We’re proud of the team of agents we’ve assembled here at Nest Realty. We think they’re pretty awesome, and we think you will too. During our “Meet the Agent” series, we sit down with our agents to learn more about them, what makes them tick, and why they’re passionate about the real estate industry. In this installment, we chat with Ginny and Matt Barker, Brokers at Nest Realty in Asheville, North Carolina.
Nest Realty: Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from? What brought you to Asheville?
Ginny Barker: I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. I came to Asheville in 1986, fresh out of college, for my first job as a Registered Dietitian at Mission Hospital.
Matt Barker: I was born in St. Louis but spent a few years in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, and Nashville, Tennessee, before moving back to St. Louis. I attended Covenant College in Lookout Mountain and came to Asheville in 1985 because my parents had moved here and I needed a landing place while I decided what to do with my future.
Both: We are parents to four young adult children and we have a spunky granddaughter. Every fall since 1993, we have taken a family hike up to the Craggy Pinnacle overlook and taken a group photo with our kids (and now grandkid, too). That series of pictures is a family treasure.
NR: How did you get into real estate?
GB: I loved the process of finding our home and spent hours reading Real Estate Weekly for years after. I would frequently help friends find their home and more than once, I was told to get into real estate. After my husband lost his job in 2001, he turned to me and said, “Time to get your real estate license, honey.”
MB: Ginny responded to that statement with, “Not unless you get yours with me.”
NR: What was your previous career? How has that prepared you for real estate?
GB: My job as a Registered Dietitian involved mostly patient education, and education is a lot of what I do with clients. I was a full-time mom to our four children for 12 years, which really prepared me for crazy demands, unrealistic expectations, the importance of listening, and that humor is essential to survival. I am also not fazed by chaos when I enter a house because I have seen it all.
MB: My background is in graphic design, which involves clear communication, the management of many details, and the meeting of tight deadlines. These skills translate quite well to the management of real estate transactions! Helping Ginny to manage our four kids through those childhood and teen years added a good dose of patience and persistence to my skillset, too.
NR: What led you to Nest Realty, as opposed to another brokerage?
GB: I love Nest’s emphasis on relationships. I am a highly relational person in a business that can be very competitive and I love that Nest sees that relationships come first. When I first walked into the office and saw the jigsaw puzzle on the kitchen table and the entire wall of the conference room covered in a map of the region, I knew I was home.
MB: A friend who’s familiar with Nest thought it would be a good fit for us, and vice versa. She was right! I had admired Nest’s branding and design aesthetic since the Asheville office opened, and when I read over the company’s guiding principles, I was amazed at how closely they matched my own. And the Asheville group is a great, fun bunch of people!
NR: What is your favorite part of being an agent?
GB: I love working with home buyers who know they need my help. This is my passion.
MB: Helping people navigate the process, and keeping everyone calm and on course. It’s very satisfying to reach the closing day, when everything is done and we all can celebrate.
NR: Do you have a specific area of expertise to offer clients?
GB: I am a natural connector. I love connecting people to people and people to houses. I love listening to how they live their lives so I can help them find what they need.
MB: I am a problem solver. This applies both in organizing the home selling process to avoid pitfalls and in working through any issues that might arise along the way.
Both: Having been Realtors in Asheville since 2002, we have a depth of experience in the local market, with both properties and people, that benefits our clients.
NR: What makes you different from other agents? What sets you apart?
MB: Ginny’s the most approachable, real person I know.
GB: And Matt’s the kindest person I know.
Both: But of course, we might be a little biased about each other. So we asked a knowledgeable, long-time friend, “What’s distinctive about us as Realtors?” His answer: “You’re not scary!”
NR: What are five adjectives that describe you?
GB: Honest, empathetic, insightful, knowledgeable, and fun.
MB: Trustworthy, adaptable, optimistic, smart, and fun.
NR: Who would be your dream client?
GB: My dream client would be somebody with a really good sense of humor who knows he/she needs my help.
MB: Agreed. A client who’s easy to get along with and needs my help.
NR: If you had one piece of advice for a first-time home buyer, what would it be?
GB: Have realistic and flexible expectations. You don’t have to have it all in your first home, and what you set out to buy might vary considerably from what you end up buying. This happens all the time. Don’t be shocked. Also, be prepared for the inspection costs, which will come out of your own pocket and are not included in the closing costs.
MB: Use Ginny as your buyer’s agent!
NR: What is your favorite season in Asheville?
GB: Fall. I love the cooler weather and the falling leaves and the open windows.
MB: Spring! I like the longer days, the bright green leaves, the warmer weather…plus hockey playoffs and the start of baseball season.
NR: Hey Ginny, what’s an intriguing interest of yours?
GB: Severe weather. If I could be something else, I’d be a storm chaser.
NR: Matt, what’s a cool place to visit in the Asheville area?
MB: I don’t do it nearly enough, but if you drive up to above 5,000 feet elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s just different up there. The air is crisper, the types of foliage are different—it just feels refreshing; it’s a great place to go when you need to catch your breath and reset.
Ginny and Matt are Brokers with Nest Realty Asheville. Whether you’re selling a house full of memories or buying a new home to fill with love and laughter, they know this new chapter comes with a daunting process, and they’re here to help. To learn more about Ginny and Matt, visit their agent page.