LIST Birmingham - February 2020





Growing a Tradition

At Red Hills Realty, I had an annual client appreciation party where I awarded chocolate Oscars. The awards weren’t serious; it was just an excuse to come together and celebrate another good year with my clients. The party gained some notoriety in Birmingham— enough so that people started calling the awards I’d hand out “Melvies.” One year, I had a couple of clients who were both doctors. I must have showed them 56 houses. Those two got the Melvie for being the Least Decisive Clients (you’d think in medical school they would cover training on making fast decisions). Time went by, and the tradition fell by the wayside. But this year, the Melvies came back from their dormancy. By now, my client list has grown so big that hosting a party for all of them would be impractical. Instead, my partner and I decided to throw a holiday party for our team members at LIST Birmingham, and you know what that means ... A lot of the awards we handed out this year were jokes, but a few of them were serious. My partner at LIST Birmingham, Brent, is 40. I’m 60. We live in Birmingham, Alabama, but somehow, we both managed to marry women that are from Upper Saint Clair, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and we both have 10-year-old sons. Brent and I have spent the last five years building a business. It has meant 70–80- hour weeks and taking calls at night, on weekends, on vacation etc. We have built a successful business but it would not have been possible without Robin and Jill being amazing. Brent and I both believe they could have done so much better for husbands than the two of us. They both received Melvies. The Melvie award ceremony is mostly meant to be a fun celebration, but it felt good to stop and publicly thank our wives. So much of what they do is behind the scenes, and it was special to be able to acknowledge that. THE MELVIES ARE BACK!

We also gave a Melvie to the LIST Birmingham Agent of the Year , a young man named Chase McCain. Chase came to LIST Birmingham hungry. He was our first agent. He stayed at our side learning every aspect of being an agent. He has never

said no to us when we have offered him an opportunity. Brent and I made sure Chase was rewarded for that hustle and effort. When

we were negotiating, he was there in the room with us, and when we were at listing appointments, he came to those, too. It’s been fun to watch him grow and develop, seeing him handle things like a much more experienced agent would, even though he only has four years of experience. He finished 2019 in the top 2% in production of all agents in Birmingham. He is also modest and funny. Everyone was excited for him to win the coveted Melvie. This year, LIST Birmingham sold over $100 million in real estate, up 22% over last year. LIST Birmingham is growing. 70% of our business comes from referrals from past clients. Who knows, we may have to have a special Melvies ceremony for our top clients this year. The year 2020 has endless possibilities.

-Melvin Upchurch


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