Real estate agent appreciates mentors | Money
In Beckley’s real estate sector, Carol Pugh is known for her dedication to clients, as well as her knowledge and expertise.
Pugh is the agent at Sigmund-McLean & Associates on Prince Street. In 2010, she and broker Don Martin entered into a five-year buy-in plan and became co-owners of the agency.
Many in Beckley live in properties that Pugh listed, sold, co-developed, and in some cases re-listed and resold.
“I’ve got so many stories, houses I’ve sold two or three times, families I’ve met along the way,” Pugh said. “There was a lot of property.”
In the late 1970s, Pugh was the mother of two young children. She enrolled in a real estate course at Beckley College taught by local real estate agent Jim Lilly.
“It was just something I did,” she said. “I knew I liked real estate, and it was a course I took without thinking that I would actually get a real estate license.”
But in the summer of 1989 her children – she had three children now – were of school age.
“I just thought, you know, I’d like to get into the real estate business,” she said.
She enrolled in a real estate course taught by Mike Tyree.
She spent the day in class every Saturday and Sunday for the next six weeks. Next she was licensed.
“The first company I thought of that I wanted to work with was a male-dominated company,” she recalls. “Sigmund McLean Hunt and Payne.
“I’ve always respected her. They were family friends. Good, honest business people. “
Pugh said she never treated real estate as a part-time business. She went to the office every day.
The owners were great mentors, she recalls.
“They were in the office every day, in a coat and tie, and I came into the office every day, trying to get their knowledge of them.”
The trio developed three sub-divisions in Beckley: Woodcrest, The Landmark and Old Mill Village, she reported.
“I loved hearing about it,” she said.
The agency was still selling lots on Woodcrest when Pugh joined the agency, and Pugh saw an opportunity. She teamed up with a local contractor, Howie Lambert, who was building houses in upscale Woodcrest.
“We worked together,” she says.
“I would sell him a lot. He was going to build a house and Howie would let me sell his house.
“So I learned building development.
“The development of Woodcrest has been a real learning experience, watching Bill (Sigmund) and Bob (McLean) develop and even pave the roads and bring the utilities to the properties.
“I had just learned so much in development and watched the builders build their houses,” she said.
“Sometimes brokers have the wrong idea about what real estate agents are doing and they step in and fail to realize the work that needs to be invested and the time,” she added.
“You have to spend time with experienced realtors to learn the business because what you learn in your real estate course doesn’t have much to do with the real world of real estate.”
Pugh said real estate was a full-time job for her from the start.
“I was very fortunate that my family were great supporters,” she said. “My children were still in school, but I was still able to pick them up from school.
“My husband was very supportive of me back then. He would help the children.
“There was a lot of night work and weekends. That’s how I got in.
“I’ve worked hard and the rewards have been wonderful.”
Pugh is a two-time winner of the Beckley Board of Realtors (BBR) “Realtor of the Year” (1999 and 2005) and was nominated for West Virginia for “Realtor of the Year”.
She has served as secretary to the West Virginia Real Estate Commission and twice as BBR president.
She is consistently a top producer of real estate sales in the Beckley market and is widely respected by sellers, buyers, and other real estate agents.
Her advice to others is to always be honest with customers. She said it was one of the most important things in business.
A supportive family is a help to success, Pugh added.
“There are many ups and downs,” she advised. “There is a lot of heartache.
“I’ve had some deals that I just cried about when they fell apart and sorry for buyers, sorry for sellers.
“If a deal fails, I live with them.”
Most of the deals were successful, however.
Pugh said she could drive through Beckley, view a property, and remember a deal.
“I do this all the time,” she said. “I wish I could go back and see everything I sold. It’s over quickly. It went really fast. “
One of her mentors did the same.
“Bob McLean used to go around town calling the homes from the original owners … by the owner’s name even though they had sold it two or three times,” she added.
Pugh’s favorite aspect of business isn’t necessarily making a big profit on an expensive property.
“I’ve sold a lot of commercial properties over the years and I love the challenge,” she said.
“But I have to say, my favorites are my first-time buyers.
“I feel best about all of the people I’ve helped get into homes.
“They are most grateful to have their home.”
Sigmund-McLean & Associates’ business gives Pugh a sense of achievement.
“I am very proud of my company,” she said. “I am a proud owner here.
“A lot of real estate has been bought and sold in this corner of Beckley.”