. It’s the chance to build wealth.
Leadership tips: “Obviously, you have to have a sense of who you are as a leader. It’s OK to admit when you are wrong. Be resilient. Hear different perspectives. Be willing to change your mind.
“A leader must set boundaries. Be willing to say no. Think big and broad. And use the strengths of the people around you.”
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today.