Phone: 770.297.4800 | Fax: 770.287.7033 | Address: 434 Green Street Gainesville, GA 30501
Brad Abernathy was destined to go into real estate. The profession was a family trade of sorts, practiced by his dad, his mom, and an aunt, to name a few. “I grew up with real estate surrounding me—it’s what I remember from my childhood,” Abernathy says.
So, after completing his degree at Georgia Tech, Abernathy went to work for his dad’s Gainesville-based real estate firm as a broker, managing, selling, building and developing residential property. But when his dad decided to retire, Abernathy did something he never thought he would do—he joined The Norton Agency.
“Growing up, and later working in the field, Norton was always considered a top competitor,” Abernathy says with a smile. “Frank (Norton, Jr.) and I had known each other for a long time as peers, but I had a conversation with him about the future of real estate and the direction of his company, and I was won over. It was the best business decision I’ve made in my life.”
Abernathy joined The Norton Agency in 2008, and while the real estate field was not at peak performance, he found the leadership at Norton helped compensate for a less than robust market.
“The intelligence of the leaders of the company coupled with the planning foresight was something the previous firms I worked for did not have,” he notes. “I found the support I needed to not only grow but accelerate my book of business.”
He also found another bonus at Norton—a partner in fellow broker Regina Cochran. Together, the duo have been leaders in home sales in northeast Georgia, closing more than $45 million in residential real estate deals in a 3-year span. The team sets themselves apart from their peers by marketing their expertise across a wide span of platforms including mailings, blogs, Websites, videos and an email newsletter.
“We don’t paint ourselves into a corner with a niche specialty—our specialty is real estate,” Abernathy says. “We have 100 different spokes that include many streams of business as well as many different marketing avenues which is a great benefit to our clients. I’ve been amazed at how fast my business partnership has grown, but I don’t think we’ve seen anything yet.”
And their customer service goes beyond a typical client/broker relationship. Abernathy often finds himself educating his clients about the mortgage process, directing them through the inspection process, and, many times, becoming a friend.
“Residential real estate is about people, and we are always geared to how we can give more value to the people we serve,” Abernathy says. “We’ve put together an amazing team of positive people with an amazing array of talents and skills that complement one another, so each and every client gets the best of all of us.”
In his downtime, Abernathy likes to play golf, though he admits he doesn’t hit the links as often as he’d like, and “decompresses” by walking 25 miles per week. He also loves spending time with his family and particularly cherishes the early morning rides to school with his two daughters. He does, however, admit that his life has not always been sunshine and roses.
“Personally, I’ve been through a lot in the past several years including losing my construction business during the recession and the passing of my dad,” he says. “But I haven’t let the bad times make me bitter—I just try to make my life better. I’ve become resilient, trusted in God, taken the reins, and never let go.”
At the end of the day, however, it’s apparent that real estate is simply in Abernathy’s blood.
“I love doing what I do and want to do it every day. I’ve never thought of myself as a workaholic because I don’t see it as work,” Abernathy says. “Really, there is no better feeling than knowing that I am helping buyers and sellers achieve their goals every day.”