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 Helen Ascoli, a Realtor® at Nest Realty Charlottesville.
Nest Realty: Tell us a bit about yourself! Where are you from? What brought you to Charlottesville?
Helen Ascoli: Born in England, my parents brought me to the U.S. when I was 6 months old. We first lived in Maryland then moved to Charlottesville, VA, when I was 4 years old for my father to accept a position at UVA Health. I grew up in Albemarle County, attended UVA, then shortly after graduating met my now husband Matt. After moving several times around Albemarle and Fluvanna counties, we settled in Earlysville and have been here for over 11 years. We have two kids, a girl and a boy, and an ever evolving number of pets. We love Earlysville as it is a great place to raise a family—we have a combination of country living, great friends, and a strong community, while only being minutes to town.
NR: How did you get into real estate?
HA: I originally wanted to get into real estate shortly after graduating from college and ended up chickening-out due to fear of a commission-based job. So I continued working in restaurants and then went into insurance. Fast-forward about 12 years later and real estate continued to be in the back of my mind. I was drawn to it not because I would get to see pretty houses, but the idea of working with people in a ever-changing job was appealing to me. So after talking to another realtor and after weighing all the options I walked away from my desk job and jumped head first in to real estate. I have not regretted this move once since!
NR: What was your previous career? How has that prepared you for real estate?
HA: I would say that all of my previous jobs have prepared me for real estate, as they have all dealt with people in one way or another. But my two most impactful careers prior to real estate were as a restaurant manager at an extremely busy restaurant chain, and then with State Farm Insurance working in both auto claims and then homeowners insurance underwriting. While those jobs may seem like night and day on the surface, they both work with a variety of customers (internal and external), being able to shift quickly from one task to the next, and being detail-oriented. All of these skills have transferred into my role as a Realtor.
NR: What led you to Nest Realty, as opposed to another brokerage?
HA: Similar to my draw to real estate, I have been drawn to Nest for years now—I have always seen them as industry leaders. As I look at how to best serve my clients, the answer is to be with a brokerage which provides the most innovative tools that will help them buy or sell. Also, the way they prioritize their clients is like no other brokerage in town. From keeping them informed through NEST Magazine and market reports, to saying thank you at the Nest County Fair, Nest is #1 in showing continued client recognition and I am glad to be a part of that.
NR: What is your favorite part of being an agent?
HA: The people. Being involved in such an intimate part of someone’s life is a special thing. You get to meet so many different people with all sorts of interesting stories and paths that have led them to their now purchase or sale of a house. I love to hear their stories and try to be that piece that helps them get from point A to point B.
NR: Do you have a specific area of expertise to offer clients?
HA: As a “local,” I have an intimate knowledge of the area. I have an odd combination of knowledge of both the Fluvanna/Lake Monticello and the Earlysville markets, specifically. Odd because the two are 45-60 minutes away from each other. However, I have lived in both areas so I can speak to the nuances of each community.
NR: What makes you different from other agents? What sets you apart?
HA: My competitive nature pushes me to be the best agent that I can be. After playing sports in high school and then coaching for four years in college, I like to have an edge and I like to win. So when I am selling a house I want to do it quickly, and for the best possible price. When I am on the purchasing end, I want to make sure they get the fairest deal and feel great about their purchase on closing day. Each transaction, no matter how many years you are in this business, holds something new that can be learned. I love this about the job and I take it all in, so that I can improve myself as an agent each and every day.
NR: What are five adjectives that describe you?
HA: Caring, detail-oriented, multitasker, sympathetic, and a learner.
NR: Who would be your dream client?
HA: Don’t laugh but the first person that comes to mind is Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson. He seems like such a genuinely nice guy and an all around good person. I think it would be a blast to work with him.
NR: If you had one piece of advice for a first-time home buyer, what would it be?
HA: That buying a home can feel like a roller coaster ride. There will be ups and downs (hopefully not many downs!) of emotions, and that is perfectly natural. They should ask as many questions as they want! That is what their team (Realtor, lender, settlement agent) is there for and they should take advantage of that. Lastly, know that even after the purchase is done, I am still here for questions.
NR: What is your favorite season in Charlottesville?
HA: Fall. There are so many things I love about fall—the cooler mornings and afternoon warmth of the sun, leaves changing colors and making leaf piles for my kids to jump in, going apple picking, or to the Adventure Farm at Chisholm Vineyard for their corn maze and pumpkin patch. Also seeing the hot air balloons flying over Earlysville and having a backdrop of mountains behind them.
Helen Ascoli is a Realtor® at Nest Realty Charlottesville. Helen’s rich history of customer service and a “people-first” mentality, combined with her attention to detail and business acumen, make her a natural Realtor. To learn more about Helen, visit her agent page.