By Susan Elise Campbell
Less than two years since he began his career selling real estate in metro Atlanta, Ryan L. Smith is launching a satellite in Saratoga Springs, where he was born and raised.
Parc Avenue Realty LLC is operating remotely now while awaiting zoning approval on 254 Washington St. location in downtown Saratoga Springs.
In 2020 Smith was a product manager in the electric motor field when COVID-19 struck and soon started doing real estate part time. His wife Shari has been a broker for seven years and is managing broker for the Smith’s flagship business in Atlanta, he said.
“I’m the sales guy and the numbers guy,” he said. “Shari loves the document side of things, like purchase and sales agreements and HUD forms.”
Smith said he focuses on residential real estate but had a commercial deal close at the end of December, resulting in $3 million in total sales last year.
“We had a very good 2021 in an area I’m not from,” he said. He will apply the same strategies for growing the Atlanta business to the Saratoga market.
As he prepared to canvas the metropolitan area where he and Shari live with their two children, Smith was told, “work your zip code and five miles around your home.”
He noticed managers giving brokers a territory, but he didn’t see why he would want to limit himself. “So I decided to work the entire metro Atlanta area, which I can drive through in an hour and a half.”
Then he got to work cold calling.
“I got the ball rolling being aggressive about making contacts, with the goal of making a certain number every day,” he said. “Once the names were in a database I could market to them.” The technique “generated enough clients to do very well.”
Smith hired Saratoga attorney William DiCenzo as associate broker.
“I chose DiCenzo because he has been involved in Saratoga real estate as an investor for 10 years,” Smith said. “He and his wife have several properties in their portfolio. He’s our boots on the ground.We want only professionals focusing on the business, not people doing sales on the side. Clients need to be able to trust their agent and to get hold of them for showings.”
Smith said there are eight agents in Atlanta and said “three solid professionals would be ideal” in Saratoga. He spends three days a month in Saratoga.
“We are canvassing our Saratoga contacts and once the numbers are up, we can add another agent, if they’re quality candidates,” he said.
Smith said that one thing that makes his story special is his African-American heritage.
“It is great to give a picture to others what African Americans can do,” he said. “I didn’t know any brokerage owners who looked like me.”