I arrived in Durham in 1984 to become the marketing director of Central Carolina Bank. Long time residents of Durham will remember that CCB was the home town bank that had been founded by the Hill family.
My roots are in Richmond but I spent my college days in the mid-west at the University of Notre Dame which I was able to attend on a football grant-in-aid. I was a very minor cog on football teams that went from 2 and 8 my freshman year to a National Championship in my senior year and a near miss in my sophomore year. I got a good education at ND but I really didn’t like the winters in Northern Indiana and swore I would never live north of the Mason-Dixon line again.
Until I came to CCB most of my marketing experience was in product development and I earned my marketing spurs during a period when technology and deregulation were providing banks with many opportunities to develop products and expand their distribution networks that hadn’t been available since the Great Depression.
When I left banking in the late 80’s for a more entrepreneurial venture I did a lot of consulting work for the agricultural industries in Eastern North Carolina and in university development. During that time a met a woman who I married shortly after she had started a trade show marketing firm where I eventually became the general manager. When we split up I dabbled in consulting for a while but ended up in real estate when I bought and renovated a condo in the Pebble Creek complex in American Village.
The complete story of how that led to a career in marketing residential real estate and how it led to what I think is a unique approach to marketing homes is in the e-book that I wrote to help homeowners prepare and put their home on the market.
The book, Fun to Sell – Easy to Buy is available on Amazon as a Kindle Book which can be read on almost any computer, tablet or smart phone. This is more than a bunch of checklists that you can find in any number of places. On the contrary, it is an attempt to give the seller with a desire to thoroughly understand the process and manage their agent, a reliable guide.
In the community I was on the founding boards of Downtown Durham Inc and the Durham Education Network and served on the board of the Durham Arts Council. I have been a member of the Durham Rotary Club off and on since my banking days and for the last few years have managed the Club’s website and communications program.
Initially I worked for a small firm that I eventually managed. For several years I worked on my own. Today I hang my license with Distinctive Properties, a firm founded over 30 years ago by former City Councilman Eugene Brown. This is a small boutique firm whose brokers work independently but provide backup for each other and some joint marketing.
This means very low overhead and no pressure to drive business instead of providing good service.
I came to Durham to work for the home town bank 30 years ago but I’ve now been in Durham 25 years since I left banking. Why? Because I really like it and I had before it became cool in the eyes of the rest of the world. It just keeps getting better and better and I’ll be quite happy here unless they move the Mason-Dixon line to run through Charlotte. Then I’ll head south…maybe.