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Robin Blass & Lauren Blass Like Mother, Like Daughter

Community Spotlight The Astoria at The Aramore plus

R.E. News

Putting America Back to Work! Publisher Lawrence A. Cohen

Photographer David Martinez Database Administrator Lynn Paul Graphic Design/Production Jon B. Bradie, Unit B Creative Contributing Writers Mimi Matthews Misty Milioto Stewart Cloud Board of Advisors Jim Cochran Carol Flammer Dan Forsman Kevin Levent Sandra McCrary Jenny Pruitt Walter Sanford Tom Spurlin R.E. Magazine® is published quarterly by REM Publishing, LLC., 3036 Leafwood Drive SE., Marietta, GA 30067. Phone: 770-956-7100 FAX: 770-956-7105 R.E. Real Estate Magazine is printed by Executive Press, Richardson, TX, using earth-friendly printing techniques, including FSC-certified paper, and soy-based inks and biodegradable coatings. Subscriptions are free for Realtor® Board or Association members in Metro Atlanta. Allow 6-8 weeks for new subscriptions. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive SE., Marietta, GA 30067

from the publisher

Editorial Consultant Karon Warren

I saw an intriguing video the other day that one of our readers posted on Facebook. It was from an ABC News special report called Made in America, focusing on a company in Bozeman, MT that has put out a challenge to all U.S. builders. Economist-turned-builder Anders Lewendal has starting building homes using 100% Americanmade product, and has calculated that if all U.S. builders would just increase the amount of Americanmade products they used to build their homes by just 5%, we would immediately create over 220,000 more jobs! Moreover, Lewendal has created a source list for products built here in the U.S., and has shown that his 100% American-made homes – that’s EVERY screw, nail, piece of tape and even the paint on the floors – cost just 1-2% more than homes built with foreign-sourced products! The website has some great information about this positive movement, including the list of American companies to purchase building supplies and materials, as well as a free monthly newsletter and blog. If ever there was a good bandwagon to jump on in real estate, this is certainly it. If you work with any builders or developers, send them the video, or simply talk to them and tell them how much you would love to sell a home that actually put more Americans back to work! One American recently put to work is Lauren Blass! Though fairly new to the real estate business, this is not Lauren’s first time gracing one of our cover stories. Her picture appeared in September 2003, along with her mother Robin, when Lauren was just 14 years old! Now 22, and partnering with her very well-known and honored mom, Lauren is looking forward to carrying on this family tradition of real estate excellence! Read this month’s cover story about this power-pairing of experience and youth, and learn how passing along one’s attitude is sometime more important than the passing of knowledge! We also have another excellent community to spotlight this issue. We love it that there are so many phenomenal values out there right now for buyers, and The Astoria at the Aramore is certainly one that continues to turn heads! Developed for a discerning taste, The Astoria is a tribute to the elegance and style of a bygone era. Modeled after the boutique hotels in New York, this condo community boasts breathtaking views and an enviable Intown luxury lifestyle. Got clients with Champaign tastes? This month’s Community Spotlight might just help pop that cork! Speaking of popping corks, we want to wish all of our readers a very happy holiday season, and a very joyous new year! We look forward to continuing to be your source for inspiring, motivational and educational real estate stories in 2012! Live Passionately!

Lawrence A. Cohen Publisher You can see the ABC News Video on our Facebook page at





1. NAMAR EVP Tom O’Rourke calls the start of WCR Gwinnett chapter’s 2nd annual Hoofin’ for Habitat 5K race held October 22 in Duluth. Over 125 runners participated, helping WCR raise over $2,000 for Habitat for Humanity.


2. John Hunt, of ViaSearch, along with Steve Palm, of Smart Numbers, present “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly,” their bi-annual Housing Market Summit December 7 at the Galleria Centre to a full audience of real estate, developer, and banking professionals.



3. Mitch Kaminer is sworn in as 2012 president of the Atlanta Board of Realtors by GAR President Bill Boatmen at the ABR’s Annual Business Meeting held December 7 at the Cherokee Town Club.


4. Outgoing WCR State Chapter President Faith Reid hands the gavel over to Sylvia Brush, who takes the reins as the 2012 state chapter president at their Installation Luncheon held December 9 at the 1818 Club in Duluth. 5. Shannon K. Byrdsong (R.E. Magazine Cover Story Spring 2009) shows lots of emotion as the keynote speaker at the WCR State Chapter Installation Luncheon.


6. ABR 2011 President Wight Mixon presents the President’s Award to Carolyn Brown for her daughter TishAnn Brown, who passed away in May. Citing her dedication, enthusiasm and especially her sense of humor, Mixon presented the special award given annually by the ABR president to the Realtor® they feel made the most outstanding contribution to the board. Photos by Lawrence Cohen 5. 6.




contents DECEMBER 2011



Cover Story

Robin & Lauren Blass


Top Atlanta real estate agent, Robin Blass, has teamed up with her daughter Lauren with high hopes of continuing an amazing legacy of success! Community Spotlight

The Astoria at The Aramore


The historic location and breathtaking views are just part of the charm of this boutique condo highrise that is bringing luxury back to intown living.

Around Town


R.E. People


R.E. News


Inspection Section


Calendar of Events


Realtor Resource Directory


Cover photo by David Martinez

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Glennis Beacham, founder of Beacham & C o mp a ny, Re a lt o r s ® , became the latest member of The Billionaire’s Club of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate during an Glennis Beacham induction ceremony at the annual conference of Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate in San Diego during October. This honor recognizes real estate agents who have sold more than $1 billion in residential real estate during their careers. Beacham is one of just 18 members of The Billionaire’s Club and the first member from Georgia. She is only the second member from the Southeast. Beacham & Company also garnered the award for Best Print Marketing among Who’s Who members for The Beacham Series, the firm’s listing publication. Prudential Georgia Realty named Todd Tucker the managing broker for

the firm’s East Cobb office in Marietta, where he will oversee more than 80 agents. Since starting his real estate career with Prudential Georgia Realty in 1997, Tucker has moved up the ranks with the company, serving as an assistant broker at the West Cobb office before Todd Tucker moving on as managing broker for the Douglasville/West Georgia office. He has served as president for both the Cobb Association of Realtors® and the West Georgia Board of Realtors®, and currently serves as the Region 3 director and District 13 RPAC trustee for the Georgia Association of Realtors®. In 2001 and 2005, Tucker was named Cobb’s Realtor® of the Year and received the same honor from West Georgia in 2006. Larry Winter, an agent with Keller Williams Realty First Atlanta, was awarded the coveted Good Neighbor Award at the annual Atlanta Board of Realtors annual business meeting for his ongoing work with the Foster Children’s Foundation. The award annually honors a member whose efforts are making exceptional contributions to improve the quality of life in their

Congratulations Robin & Lauren!

Congratulations Robin & Lauren!

We sincerely appreciate the opportunity to work with you and your cherished clients. We make an unbeatable team!

Thanks for trusting your clients’ flooring needs to us!


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community. Larry was awarded a $500.00 grant towards the organization. For the past three years, Larry and his wife have fostered ten children in their home and coordinated the annual holiday parties, donations, sporting events and outings for the program and have donated countless hours of service. In 2011, Larry and his wife were awarded “The Child Advocates of the Year” in Fulton County for their work in the foundation.

Wedding Bells Congratulations to Prudential Georgia Realty’s Gloria Jean Hecking, who wed Jim Squire on July 5 on Jekyll Island. A real estate agent with Prudential Georgia Realty for 26 years, Hecking-Squire served on the Atlanta Board of Realtors® from 2000 to 2007 and as 2000 president of the Women’s Council of Realtors®. In addition, she received the ABR Captain of the Industry Award in 2001 and was honored as WCR Member of the Year for both 1997 and 2009.

Chapman Hall, Realtors, expanded its team with seven new associates: Anwar Ghaswala, Shehnaz Ghaswala, Karim Kanji, Farida Lalani, Salim Lokhandwalla, Corrine Rhodes and Christine Robinson. A former associate with RE/MAX, Anwar Ghaswala brings Anwar Ghaswala more than 20 years of experience to his new position. Currently serving as chairman of the board for Platinum Federal Credit Union, Anwar is a member of the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and former recipient of the Northeast Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors® (N.A.M.A.R.) Shehnaz Ghaswala Phoenix Award.

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Licensed for 14 years, Shehnaz Ghaswala also is certified in arbitration and reconciliation services. A graduate of Bombay University, Shehnaz is fluent in three languages: English, Hindi and Gujarati. Along with an extensive marketing background, Kanji also brings more than 12 years of real estate experience to his new firm. His focus will be serving clients in Fayette, Henry, Clayton and Gwinnett counties. In addition to strong real estate knowledge, Lalani also works within her community, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Partnership in Community Action. Since earning his Farida Lalani license in 1989, Lokhandwalla has crafted a solid real estate career, and currently is a member of N.A.M.A.R. He is the coordinator for the AKF Partnership Walk in Atlanta, where over 6500 Salim people participated last October to Lokhandwalla help end raise money and awareness to end global poverty.

Closing in on 20 years in the real estate industry, Rhodes also brings a wealth of banking, finance and accounting knowledge to her new position. In addition, she has served as a REO Specialist for the past seven years. Embarking on her real estate career Corrine Rhodes 27 years ago with Royer Realty in Dunwoody, Robinson has gone on to receive the Phoenix Award as well as becoming an active life member of the Multimillion Dollar Club. She also is a past president of the Swedish Women’s Educational Association.

Congratulations Robin & Lauren!

Congratulations Robin and Lauren!

Thanks for trusting your clients’ painting needs to us!

We look forward to many more years of helping your clients with their renovations!


Oscar Gonzalez

Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners welcomes Ed Sams to its Woodstock office. Previously of Atlanta Communities, Sams brings a wealth of experience with him, having been licensed since 1987. He is a graduate of the University of Georgia.

Ed Sams

Jo Kenney, with Keller Williams Metro Atlanta, was recently elected to the position of 2011 National Recording Secretary for the Women’s Council of

from Tomas, David & Marc

Kitchens • Bathrooms • Basements • Additions






Building a Reputation for Exceeding Expectations!



Realtors at the annual meeting in Anaheim. Last year, she was the National Financial Secretary. Jo has been an active member of Women’s Council for many years and has served at her home chapter of DeKalb, and as a state officer for Georgia, including President in 2006 Jo Kenney and two years as Governor. She has been recognized as the Member of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year by her local chapter. Jo has also served as Vice President on the DeKalb Association of Realtors ® and as Chair of Professional Standards, and has received the Mary Nelson Spirit Award.

Heather Pitts

The Vawter Group of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty announced the addition of Heather Pitts to the group. Pitts was named one of “Top 6 Agents to Watch” by Real Estate Magazine and selected as a commentator for “How’s the Market,” a radio talk show.

Maura Neill of RE/ MAX Around Atlanta will be a featured speaker at Inman Connect, a real estate conference held Jan. 11-13 in New York City. Named an ambassador



conference, Neill also will serve as one of its featured bloggers. She is a featured contributor on the Inman Next blog, and also is the creator and editor of her own blog,, which has been recognized by Inman News as an innovative site for hyper-local blogging and social media efforts. Neill also will be a featured speaker and moderator at the Council of Residential Specialists Sell-a-bration, which will be held Jan. 19-21 in Phoenix.

continued on page 16

Congratulations Robin & Lauren! You are both amazing agents and it is always a pleasure working with you and your clients! from your friends and family at


404-869-6877 5555 Glenridge Connector, Ste. 900 r.e.



Robin & Lauren cover story

Top Atlanta real estate agent, Robin Blass, has teamed Lauren with high hopes of continuing an amazing lega


hen Robin Blass first started working as a real estate agent at the young age of 23, real estate hadn’t been her first career choice. However, after a few unsatisfying years as an X-ray technician, she felt her outgoing personality would be better suited in sales. Still, she wasn’t entirely sure that real estate was the answer. She struggled for the first couple of years, but then

things “just clicked.” And it’s a good thing they did. Robin, who has been one of Atlanta’s top-selling agents for the past 31 years, has earned award after award to show for her success. Now, in yet another bold move, Robin has teamed with her oldest daughter Lauren Blass to work with her at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage’s Dunwoody office. While it was a joint decision to team up, Lauren

Robin has been the exclusive agent for award-winning custom home builder Bill Grant for almost ten years, ever since he built her family while touring one his latest projects, Boxwood in Dunwoody. 10


Blass up with her daughter cy of success! By Misty Milioto

Photo by David Martinez

wasn’t always thrilled with the idea of real estate either. As a child, Lauren actually resented her mom’s business schedule for requiring her to be on the phone all day. However, Lauren started working with Robin during the summer of her sophomore year in college at Indiana University (where she studied public environmental affairs and business), and she soon began to appreciate Robin’s work ethic. “Once I graduated, I knew I was ready to come into the business,” Lauren recalls. And while both mother and daughter started in real estate at a very young age, Lauren, now 22, knows she has the added benefit of Robin’s experience and guidance. While Robin found the first few years of real estate to be tough, she realized that she could be successful through hard work, perseverance and listening to her clients’ needs. With this recipe, she became the youngest member ever of the Atlanta Board of Realtors’® Million Dollar Club and, at age 33, the youngest to receive their Phoenix Award for 10 consecutive years of more than $1 million in sales per year. Always the top individual agent at her Dunwoody office since she joined in 1992, Robin home. Here, they discuss marketing was named Coldwell

Banker Residential Brokerage’s top individual agent companywide in both 2009 and 2010. Last year, she was named the No. 1 individual agent in the Atlanta Board of Realtors®, and the youngest agent ever honored with the Golden Phoenix Award for 30 years of million dollar sales! “Her kind of success does not happen by accident,” says Robin’s former broker, Lamar Frazier. “Robin Blass got into real estate as a very young person and has worked extremely hard to maintain a level of performance that does not come about except by every day working very hard for her buyers and sellers. There’s not a single real estate agent that works harder.” Robin’s work ethic includes frequent contact with her clients and maintaining long hours. “I think it’s important to make contact with new clients immediately,” she says. “I usually respond to my messages from a client within the hour of receiving a call.” In addition to being prompt about returning phone calls, Robin also goes into the office between 5 and 6 a.m. She uses these early-morning hours to prepare assignments so the administrative assistants have work to do when they arrive.


’ve gained a lot of respect for my mom,” Lauren says. “It’s not easy to balance raising a family with a social life and working seven days a week. My mom can do it all. She makes it look easy, but it’s not so easy.” There’s no doubt that Robin has set the standard high. However, it’s a challenge that Lauren is ready to meet. Following her mother’s example, Lauren checks messages at 6 a.m. and answers calls until 10 p.m. “If I get an e-mail, then I feel like I have to do something immediately,” Lauren says. “My mom and I are both go-getters and we’re both aggressive. We get a lot accomplished by working together. I’d like to make the million-dollar club my first full year.” It’s a goal that Robin encourages. “I see a lot of myself in Lauren, and it’s really pretty scary,” she admits. “She understands that there are no set hours r.e. REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE > DECEMBER 2011


Photo by David Martinez

Robin and Lauren are very excited to be working with Brett Duffy, who has been assistant broker of their Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage office for several years, and recently took over as managing broker upon the retirement of Lamar Frazier. “Brett’s enthusiasm is contagious,” says Lauren. “He’s always there to lend a helping hand any time we need him.”

– this can be a seven day a week job – but she’s up for the challenge. I have learned that I can’t assume she knows everything. I have to be more patient when explaining things.” The best part about their collaboration, according to Lauren, is their ability to communicate. Being so close also means they can say exactly what is on their minds. “We don’t have to worry about hurting each other’s feelings,” she explains matter-of-factly. “It makes things a lot easier when we’re dealing with issues.” The collaboration also is an important one when it comes to developing new business. Robin’s connections across metro Atlanta’s northern arc are vast, especially among luxury homebuyers such as the parents of children in private schools. Her daughter’s difference in age, temperament and interests are things they feel can widen their network. “By bringing Lauren in, I’m hoping to expand the business, especially with her age clientele, first-time buyers,” Robin explains. “That’s what I started with at her age.” Accordingly, Lauren recently moved out of her parents’ spacious 6,300-square-foot Dunwoody home (custom-built by Robin’s builder-client Bill Grant), into 12


a Brookhaven apartment complex. “I felt like it was a little bit of a younger crowd,” Lauren says. “It’s located near shops and restaurants. It’s a good opportunity to meet people, introduce myself and share my knowledge. I’m also so excited to help my friends when they start buying houses. It’s a totally different generation. Hopefully, by putting our name out there more, we’ll get a lot more business.”


n Lauren’s first four months on the job, she already sold two houses and handled two leases. “She’s prospecting, cold-calling, helping me with my overflow of business and getting some of her own clients,” Robin says. “She’s joining my team, but I don’t want to expand it any more than that. I’ve always been an individual, never had a team. I like the idea that with my business, they’ll get either me or Lauren. They’re not getting passed down to someone else.” Robin hasn’t really needed a team, except for some back-office assistants, to handle her award-winning volume, selling more herself than some teams of 10 to 15 agents. And, despite the recession, she continues to meet her goal of selling 50 to 60 houses per year.

Only the prices have changed. From 1996 to 2002, she was selling luxury homes priced between $400,000 and $1 million, with annual gross sales in excess of $20 million. Her 2008 volume was 56 homes at an average price of $242,183 and in 2009, she sold 59 houses for an average of $218,860. Her total sales volume slipped to $13.6 million in the 2008 recession and to $12.9 million in 2009. Remarkably, she bounced back in 2010 with

from around the country to Sandy Springs. “I was flown up to each of their headquarters to address any of their employees’ needs,” she relates. ”They flew me up to three different cities to make presentations about Atlanta. Relocation is very emotional – finding the right schools, the right neighborhood for their family and the right fit for them – it’s not just about finding the right house.”

“Robin is one of the best real estate agents I’ve ever had. She took a comprehensive view of the market and listened carefully to what our needs were and found the perfect home.” As a result of her efforts and expertise, both the current and the previous chief executive officers of Newell Rubbermaid bought their homes with her assistance. “Robin is one of the best real estate agents I’ve ever had,” relays Michael Polk, president and CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. “She took a comprehensive view of the market and listened carefully to what our needs were and found the perfect home. I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated and focused person than Robin.”

Photo by David Martinez

gross sales of nearly $22 million by selling 63 houses at an average price of $348,821. “I think my attitude has changed,” Robin explains. “Now I’m not too proud to do any price range. I’m happy I have the business. I love that feeling of getting something under contract and closing it.” A significant source of Robin’s business for the past six years has been the corporate relocation account of Newell Rubbermaid, which has moved its divisions

“Working together has really brought us closer together,” says Robin, shown here strategizing with Lauren while newly-rescued Labrador mix Lucy lends her opinion. “Now, one of our biggest challenges is NOT talking about business every time we’re together!” r.e. REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE > DECEMBER 2011


Photo by Steve Floersheim

Robin and her husband David, a commercial real estate developer, have been married for 27 years. “Family is everything to us, and especially now with Jennifer at school in Indiana, we really cherish the holidays when we can all be together.” Clockwise, from top left: Robin, David, Lauren, Matthew and Jennifer.

And focused she is, whether it’s on bank closures, foreclosure backlogs or rewrites of real estate law. “She is always interested in learning that next thing to keep real estate going,” says her current broker, Brett Duffy. It’s hard to imagine Robin Blass ever slowing down. She has a son, Matthew, in high school and another daughter, Jennifer, at Indiana University studying child psychology. In addition, she and her husband David own a condo in Beaver Creek, CO, where they enjoy taking the family on ski vacations whenever their busy schedules allow. However, Robin plans to continue her energetic pace for at least another decade while continuing to guide her children into their futures. “I’m here to help her learn,” she says. “I hope it will be beneficial for both of us.” Their broker has no doubt that the partnership will continue to be a success, and the mother-daughter duo will remain a powerful force in Atlanta real estate. “I 14



look forward to many, many years of them both being impressive agents in their own right,” he predicts. Misty Milioto graduated from the University of Georgia in 2000 with a B.A. in English and is a licensed real estate agent in Georgia. She has worked as an editor for real estate magazines including Shopping Center World, Heartland Real Estate Business and COMMUNITIES Magazine. She can be reached at


It is an honor and a privilege to work with both of you.

Congratulations to Robin & Lauren Blass From your many friends at

3500 Lenox Road, 4th Floor | One Alliance Center | Atlanta, GA 30326




continued from page 9

Sherry Hoger, an agent with the Buckhead North office of Harry Norman, Realtors, was recently featured on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters. The show featured a young couple’s struggle deciding between inside or outside the 285 Perimeter, and Ms. Hoger’s efforts Sherry Hoger to show them appropriate homes. Hoger, who has been an agent for 4 years, specializes in the Buckhead and Morningside neighborhoods. The show will rebroadcast on January 16. Designations Brenda Beshara of Keller Williams Realty Atlanta North earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation. A licensed agent since 2003, Beshara obtained her broker’s license in 2010. For the last two years, she has made the Achiever’s Club and Multimillion Dollar Club from the Cobb Association of Realtors®. Prior

Brenda Beshara

to real estate, Beshara spent 20 years in the mortgage lending industry. Ursula Dahle of Keller Williams Realty Platinum Partners also earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation. Licensed since 1995, Dahle focuses on the South Cherokee County area. Judy Harper of Harry Ursula Dahle Norman, Realtors has earned the Certified International Property Specialist designation after completing multiple courses on learning cultural differences and international business Judy Harper practices as well as proving achievement in international real estate transactions. Evelyn Lewis-Wilson of ERA Sunrise Realty also earned the Certified Distressed Property Expert designation. Have a piece of people-related news? Send information to Editor, R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive S.E., Marietta, GA 30067, or e-mail to

Happy Holidays and A Prosperous and Healthy New Year to all of our wonderful friends!

from everyone at R.E. Real Estate Magazine




IN MEMORIAM – TRISH CROFT Trish (Patricia) Croft of Prudential Georgia Realty in the Cobb-Roswell office died Nov. 29 due to complications from ALS, which was diagnosed this past summer. Already a successful real estate agent in Rochester, N.Y., Trish and her late husband moved to Georgia in the late 1990s to be near her children and grandchildren in Cherokee County’s BridgeMill community. She continued her real estate career with Harry Norman, Realtors before moving on to Prudential Georgia Realty. “Trish had a great sense of humor, was a hard worker, and cared deeply about her clients and customers way beyond the transaction,” says Scott Simpson, her broker for more than 11 years. “She treated everyone like family. She had tremendous respect within the office, among her real estate family, and often took new agents under her wing without anyone requesting it, and without any compensation, because she simply cared about people and wanted to see everyone do well

Congratulations Robin & Lauren Blass! It’s been a pleasure working with you for over 20 years and we look forward to working with Lauren for the next 20! from

Greg Spencer

and be at their best.” On a lighter note, Simpson recalls that Trish had her share of minor car mishaps. “When she first started working with me, she had this huge Buick Park Avenue, and, every so often, it would show up at the office with a new dent or ding,” he says. “One time, she was showing a home in BridgeMill to a transferring executive, and this particular home had a steep driveway. Somehow, the car slipped out of park and crashed into a tree in the backyard, which had to be retrieved by a wrecker. But Trish sold the house! Also, for reasons unknown, it would seem every time Trish was using the copier or a printer, it would always jam or malfunction, which ultimately led to a lot of goodnatured ribbing around the office.” Trish will be missed greatly by family, friends and co-workers. “I am proud to say I was Trish’s friend and broker for 11 years,” Simpson says. “She was an incredible lady with an incredible spirit.”

Congratulations Robin and Lauren Thank you for allowing us to be part of your success!

and your friends at



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The Astoria at the Aramore


hen developer Jack Williams envisioned The Astoria at the Aramore, he imagined a world of old-style luxury, with beautiful chandeliers, cushy banquettes, polished wood paneling and marble-topped concierge desks – a place where the Barrymores and the Rockefellers would have felt right at home. From the opulent wide marble stairs and grand piano under the lobby’s vast ceiling to the 70 spacious customized condominium homes nestled in one of the most historic areas along the Peachtree Corridor, his vision has certainly come true. Even the condo group’s name, a combination of Aragon and Biltmore, recall a bygone era of upscale comfort. “The Aragon was one of the first big-time fancy hotels in Atlanta,” explains Williams, president of Kairos Development Corp. “There are stories of actresses staying there and taking baths in milk. They had a French pastry chef. The Biltmore was also part of that legacy.”

The Astoria at The Aramore is a small boutique condominium community modeled after historic New York hotels.

community spotlight

The historic location and breathtaking views are just part of the charm of this boutique By Mimi Matthews condo high-rise that is bringing luxury back to intown living

The 14-story building sits south of Peachtree Battle and north of Piedmont Hospital and Collier Road, near land once owned by famed Atlanta pioneer George Washington Collier. The Peachtree Street address still rings of culture and sophistication. On street level are Restaurant Eugene, with one of Atlanta’s most comprehensive wine lists, and Holeman & Finch, a top-rated pub. Nearby are more fine restaurants, shopping, The Fresh Market, and the Bennett Street art galleries. And just a stone’s throw away are the Woodruff Arts Center and the Fox Theatre. Williams saw the potential in this location 20 years ago. His very first property, he bought the fire-damaged 20-unit studio apartment building with his father when he was fresh out of college. “Roofing the building, I realized it had a skyline view of Atlanta. I kind of thought one day it’d be a great place for a high-rise or mid-rise.” Williams bought surrounding properties whenever he could. It took about 18 years to accumulate that tract of land a little piece at a time. “There was a little retail shop on there, and a little art gallery, so at least I had rental income,” he remembers of those early lean years. In the 2000s, Kairos finally developed the entire block into The Aramore mixed-use project, with The Astoria being the grandest. Only 70 homes make up The Astoria, with no more than seven on any floor. Parking under the building is gated, and the three elevators beyond the lobby are monitored by the concierge, making the interior very private. And peacefully quiet, despite the teeming traffic on Peachtree Street. The tower’s concrete-and-steel framing absorbs sound, making living at the Astoria serene. “We have 8 inches of concrete between each floor, which is really very nice for privacy,” points out Sales Director Pauline Miller, a 20+ year sales veteran. Also separating the living areas from the retail businesses below are two floors of for sale office condos, whose tenants include a dentist and a family doctor. Outdoor amenities include a huge sun deck with lap pool, lounge chairs and hot tub; a built-in stainless steel grill, near natural wood trellises over tables and chairs; and r.e.



Each home at The Astoria offers floor to ceiling windows with magnificent views and expansive, open plans.

a fire pit surrounded by a formal boxwood garden, beside a stacked-stone fountain. Miller is also quick to point out that the view from this deck – and from any of the condos stretching across the back of the building – includes eight acres of stunning tree canopy over Peachtree Creek, Peachtree Battle to the west or views of Buckhead. “I could live here in two seconds,” Miller says, gazing down at the autumn leaves. “How would you like to wake up every day to that view?” More than an acre of that green space belongs to The Aramore. “We set a 75-foot creek buffer and took out everything from back there – there were old washing machines, a junked car – and re-vegetated it,” Williams says proudly. “Now, people can walk their dogs, sit by the creek; we’ve even seen mallards show up back there now!” The developers were so interested in the environment that they paneled the lobby with reclaimed cypress from the Georgia coast, Miller says. The Aramore received the 2005 Development of Excellence Award for multi-use urban development and environmental buffer. Indoors, the common areas include: a large TV room overlooking the pool; a formally appointed, private banquet room; and a full catering kitchen between them. Near the state-of-the-art fitness center, there is also a guest suite, like a nice hotel room. “We hear a lot of concern when people are downsizing, ‘Where will my guests stay?’” Miller says, pointing out this very unique convenience. The two- and three-bedroom condos start at 1,525 square feet for about $320,000. That’s about half the pre-recession price, points out Miller. Luxury at a very 20 r.e. REAL ESTATE MAGAZINE > DECEMBER 2011 affordable investment! 20


Among the 15 floor plans, you can find one with two walk-in closets as big as offices or nurseries, or a small den off the living room, niches for desks or bookshelves, entire walls made of glass (two adjoining glass walls in corner units), and spacious great rooms that encompass the kitchen. Each has 10-foot-high ceilings, six-burner Thermador gas cook tops, kitchen islands, and laundry rooms. All bathrooms have stone floors, walls and countertops. Each master bath has a separate tub, and the European-style showers have frameless glass doors, with stone floors and benches. Every home has large outdoor living spaces; some even include double balconies. All homeowners can personalize their homes by choosing their own flooring, cabinet woods and hardware, lighting, mirrors and countertops from among a unique selection of high-end options chosen specifically for The Astoria. “Every home in The Astoria is a custom home,” points out Williams. “We will work one on one with homebuyers to satisfy their desires. This is the Kairos difference!” Mimi Matthews edits self-published books, newsletters and marketing communications. She can be reached at

404-355-6999 Just south of historic Peachtree Battle and just north of Piedmont Hospital

Prudential Real Estate Acquired by Brookfield Residential Property Services leverage marketing and technology innovations even faster from the size, scale and speed of the new organization. “This new organization gives us the best of all worlds,” says president and CEO Forsman. “It allows us to leverage the power of a large global real estate organization, maintains the respected Prudential brand and ensures the ability to make local decisions that are best for our agents and clients.” Prudential Georgia Realty, with 22 locations and over 1100 real estate agents, is currently ranked the #1 real estate company in metro Atlanta by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

r.e. news

On Dec. 6, Brookfield Residential Property Services announced it purchased Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services from Prudential Financial Inc. The local franchise office, Prudential Georgia Realty, owned and operated by Dan Forsman, will continue operations under the current brand name with no changes in local ownership or management. With this addition, Brookfield becomes North America’s third largest residential real estate brokerage business and the world’s second largest global relocation services provider. As a result of this move, Prudential Georgia Realty expects to grow its corporate relocation business as well as

Local Agent Launches RAIN to help agents in need Betty B. Jones, an agent with Prudential Georgia Realty, recently announced the launch of a not-for-profit corporation – Real Estate Agents in Need, or RAIN, to assist real estate agents throughout Georgia who have suffered a catastrophic illness, death or loss that affects their family in a financial manner. Available to licensed, actively working real estate agents who have held an active membership in the National Association of Realtors® for the past two consecutive years, RAIN seeks to aid agents with such matters as an immediate family’s funeral expenses, an agent’s medical or hospital bills, or household expenses like utilities. To fund this endeavor, RAIN will raise funds through donations from real estate agents, fundraising events, and contributions from local boards and real estate industry companies. Real estate agents in need can apply with RAIN, and all applications will be reviewed by the organization’s board of directors. Any benefit will be paid directly to any specified vendor or service provider on behalf of the applicant. For more information, visit

RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Celebrates Major Milestones As RE/MAX Greater Atlanta celebrated its 25th anniversary in November, the firm learned RE/MAX International received the highest overall customer satisfaction rating in this year’s J.D. Power and Associates Home Buyer/Seller Study for both home buyers and home sellers. This marks the first time in the survey’s four-year history that the same company won both categories. In honor of another landmark achievement, RE/MAX Greater Atlanta hosted a party on Nov. 3 to celebrate 25 years of business in Atlanta. Held at the firm’s East Cobb office, approximately 100 guests attended the event hosted by brokers/owners Ben Christopher and Denny Jones. r.e. news continued on page 24




r.e. inspection section

r.e. inspection section

r.e. inspection section


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Uninvited Visitors?


by Stewart Cloud, guest columnist

i n s p e c t o r ’s r e p o r t

gaps, cracks, or crevices between the roofline to siding, the roofline to shingles, siding to foundation and anywhere where natural construction meets together. All of these places around your home can have existing gaps due to the construction of your home or can allow easy-to-chew places for animals to enter your attic and crawl space. Squirrels and rats will sit in the gutters and chew through the roofline, raccoons will chew through the screening on roof vents and gable vents, and bats can enter through the smallest of gaps, cracks, and crevices around the roofline. You must use galvanized metal materials to reinforce any of these areas to prevent and discourage the chewing behavior of these animals. A lot of these animals chew on things to file their teeth down. If they don’t, their teeth will re-curve and grow into their skulls and kill them. So yes, they literally chew on things for the sake of chewing, but it is a survival behavior and can cause severe damage to your home. When inspecting a home for wildlife activity, first inspect the attic and crawl space and any unfinished areas around the home where animals can hang out. Look Rodents and other animals can cause major damage to a home. The best strategy to make for signs like droppings, foot prints on them feel unwelcome is to find and seal all possible entries to the home. places where dust collects, damage to wires, ducts, vents, and damage to insulation see a rat sitting on the counter. She freaked out! Rats like burrowing and tunneling and pieces being pulled had invaded her home. I trapped the problem animals down or moved altogether. After determining what and sealed the entry points under the kitchen sink, the problem animals are, inspect the roofline and stove, and dishwasher to prevent rodents entering the foundation for entry points. Once you know who the living space. I also repaired the entry points to prevent culprits are and how they are entering your home you can develop a comprehensive plan to solve the problem rodents entering the attic and crawl space. When it comes to dealing with animals looking to and prevent having any problems in the future. nest in your home, the only “permanent solution” is preventing the animal from accessing your attic Stewart Cloud is an expert in urban wildlife, wildlife damage, and has or crawl space in the first place. There are a lot of been solving wildlife problems for over 7 years. He has a Bachelor of potential entries around your home and you might Science degree in wildlife management from the University of Georgia, is an be surprised at how small an opening can be. These acting member of the National Wildlife Society and is licensed through the are some of the problem areas: roof vents, gable Department of Natural Resources and Department of Agriculture. Stewart vents, construction gaps, ends of soffits, ground vents, is the director of Wildlife Services for Skyline Pest Solutions and can be exhaust vents, plumbing pipes, refrigerant lines, any reached 7 days a week at 404-975-8292 or

love fall – the colorful leaves, cool mornings, blustery days and chilly nights – time to prepare for the coming winter. Our animal friends are preparing for winter too! Is your home going to be a haven for uninvited guests this winter? Your attic and crawl space provides excellent protected environments to nest and raise young. Birds and bats will take advantage of your attics. Squirrels and rats love your insulation for nesting, and all of the nice wires and pipes to gnaw on. Snakes love the warmth and humidity of your basement. Even raccoons and opossums enjoy nesting in the attic and crawl spaces. I inspected a home recently that had a rat problem. The customer turned on the kitchen light one night to



r.e. news continued from page 21

Beacham & Company, Realtors® Celebrates Fifth Anniversary This fall, Beacham

every year despite

& Company, Realtors


celebrated five years

in Atlanta’s real

of business at a party

estate market. The

with the firm’s agents

company anticipates

and clients at a private

a 30 percent increase

home in Buckhead.

in dollar volume sold

Catered by Local 3

over 2010 for 2011.

Restaurant, more than

The firm now boasts

350 guests attended

more than 70 agents,

the event, which was

a far cry from the


sponsored by Campbell & Brannon. Music by The

three agents that started with Beacham in 2006.

Whiskey Gentry provided a backdrop to the event.

Have a piece of real estate-related news? Send information

Since its inception on Nov. 9, 2006 by founder Glennis

to Editor, R.E. Magazine, 3036 Leafwood Drive S.E.,

Beacham, the firm has continued to increase its sales

Marietta, GA 30067, or e-mail to




Mayor Reed Speaks to Women’s Council of Realtors® The Honorable Kasim Reed, Mayor of the City of Atlanta, was the guest speaker at the Women’s Council of Realtors® Atlanta Chapter Business Resource Luncheon, held December 15 at 103 West. The mayor showed the audience why he is such a sought after public speaker, as he entertained the packed room with an account of his first two years in office.

Calendar of Events January & February 2012 January 6 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

February 3 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

North Atlanta Metro Association of Realtors® Free Networking Breakfast Location: NAMAR, 2145 Duluth Hwy, Duluth Register online at:

DeKalb Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Special Technology Luncheon Location: DeKalb Association of Realtors® 1414 Montreal Rd, Tucker Cost: $13 Members, $15 Non-members and guests Reservations Required: Joyce Turner, 770-855-9746 or

January 11 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Cobb Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting FORUM: Streamlining the Process from Contract to Closing Location: Pinetree Country Club, 3400 McCollum Pkwy NW, Kennesaw Cost: $15 Members, $20 Non-members and guests Reservations Required: Deborah Gilmore, 404-406-7622

January 12 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Gwinnett Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Panel of Experts “Closing the Challenging Sale” Location: 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth Reservations Required: Florence Greeson 770-670-6410 or

February 8-11 Georgia Association of Realtors ® Inaugural Meeting/GAR Convention Guest Speaker: Real Estate Trends Expert Stefan Swanepoel “Surviving Your Serengeti” Location: The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, 1 Grand Blvd, Point Clear, Alabama Cost: Register on or before January 4 at $189, regular registration up to January 20 $229, on-site registration $269. Register Online at:

February 16 8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. January 13 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. DeKalb Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Guest Speaker: Lauren Salas, Senior Project Manager, Department of Economic Development Outlook of DeKalb’s Economic Development Location: DeKalb Association of Realtors® 1414 Montreal Rd, Tucker Cost: $13 Members, $15 Non-members and guests Reservations Required: Joyce Turner, 770-855-9746 or

January 19 8:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Cherokee Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Guest Speaker: Dan Forsman on Positive Trends for 2012 Location: The Lodge at Bridgemill, 10451 Bells Ferry Rd. Canton Cost: $10 Members, $12 Non-members and guests Info: Rachel Mooney - 678-283-0629

January 19 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Atlanta Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Dinner Meeting Location: Ocean Prime, 3102 Piedmont Road, NE, Atlanta For information: Go to website:

Gwinnett Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Guest Speaker: Kit Cummings “Break-Through! to the Next Level of Your Life” Location: 1818 Club, 6500 Sugarloaf Pkwy, Duluth Reservations Required: Florence Greeson 770-670-6410 or

February 16 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Atlanta Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Dinner Meeting Speaker: TBA Location: Sage Woodfire Tavern, 4505 Ashford Dunwoody, Atlanta For information: Go to website:

February 22 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Cobb Women’s Council of Realtors® Business Resource Meeting Special Update on GAR Contracts Location: Pinetree Country Club, 3400 McCollum Pkway NW, Kennesaw Cost: $15 Members, $20 Non-members and guests Reservations Required: Deborah Gilmore, 404-406-7622



resource directory

resource directory

Realtor® resource directory McMichael & Gray . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-373-0521

advertising The Real Estate Book………. . . . . . . . . . 678-910-0347

Murphy & Shank . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-517-9300

alarm systems

Morris|Hardwick|Schneider . . . . . . . . . . 678-298-2100 Exceeding Expectations. One Closing at a Time

Ackerman Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-552-1111 residential, small business, commercial

O’Kelley & Sorohan, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . ..770-497-1880 18 offices across Georgia for your convenience


Shafritz & Dean, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-255-8183 Now 7 offices for your clients’ convenience

home builders Bill Grant Homes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-394-7007 (see display ad page 17)

home inspection services

Atlanta Board of Realtors® . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-250-0051 ®

Cherokee Association of Realtors . . . . . . 770-591-0004 Cobb Association of Realtors®. . . . . . . . . . 770-422-3900 ®

DeKalb Association of Realtors . . . . . . . . 770-493-6100 Empire Board of Realtists® . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-755-5575

Thomas & Brown . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-591-5200 East Cobb Office 678-337-3223 Weissman, Nowack, Curry and Wilco, PC . .404-926-4500 15 locations throughout metro Atlanta (see display ad page 15)

Metro South Assoc. of Realtors® . . . . . . . . 770-477-7579

basements and waterproofing Northeast Atlanta Metro Assoc. of Realtors® . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-495-7300

Aquaguard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-419-9111

Alpha Home Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-751-0737 (see banner ad page 22) Atlanta Property Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . 770-932-8634 Building Knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-661-4531 (see display ad page 17) Buyers Protection Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 800-285-3001 (see banner ad page 22) DRC Inspections and Consulting. . . . . . . . 770-794-1494 IHI Home Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-788-2581 ProTech Home & Property Inspections . 770-277-5655 Providing Peace of Mind…One Home at a Time! RIA Solutions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-476-4963 Skyline Home Inspections . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-432-5464 (see banner ad page 22)

attorneys floor covering Carol Clark Law . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-250-3300 Dickenson Gilroy, LLC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-518-5515 experience. service. excellence. (see display ad page 28) Law Offices of Sam Maguire Jr., PC . . . 404-257-8885 Where Real Estate Meets Real People Lefkoff, Rubin, Gleason & Russo, P.C. . 404-869-6900 Conveniently located near 400 and 285 (see display ad page 9) McCurdy & Candler, LLC . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-373-1612 Your REO and Foreclosure Specialists

Great American Floors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-399-9110 (see display ad page 6)

insurance Don Johnson State Farm Insurance . . ..770-973-8545 E Cobb Good Neighbor Insurance & Financial Svc

franchise opportunities RE/MAX Regional Services . . . . . . . . . . 678-802-5728 Outstanding Agents. Outstanding Results. (see display ad page 2)

investment properties Bluefields Capital, LCC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-502-5000

graphic design

management companies

Unit B Creative . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-351-3125

PEMCO Ltd . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-995-7111

For advertising information, call Lawrence Cohen at 770-956-7100.




resource directory

resource directory

Realtor® resource directory mortgage companies

pest control

security systems

Southeastern Mortgage Solutions . . . . . . . 404-452-1424 (see display ad page 6)

All Exterminating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-887-2571

Ackerman Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-552-1111 residential, small business, commercial

Skyline Pest Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-432-5464 Brand Mortgage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 855-754-4339 Trademark Pest Solutions . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-614-6534

utility protection moving and storage


Atlanta Peach Movers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-270-5586

David M Photography . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-432-1517 Portraits, headshots, family & yearbook

Buckhead Movers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-603-0234

Georgia 811 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 811 Know before you dig – Call 811 (see display ad page 18)

video productions plumbing

Reel Productions TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 678-571-5728

Plumbing Express . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-452-8636 Your Solution to Polybutylene Plumbing Right Choice Plumbing . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-480-3835 Full service plumbing, installations, repairs, winterization “The Right Choice” for your Plumbing Needs

virtual tours Glide Tour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-560-9658 HomeScenes Virtual Tours . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-594-1193

window services radon testing and mitigation

Sunshine Window Cleaning . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-422-8105

Cooks Construction Group . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-652-1101 (see banner ad page 22)

multiple listing services Georgia MLS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-493-9000 “More Prices, More Places, More Possibilities” (see display ads pages 5 & 7)

renovation and new construction Glazer Design & Construction. . . . . . . . . . 404-683-9848 Lefko Renovations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404-846-6372 (see display ad page 8)

painting & drywall M & M Painting and Drywall . . . . . . . . . . . 770-527-7335 Southern Styles Painting Company . . . . . . 678-457-8534 (see display ad page 8)

roof repairs Peachtree Roofing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 770-579-7663

For advertising information, call Lawrence Cohen at 770-956-7100.




R.E. Real Estate Magazine December 2011  
R.E. Real Estate Magazine December 2011  

The Journal of Real Estate Success. Cover Story: Robin Blass and Lauren Blass. Community Spotlight: The Astoria at The Aramore