June 13, 2019

The Saunders Show Episode 10 - Bermuda Run Country Club

The Saunders Show Episode 10 - Bermuda Run Country Club

Just a few miles west of Winston-Salem is a wonderful community that makes you feel like you are in Florida.  This episode of "The Saunders Show" features Bermuda Run, NC: a thriving neighborhood, country club, & community.  Check out what this area has to offer!  A big thank you to the Bermuda Run Mayor, Ken Rethmeier, for showing us around!

 

- So, I'm here with Executive , we'll do that a couple times, too, so.

 

- Yeah, yeah.

 

- [Mark] With more than a decade of selling real estate in, and around the Winston-Salem area, one thing that I've learned is we are blessed to be able to call this place home. This show is dedicated to showing off some of the incredible places, and great people in this area. This is "The Saunders Show." So I'm here today with the mayor of Bermuda Run, Ken Rethmeier, and thanks so much for takin' the time.

 

- My pleasure.

 

- Meetin' with us, and tellin' us a little about Bermuda Run. So, tell us your story. How did you become mayor? How long have you lived out here?

 

- My wife and I moved here in 1998. A guy that I knew through Sun Health, where I was working, got us in the gates. We liked the area, and we said this is a good place to be.

 

- [Mark] Awesome.

 

- And we've been here for 22 years.

 

- 22 years?

 

- And you just told me before we got started and everything, your term as mayor is coming to an end.

 

- [Ken] Yes.

 

- How long have you been mayor?

 

- I was elected in 2011.

 

- 2011.

 

- And I was the second elected mayor.

 

- Okay. So, let's go all the way back to the beginning, 'cause you were just tellin' me a really cool story. How did Bermuda Run get the name?

 

- Okay. Bermuda Run was started by a gentleman by the name of Billy Satterfield. He came out here. He bought, which was the old Lybrook Farm, and created this gated community, and he was showing people around one day, and they asked him, you know, "What kind of fairways are you gonna put in?" He said, "Quite frankly, we're just gonna plant Bermuda and let it run." And I have verified that story with more than one person, so it's a true story.

 

- Bermuda Run is started.

 

- That was it.

 

- Been a few changes out here over that time period.

 

- Yes. The town officially incorporated in 1999, and we started because it was a gated community, and there were efforts to make us more like a town than not, and as a consequence, that's when we incorporated. Overtime, through voluntary annexation, both through commercial enterprises, as well as residential areas, we've expanded to a a residence of about 2,500 people now.

 

- 2,500 people.

 

- Yes.

 

- And most of it is in the gates basically here for Bermuda, or has it expanded out?

 

- No, it's expanded out. We go across the highway, into Kinderton Village. All of the commercial areas on the other side, the hospital, Davie Medical Center. We're now becoming better known, and, in fact, we were selected as one of the best places, small towns in the United States to live. I think the big difference for us, quite frankly, has been, and I think it's a good change, is we have a lot more younger families here now. We're sort of going through this generational evolution, and as people move out or leave for other reasons, we really market the town as a place we want young people to move in. Young executives, families that are focused on the community, 'cause we think that's an important part of who we are, and what we want.

 

- So, I'm here with Executive Chef, Tim Thompson, here at Bermuda Run. Thanks for meetin' with me.

 

- Yeah, pleasure.

 

- Talk about this. So, tell me about your story. How did you get to be, first to chef, and how did you become the executive chef out here at Bermuda Run?

 

- Well, I started as a ski bum actually, and ended up runnin' a fryer when the snow melted. So, that's where I got started, then I ended up going to culinary school in Guilford Tech, here in Jamestown. I went on to teach for Virginia College for a while. I taught their advanced culinary program in garde-manger, and then I wanted to get my hands dirty again. So, I came on here as the Executive Chef about a year and a half ago.

 

- Okay. Well, I do know being a member out here, the menu changes quite a bit, and it's always something new when we come in.

 

- Kind of tell me what's the process that goes into the menu changes and what you're offering out here.

 

- Well, our all-day menu is basically changed, it changes with the seasons. So, every three months we do a full menu overhaul, but every week we actually change the menu. We do, sort of, a weekly feature, so we do fresh steaks and seafood, and then every Friday, I bring in another fish. I started workin' with a company called Inland Seafood, so I can get what are called day-boat catches, so I'm basically selling you fish on Friday that was caught Wednesday or Thursday.

 

- Fresh fish.

 

- Fresh fish.

 

- Awesome. And that's one thing about I would say being a chef here is, it's not just one place.

 

- No, no it's not.

 

- So, you're all over the place, so you've got the dining room here.

 

- Yeah, so being the executive chef here, it's like I said before, it's like being the chef of a town. It's not being the chef of a restaurant. So, we have the lounge where we're at now. We have our fine dining room, the patio, all of our private events. Not to mention, the pool, and, of course, Mulligan's.

 

- [Mark] Okay.

 

- I mean, we're seven days a week, 364 days a year.

 

- Well, I appreciate it. You've made me really hungry. I'm gonna have to order some food now.

 

- Oh, yeah? Good. All right.

 

- Thanks for taking the time, Tim, and tellin' us a little bit about it.

 

- Oh, yeah. No problem. Thanks so much.

 

- Awesome. So, lookin' forward, where do you see Bermuda Run in, say, 10 years?

 

- I think that we're sitting sort of on the precipice, right at the tipping point, if you will, of some rapid growth. We've had a lot of interest from developers in the various kinds of areas. We have, right now, three or more developers looking at residential areas. The vision that we have for the town is all about being recognized as a premier small-town atmosphere, with a good quality of life, and a great economic base. And that's been the driving force that the town council, town manager and I have been working on for a number of years, and we'll continue to do that because we think that's the right thing.

 

- So, hey, I just wanna thank you again for taking the time.

 

- Oh, my pleasure.

 

- Sittin' down with us. Tellin' us it's great history out here, and I'm really likin' the vision that you have goin' forward so I'm excited to see it all come together. So, two things about me: One, obviously, I love this part of North Carolina that we live in, and two, I'm a huge food fan. So, I love goin' out to local restaurants here in Winston, so I thought we work do a special episode of "The Saunders Show," called "Diners, Drive-In, and Real Estate."

 

Posted in The Saunders Show
May 30, 2019

Smoke and CO2

 

Smoke and CO2

Do you know how many smoke & carbon monoxide detectors your home should have? You'd be surprised at the answer! In this video, Property Manager Justin Briles, goes over how many, what kind, and where to put your smoke detectors.

- Hey everybody. This is Justin Briles. Property Manager with Saunders Realty. One of the things that I see most when I go into a house for the first time that is an area of liability for rental home owners is the amount of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that you have. North Carolina rental law states that you have to have smoke detectors in each bedroom and in a hallway on each level of the house. If you have smoke detectors that are operational, you can change the batteries in those. But if you have to add new smoke detectors, by law it has to be a 10-year tamper-proof smoke detector. That might sound silly, but you'd be amazed at how many houses I go into where a tenant has removed batteries to replace in their TV remote or something like that. So a 10-year tamper-proof battery. One, is good for 10 years, two, a tenant cannot get in and remove those batteries. Also, with carbon monoxide detectors, if you have any source of gas in your home where there's gas heat, gas hot water or gas fireplace, also a wood burning fireplace, or a garage in your house, you're required to have carbon monoxide detectors. So carbon monoxide detectors are required in a hallway on each level of the home. Those do not have to be a 10-year tamper-proof, but you can get those in a combo with a smoke detector. But these are some of the things that we make sure that we do so that you're not facing any liability. It's also something that we check when we go out for inspections every six months, we test all the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in the home to make sure that they are operational. If they are not, we replace 'em right away.

 

May 28, 2019

Welcome to the team Athena!

Welcome to the team Athena!

Saunders Realty, LLC is excited to welcome Athena Kroustalis to the team as Property Management Assistant. She will be assisting with showing available properties, inspections, and various other necessary tasks. She comes to us with approximately 10 years of Property Management experience. We are fortunate to have this licensed individual join us. Just as Saunders Realty, LLC is focused on relationships, so is Athena. In fact, it is her favorite part of the job. It is her desire in everything she does to be of assistance to someone in whatever capacity she can. This makes her a perfect fit for the Property Management division which offers plenty of opportunity to cultivate longtime relationships with tenants as well as property owners.

 

Mark is happy to have another Appalachian State University graduate in the office. Go Mountaineers! Athena is a talented artist who spends her time painting whenever possible. She is a Winston-Salem native who enjoys living among her huge family who provides her with plenty of support. She also gets lots of love from Fiona, her 4-year-old dog. One of her favorite things to do is travel—Planes, Trains and Automobiles. It doesn’t matter the mode of transportation; she loves the journey! You can also find her volunteering at the Winston-Salem Greek Festival which she looks forward to every year. 

 

Athena is excited to be working with a company that provides the best possible services for both property owners and tenants. She is ready to learn their system for success and dive right in! We think this is the perfect match. Welcome Athena!


Saunders Realty, LLC - Property Management Division. 

May 13, 2019

The Saunders Show Episode 9 - Diners , Drive-ins and Real Estate

 

The Saunders Show Episode 9 - Diners, Drive-ins and Real Estate.

 

In this episode of the Saunders Show, we show off two really good, family-owned restaurants the Winston-Salem area. Cin Cin Burger Bar and Yamas Mediterranean. If you have not tried either one of these places, you are missing out.  

 

Big thanks to Zoe Michael and her family for showing us around!  

 

Be sure to subscribe to our youtube channel or our social media pages if you have not done so 

already. 

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SaundersRealty

https://www.RentWinston.com - Rentals

https://www.srealtynow.com - Sales

Saunders Realty, LLC

 

Full Transcript

 

 

Posted in The Saunders Show
June 18, 2018

The Saunders Show # 7 Business 40 Closure Winston-Salem, NC

 

Transcript:

- If you've been down Business 40 through downtown Winston-Salem, from Highway 52 to Peters Creek Parkway, you've noticed a lot of construction work. In this episode, I'm going to show you just what's goin' on.

 

- [Voiceover] With more than a decade of selling' real estate in and around the Winston-Salem area, one thing that I've learned is we are blessed to be able to call this place home. This show is dedicated to showing off some of the incredible places and great people in this area. This is The Saunders Show.

 

- Hey everybody it's Mark Saunders with Saunders Realty and today I'm at a construction site. I'm right here at the Green Street bridge which is over Business 40 and downtown Winston-Salem. I'm meeting two people from the Department of Transportation, Pat Ivey and Mezak Tucker to tell you what's goin' on with this major project, how long it's gonna take, and what is it gonna look like when it's done. So today I'm here with Pat Ivey, with the North Carolina Department of Transportation, Project Engineer pretty much over this whole project here in Winston-Salem. So how long have you been involved with this project?

 

- We started work on the planning for this project in 2006.

 

- [Mark] 2006.

 

- And I have been involved with it from day one ever since we started talking' about the improvement of Business 40 and particularly talking about the closure of Business 40.

 

- The closure of Business 40, so that's something as a real estate agent, I get asked a lot about. So, kind of tell me where are we at with this project, and what's kind of the time frame? What are we lookin' at?

 

- Well, after 10 years of planning, design, all of that stuff, we finally started workin' on the project last year. We are beginning phase one and workin' on that at Peters Creek Parkway, getting ready for the impending closure that'll start probably in November of this year and that'll be about a 20 month closure. Peters Creek has to be finished and open to traffic before we can detour traffic because that interchange will be the major access into and out of the downtown area from points West of here. And then, of course, to the, on the Eastern side, US 52 will do that.

 

- Do you know kind of the history, I mean, 'cause this hasn't been updated in a long time?

 

- Well, this was one of the original sections of Interstate 40 back built in the early 1950s. It was never designed to be an Interstate. And then, of course, when the bypass was completed around 1989, 1990, we started working on upgrading this because, you know, while it was state of the art in 1953--

 

- Things have changed a little.

 

- It certainly wasn't designed to carry 80,000 cars a day. We're replacing nine bridges, adding two pedestrian bridges out here, all of this will be done in that span of 20 months and we're not adding any additional through lanes on this, however, we're adding paved shoulders, we're reducing the number of ramps and other safety features on this that will actually result in a better capacity so we can actually handle more cars after this project than it handles today without adding any additional through lanes.

 

- Yeah, and I do have to give y'all a compliment on this whole process, so I used to work a lot downtown, the community involvement on this whole project has been absolutely amazing. So, let's take a walk, we're gonna go out on the bridge and show you some of the key features that's goin' on right now in the construction area. So I'm here with Mezack Tucker out here on the Green Street Bridge, over Business 40, downtown Winston-Salem. Mezak is the Resident Engineer that's actually over this whole project. This is going away so what is this gonna be? What are we standing' on?

 

- So this bridge specifically will get removed and then we will be constructing a tied arch suspension pedestrian bridge in its place. It'll have dual-tied arches and be one of the only suspension bridge systems in North Carolina.

 

- Oh wow, we're lookin' down, you can't see it, it's behind the camera, Peters Creek Parkway and they're in the process of building, redoing' that whole bridge. He was actually telling' me they've been using' dynamite but the new ways for doin' blasting, people don't even really know what's goin' on. So, kind of how does that process work?

 

- Well, basically, you know, with the regrading' of the whole interchange, we encountered a lot of rock that needed to be removed to get the profile grades on the ramps, the new ramps and loops. A lot of people really didn't realize it because when we blast we put a bed of soil on top of it along with blasting mats and then when we blast, it's really, you can't--

 

- Can't even tell it.

 

- You can't hear it very far away and it's very little vibration from it.

 

- What's some things you wanna tell people to keep in mind November, December 'cause by January everybody's gonna have it figured out, easy peasy, right? But November, December could be a little tricky. What do you just wanna remind people?

 

- I would remind people just pay attention to our website. We're posting' all our updated information as far as lane closures and road closures on that website. And plan ahead, you know, the biggest thing is knowing' an alternate route in advance and we've been asking' everybody to build 15, 20 and depending on how far out, 30 minutes into their commute.

 

- 30 minutes? I know this is a big thing for real estate, because if somebody's moving' to this location we have to really tell people, hey you might wanna just know Business 40s gonna be shutting' down for 20 months. And, plan accordingly so, I get a lot of questions as a real estate agent kind of what's goin' on down here and everything 'cause of the commute.

 

- That's right.

 

- Well, thank you so much--

 

- Yes sir.

 

- For meeting' with us today, giving' us all these updates. This is an exciting' time to be in Winston. Now, we're gonna have some growing' pains, obviously, when you shut down a main road, it's gonna be but the way this is gonna look when it's gonna be awesome. It's gonna be really neat to see this all come together. And thanks for all the work you're doin' on it.

 

- Yes sir.

 

- So now you know what's goin' on with Business 40 right here in downtown Winston-Salem. Now, I might be a little partial, 'cause I work out of Winston-Salem, but this is a great place to live, it's a great place in North Carolina with all the different areas connecting all together from downtown Winston to Ardmore area, Baptist Hospital right here, BB&T Ballpark. If you're thinking' of moving' to Winston-Salem, check out our website at srealtynow.com where we get to brag about how great our area is. Once again, my name is Mark Saunders with Saunders Realty. Thanks for hangin' out with me.

 

- [Voiceover] If you're viewing this show on our YouTube channel, click the subscribe button below. Or you can visit our website at srealtynow.com. This is Mark Saunders and I'll see you next time.

Posted in The Saunders Show
March 25, 2018

Joey Miller Joins Saunders Realty, LLC

 Joey Miller Joins Saunders Realty, LLC

Saunders Realty, LLC of Winston-Salem, NC is pleased to announce that Buyer’s Agent Joey Nicole Miller, owner of Innovative Real Estate, will be joining our team and Innovative Real Estate is now a part of the Saunders Realty family.

She comes to us with 10 years of experience working with Buyers and Sellers. This experience was enhanced by her 5 years of working in Property Management. She was born and raised in the Triad which makes her familiar with all it has to offer. Joey thoroughly enjoys working with each client to find them their perfect home and has the ability to help Buyers to focus in on what is really important to them. She explains, “I go into a home a buyer is viewing and give them as much actual information and intuition in regards to things I see as I can. Buyers tend to go in with foggy goggles on, and I am there to clean them!”

She decided to join Saunders Realty, LLC partly because she loves the enthusiasm that Mark Saunders brings to Real Estate when discussing the technology that will propel the industry into the future. Her attitude, goals and work ethic align perfectly with Saunders Realty, LLC. We are excited to bring on another strong team member to assist us in our continual quest to provide the best service to our clients. We expect great things for Saunders Realty, LLC in 2018. Welcome Joey!

 

Feb. 20, 2018

The Saunders Show Episode #5 Salvation Army of Winston-Salem NC

The Saunders Show - Episode 5

The Salvation Army Winston-Salem, NC

Transcript:

Mark Saunders:

Have you ever stopped to think about what does the Army means in The Salvation Army? Well, in this episode I'm gonna tell you all about it.

 

 

With more than a decade of selling real estate in and around the Winston Salem area, one thing that I've learned is that we are blessed to be able to call this place home. This show is dedicated to showing off some of the incredible places and great people in this area, this is The Saunders Show.

 

 

Hey everybody, it's Mark Saunders with Saunders Reality, and today I'm at the Center Of Hope at The Salvation Army right here in downtown Winston Salem. The Salvation Army has been servicing our community for over 111 years. When I said The Salvation Army if the only thing you think about is the bell ringers and the collection buckets at Christmas time, I'm gonna show you a lot more that they're doing each and every day in our community. I'm fortunate enough today to line up a time to speak with Major Stan Colbert, of the community Salvation Army, to tell you just some of the things that they're doing for our community and for our neighbors.

 

 

So, today we're featuring some great organizations in Winston Salem, that you might not have heard about, but are doing some wonderful things here in Forsyth County. So, I'm here with Major Stan Colbert, with The Salvation Army, so thanks for taking the time to [crosstalk 00:01:20] with us.

 

Stan Colbert:

Oh, listen, thanks for being here. Welcome.

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah. Tell us a little bit about The Salvation Army and everything they're doing in our area.

 

Stan Colbert:

Yeah. Well, I have to take exception right from the very beginning, everybody oughta know about The Salvation Army, come on, we've been around for over 150 years. We've been doing a lot of things over those few decades.

 

Mark Saunders:

When people hear The Salvation Army they think of the bell ringing and the fundraising at Christmas, but you all are doing so many good projects here, so what's some of the things that you all are doing?

 

Stan Colbert:

Well, I'll tell you Mark, we have a lot of programs right here, all for one single purpose, and that is to meet human need without discrimination. We have a couple of boys and girls club, we are serving about 300 children every single day. We're sitting now in our Center Of Hope, and it serves really two functions, it is a way family residence, we are the only family residence in Forsyth County. We also have our social services. I'm telling you, last year, right here in this area, we housed a little over 45,000 nights of providing a shelter for folks, a bed to sleep. We served over 185,000 meals, right here in this [crosstalk 00:02:40].

 

Mark Saunders:

185,000?

 

Stan Colbert:

185,000. It's staggering isn't it?

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah.

 

Stan Colbert:

Yeah. And of course, Christmas time, that's a thing that absorbs us for about a whole forth of the year. This last year we provided Christmas for about 5,500 children in the greater Winston Salem area, as we call it.

 

Mark Saunders:

My firsthand experience with The Salvation Army, we do property management, and a couple years ago there was a fire at one of our properties and within hours The Salvation Army was reaching out to the tenants to get ... making sure they were taken care of and providing hope.

 

Stan Colbert:

Well, that's what we're in the business of doing. We've been doing it for a long time. But back in England in 1865, in London, there was this kind of street preacher, his name was William Booth. So, his idea was just to turn these folks lives around and get them back into the mainstream church. But what ended up happening, these people who were prostitutes, and morphine addicts, and criminals, pick-pockets and things like that. The mainstream church didn't want those kind of people in their church.

 

 

And so, what ended up happening, this man William Booth, had a congregation but no church. He never intended to start anything, but out of that crazy beginning, developed into what was called, The Christian Mission. He was preparing for a revival service and someone had written this poster, Reverend William Booth and his volunteer army. Well, he took out his pen and marked out the work volunteer and wrote in the word salvation, and that's where it happened.

 

 

And, of course, you can't have soldiers in uniforms without officers, and so they started calling the ones who had some training or had some education, Lieutenant, and Captains, and they made this Reverend William Booth the general, and that's the way it's been ever since.

 

Mark Saunders:

Wow.

 

Stan Colbert:

That's incredible.

 

Mark Saunders:

That is, that's a heck of a story. All the research and numbers are showing all the actual homeless numbers are going down, but the number of families are entering into homelessness are going up. Tell me a little bit about that and how you're serving, and what you're seeing as that trend?

 

Stan Colbert:

Here's the tragedy, Mark. In 2018, in the Unites States of America, the fastest growing demographic population of homelessness is children.

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah.

 

Stan Colbert:

So, were the overall trend is having some success, homeless children, family units, that number is increasing. When you have children we have this added component of their safety, and have the added component of education, you have this added component of all those things of a child, that you may not have with an adult. And so, the challenges are great.

 

Jammise Bowen:

What we do here is we put lives back together. I always tell our residence, "You're only here because your children our homeless." But they come with parents, so when they come with parents its very important that we put the lives back together so our children can have stability.

 

Mark Saunders:

So you're looking at the big picture, you're not serving the immediate need, but what's the whole picture.

 

Jammise Bowen:

Right. How can we get you to leave here and still be able to provide for your children, be able to provide for yourself, make you feel whole again? A lot of times when you deal with homelessness you're dealing with either poor budgeting, not enough pay, so not working for a living wage, or maybe it's something where someone has underemployed. So, how can we readdress that? Do you need additional education? Do you need a job skill? Whatever that is the community, especially here in Winston Salem, is prepared to provide that. What we have to do, is get people to use those resources, so we don't reinvent the will, we show you how to use the will.

 

Mark Saunders:

One thing that I've heard, talking to a couple people about the resources in our community, our community really does a good job-

 

Jammise Bowen:

It does.

 

Mark Saunders:

... at trying to help people. Somebody mentioned earlier that two, three times a month local restaurants actually provide food-

 

Jammise Bowen:

Oh, yeah.

 

Mark Saunders:

... and everything. And-

 

Jammise Bowen:

They do it here. Every month, we have a restaurant that caters a meal here at the Center Of Hope, which is really cool because it also exposes our residents to other opportunities for jobs, they have the opportunity to speak with the chef, and/or the serving crew to find out what exactly did you do to get this position, or what did you do to open a restaurant?

 

Mark Saunders:

Well, thanks for talking with us.

 

Jammise Bowen:

Thank you.

 

Mark Saunders:

You're doing great work.

 

Jammise Bowen:

You need to come back.

 

Mark Saunders:

You're doing great work.

 

Jammise Bowen:

Thank you.

 

Mark Saunders:

Keep it up.

 

 

How many beds do you have here and how many do you serve on a nightly basis, on that part of it?

 

Stan Colbert:

Any given night we average about 45 homeless children with parents.

 

Mark Saunders:

Family's [inaudible 00:07:30].

 

Stan Colbert:

Yeah. Let me tell you, Mark. When family's, when people end up at The Salvation Army they have exhausted all their options. Their family may have turned their back on them, their job is not there, they don't have a home, and perhaps their cars. So, when they end up here they've exhausted all other possibilities. It is a joy, and is and honor to be able to do this kind of work in the community.

 

Mark Saunders:

Where do you see The Salvation Army, in this area, in the next five to 10 years?

 

Stan Colbert:

What needs to happen is The Salvation Army needs to be put out of business. You understand that the only way that The Salvation Army, and all the other incredible charitable organizations in this town or anywhere, the only way we're entirely successful is to be put out of business. Where there's-

 

Mark Saunders:

Where there's no need.

 

Stan Colbert:

... no need. No need to feed people because they can't feed themselves. No need to put clothes on their back because they can't provide for themselves. No need to pay their rent. No need to pay the utilities. No need to put them up at night because they have no place to stay. Now wouldn't that be incredible?

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah.

 

Stan Colbert:

But that's not exactly how you hear things. Wow, we succeeded, we're closing the doors. Unfortunately, in the next five, 10 years we're just gonna see that the need continues to grow.

 

Mark Saunders:

Well, I just want to say, thank you so much for having us in.

 

Stan Colbert:

Mark, listen, thank you.

 

Mark Saunders:

I tell you, one of the most ... You love what you do don't you?

 

Stan Colbert:

I do love what I do.

 

Mark Saunders:

One of the most passionate people that I have ever met. So, thanks for taking the time, meeting with us, showing us around this place. You all are doing some great work.

 

Stan Colbert:

Thanks so much.

 

Mark Saunders:

So, keep up what you're doing.

 

Stan Colbert:

I appreciate you coming. Yeah, come by anytime.

 

Mark Saunders:

So, that's The Salvation Army, Center Of Hope, right here in Winston Salem. I want to thank everybody here at The Salvation Army for allowing us to come through and hear these stories. And I also want to thank all the volunteers that donate their time and resources to make this place what it is today. If you'd like to contribute to The Salvation Army, visit salvationarmyws.org to learn more. If you know of an organization or a group that's doing great works in our community, we wanna know about it, so visit srealtynow.com/thesaundersshow, to tell us about it. Thanks, and I'll see you next time.

 

 

If you're viewing this show on our YouTube channel, click the subscribe button below. Or you can visit our website at srealtynow.com. This is Mark Saunders and I'll see you next time.

 

Posted in The Saunders Show
Feb. 7, 2018

The Saunders Show #4 Piedmont Advantage Credit Union

In this episode we feature a company that was founded right here in Winston-Salem.
Piedmont Advantage Credit Union

 

Mark Saunders:

Have you noticed that large building on the side of Stratford Road, just past Hanes Mall, that looks a lot like an airport terminal. Well, it's not, but it has a lot to do with Winston-Salem's aviational history. Let me explain.

 

 

With more than a decade of selling real estate in and around the Winston-Salem area, one thing that I've learned is, we are blessed to be able to call this place home.

 

 

This show is dedicated to showing off some of the incredible places and great people in this area. This is the Saunders Show.

 

 

Hey, everybody. My name's Mike Saunders with Saunders Realty, and today I'm coming from Piedmont Advantage Credit Union, which is headquartered right here in Winston-Salem. If you saw our last episode, we were at Smith Reynolds Airport. Piedmont Advantage has a really cool history here in Winston-Salem, originally being set up to service Piedmont Airlines at Smith Reynolds Airport.

 

 

Since then, it's grown to service their members across the country. There are a lot of great people at Piedmont Advantage Credit Union. I've got to know a lot of them because I serve on the board here at the Credit Union. One reason for that is I notice how much detail they put in to their members and their financial wellness, through education and products and investment services for them.

 

 

Let's go through and give you a tour of the building here, and also speak with their CEO, Judy Tharp.

 

 

I'm here today with Piedmont Advantage CEO and really good friend of mine, Judy Tharp. Thank you for taking the time and showing us around this place. Tell me the story of the Credit Union. I love history, especially company's that started and the roots are in Winston-Salem. Tell me the history and the story of Piedmont Advantage.

 

Judy Tharp:

It's a very cool story. Our credit union started back in 1949. We started out at Smith Reynolds Airport. That was the headquarters for Piedmont Airlines, and that's also where our credit union got started. We were there up until three and a half years ago when we moved into this facility here at Burke Mill and Stratford.

 

 

We've come a long way since those days, but we never forget from whence we came. We still have volunteers who volunteer for the Credit Union that were a part of that original starting of this credit union.

 

Mark Saunders:

I hear you have a long history with credit unions. How did you first hear about credit unions or get involved with credit unions in your background?

 

Judy Tharp:

It's a cool story, Mark. I grew up in a family business, much like you did. I was an entrepreneur at heart, so I got really lucky, to be honest with you, in that I answered an ad in the newspaper to start a credit union for the Dupont Company in Wilmington. I pursued that opportunity and got the job, and here I am 38 years later. I would never dream of doing anything differently because I love what we do for people.

 

Mark Saunders:

One question I get a lot, especially working with buyers in real estate, and we talk about getting approved for a loan or anything, I mention credit unions. I think there's a big question, "Aren't credit unions like banks, and banks like credit unions?" What's your thoughts on that?

 

Judy Tharp:

You're on our Board of Directors, so you know that when we meet every month, what we talk about is what we can do to enhance the lives of our members. We understand that our members own us, and we will never forget that, because that is the crux of how a credit union is different from a bank. We are owned by the members we serve.

 

Mark Saunders:

Things are changing so fast in today's world with the technology and the economy and everything. Where do you see the credit union in, say, five to ten years?

 

Judy Tharp:

The reason why we exist will never change. We are here to enhance lives. We are owned by the members we serve. That will not change. What will change, though, is the way in which we deliver solutions to enhance the lives of our members. Our members have changed the way in which they do business. That will only continue to change even more. As those generations evolve, the way in which they expect us to serve their needs will change. So, we're always there. We're leading edge in that respect, and we'll continue to be that.

 

Mark Saunders:

You've mentioned it a couple times. I want to see it, because obviously I like real estate. Can you give us a tour, let us check out the building?

 

Judy Tharp:

We'd love to give you a tour.

 

Mark Saunders:

Awesome.

 

 

Right here in the main lobby, what's different coming through here?

 

Judy Tharp:

Our goal is to create a member experience. In the old days, people came here to do transactions. Those days are gone, pretty much. Our people you see here are Member Experience Advisors. We have music. We have free wifi. Why? Because we want people to come hang out with us. And they do. As you can see back here, we have newspapers. We have seats and coffee and beverages. So, it's an experience that's unique.

 

Mark Saunders:

It's just a very welcome feeling as you come in with everything being so open. Here we are on the main level, and you can see all the way up to the board room.

 

Judy Tharp:

Isn't that a cool picture?

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah. That's really neat.

 

Judy Tharp:

Isn't like a tower, like at an airport terminal, as you mentioned earlier.

 

Mark Saunders:

Yeah.

 

 

I'm here with Michael Westbrook. Tell everybody what your role is here at the credit union.

 

Michael W.:

Hey, Mark. Yeah, I'm Michael Westbrook, Financial Advisor for the membership here, offering services through [Keystone 00:05:15] Financial Services. We are different here because we do try to understand each individual member's needs. This is not a one size fits all strategy. It's important to me and important for us here to understand that our members do come first. We sit down and develop a plan for their investing, whether it be short-term or long-term, and help them achieve their goals.

 

Mark Saunders:

Okay. Awesome. Thanks for taking time. "Members come first." I keep hearing that theme over and over again.

 

Michael W.:

You're going to hear it more and more as you go through.

 

Mark Saunders:

Thanks.

 

Michael W.:

Thanks, Mark.

 

Judy Tharp:

You asked me earlier about what are some of the differences. One of the differences in a credit union and a for-profit financial institution is that we have wonderful volunteers rather than paid directors who govern the organization. That's a unique differentiation point in a credit union and a for-profit financial institution.

 

Mark Saunders:

I see the value you all are providing, how really members come first. I had no idea all of that until you asked me to serve on the board and I got to learn more and more.

 

Judy Tharp:

This is our village.

 

Mark Saunders:

The Village.

 

Judy Tharp:

Yes. The village was actually named by the employees. Primarily, this is a hub of our operations right now, this floor. We're based here in Winston-Salem, but through electronic means, we service a lot of people remotely without them having to walk into a branch.

 

Mark Saunders:

The Village. I like that.

 

Judy Tharp:

Less than 5% of our business is done face to face. 5%. The rest of it is electronic.

 

 

Hey, Chris. Tell us about, so far, what have you observed as the difference than maybe a previous life and here working for Piedmont Advantage Credit Union?

 

Chris Robertson:

Whereas, in the past, on the bank side, maybe the focus is on the institution and what's best for the profitability, this is more about the member experience, because they are, after all, our owners. We work for them. We wouldn't be here without them. When we make it about their experience and we put them in charge and lay options out in front of them for them to choose, giving them the power, I think that's what builds loyalty.

 

Mark Saunders:

I have a lot of clients that think banks and credit unions differ in different products and everything. Tell me about mortgage products, specifically, that you all have to offer.

 

Chris Robertson:

It's a common thing we hear. You think credit union, you think a car loan, you think a credit card, but we do all the other mortgage stuff, too. From origination to underwriting and processing, it's all done here in a 50 foot circle. There isn't bouncing ideas and questions to Texas and Florida and Oklahoma.

 

Mark Saunders:

That is such a valid point, because when I'm working with buyers, I tell them, things that could make this go so much smoother is when your loan processor and everything is down the hallway instead of five states over, to make a much easier and smoother transition.

 

Chris Robertson:

One-stop shopping.

 

Mark Saunders:

Awesome.

 

 

Tell me about this place. What's this department.

 

Judy Tharp:

This is our call center where we take care of the needs of members who call in from all over the country. We service greater than 50% of our loans through this call center or through the internet, through online application. We love our call center agents.

 

Mark Saunders:

A couple things that you all have mentioned throughout the tour and everything is how important education is for your members and providing opportunities for them to learn more about financial education and everything. So, we're in one of your classrooms here. Tell me the idea for the classrooms and what are some of the events that you hold in here.

 

Judy Tharp:

We hold webinars, seminars, on everything imaginable as it relates to financial wellness, such as how to buy a car, how to buy a house, how to retire safely and plan for that. These rooms are utilized a lot.

 

Mark Saunders:

How do your members find out about the classes that are being offered? If somebody's watching this video and they want to find out more on the classes, how's the best way for them to find that information?

 

Judy Tharp:

Social media, website. We always publicize. We even send out emails to the members about the upcoming educational events. And, what's also cool is, after those events are held face to face, many of them are also recorded so that you can go to our website afterwards and pull them down and view them.

 

Mark Saunders:

And you are starting to do online webinars, as well.

 

Judy Tharp:

We have, yes.

 

Mark Saunders:

Awesome. That's really, really great.

 

 

One thing that I noticed while we were on the tour of the property as well as the interviews, is just how great the people are here at Piedmont Advantage Credit Union. They really do put the members first, and they're here to help any way they possibly can.

 

 

So, next time you're on Stratford Road, and you see the airport terminal, be sure to stop in and look at all the different ways that they can help you reach your personal financial needs.

 

 

If you're viewing this show on our YouTube channel, click the Subscribe button below, or you can visit our website at srealtynow.com. This is Mark Saunders and I'll see you next time.

 

 

 

Jan. 16, 2018

When Selling Your Home, Timing is Everything

It’s January. Time for making New Year’s resolutions, joining the gym, taking winter vacations, and getting your house ready to put on the market. Yes, you read that right. It is true that conventional wisdom states spring is the best time to sell a house. The reasons are that the warmer temperatures have more people out and about attending open houses and looking at properties, longer days make it easier to schedule showings, and the timing fits for families with
kids who want to get settled in their new home before the school year starts.

But here at Saunders Realty, LLC, we believe that just because it’s traditional doesn’t always make it the best way to go. In many ways, now is the best time to put your house on the market.

One of the best reasons is that right now you have a better pricing opportunity. With spring being the traditional time for selling homes, there are usually a lot of homes on the market, which means you have to strategically price your home if you want it to sell quickly. On the other hand, there’s less of a glut of homes in the late winter, which means you can start with a higher asking price.

Another benefit is that often the people looking for a home in February and March are motivated buyers. Rather than just looking around to see what options are out there, buyers this time of year are looking to relocate for a job or adapt for an expanding family. You have a much better chance that the people who set up a showing will put in an offer.

Put Your Best Face Forward

Curb appeal and staging are important when getting a home ready to put on the market, and there are a few tips for making the most of things in the winter months.

Spruce up the outside a bit with some plants that look great in the cold. A holly bush full of berries and some pots of pansies will brighten up the winter landscape. Make sure your leaves are raked and mulch is fresh as well.

You’ll also want to make sure the inside of your home is light and welcoming. While we’re starting to see the sunset a little each day, these are still pretty dark months. One way to make the most of the natural light is to wash your windows and keep the blinds or curtains open. You might also consider painting the walls an off-white, to brighten up rooms when the sun is hiding behind the clouds.

Most staging tips are the same year-round, such as de-cluttering and putting some furniture in storage to help open things up and make your rooms look spacious. You’ll still want to put away family pictures, but it might benefit you to put out some framed photos of your yard in full bloom, to let people know just how great things will look come spring time.

Getting your home ready to put on the market in January means you beat the crowd for the spring rush, listing late this month or at some point in February. And if you don’t sell right away, don’t worry, you’ll have everything in top shape for when the market picks up in March and April.

Questions? Call us today at 336-939-6275!

Jan. 13, 2018

Saunders Realty LLC: Full Service to Better Serve You

When you go to look for a car to purchase, you might be in the market for a new car. But you might also be looking for a previously owned vehicle, or looking for something to lease. In fact, most people don’t always know the best option for them, and talking with a good car salesman will help you learn the benefits of each type of car purchase and what cost savings and rebates are available.

The same is true when you begin thinking about selling your house. Say you are ready to downsize after your kids have left for college, or you have to relocate for a job. You might think the only option is to sell your house, but you could also keep it and rent it out or market it as a vacation property. Many real estate agents focus only on selling. But here at Saunders Realty, LLC, we are not only expert realtors who can help you with the process of buying or selling a home, we also have a full-service property management system in place.

Here are a few things to consider before putting your house on the market:

- Right now, rents are at an all-time high. It could be that your home would serve as a nice form of additional cash-flow. Just do the math to make sure you’ll be clearing more than the cost of your mortgage payment (if you have one), property taxes and maintenance fees.

- You could possibly get a better return on investment on your property. In the current real estate market, housing prices are continuing to climb. By waiting to sell for a few more years, you can take advantage of selling for a better price and make more money off your investment.

- Your house is in need of a major update, but you don’t have the funds (or time) to do the remodel. If this is the case, you are probably better off renting. Renters are a lot less choosy than people buying a home when it comes to things like outdated fixtures and older structural features. If you don’t have the money to replace that 30-year- old roof or to take the kitchen from the 70s to the 21st century, consider renting.

- Is your move permanent? If you’re a life-long resident of Winston-Salem, it might be that your ties to the area will remain strong even after you leave. If you feel you might make this move a temporary one, returning after retirement or re-locating again after a few years, you might be better off keeping the house and renting it while you’re away.

If some or all of these situations apply to you, consider renting at this point rather than jumping the gun and selling. You’ll be happier in the long run. “But wait,” you say, “What about having to worry about getting good tenants, doing the bookkeeping, and keeping up with maintenance?”

That’s where hiring a property manager comes into play. Using a property manager can take away the hassle associated with renting. Many times people are hesitant to rent because they don’t want to deal with finding renters, collecting rent, and maintaining multiple properties. That’s where we come into play. Not only will we keep your property inhabited, but we use the latest technology to make you aware of all the things going on with your property. You can access our portal to get to your records at any time and make sure your assets are paying off.

Call (336) 939-6275 today to see how the Saunders Realty, LLC property management team can help you protect your long-term investment. Our qualified team can help you analyze all your options, and decide whether renting or selling is the right choice for now.