Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 29, 2019

Legg making up for lost time after marketing career

Hannah Legg is an agent with Keller Williams Downtown Realty. In addition to serving residential buyers and sellers, she works with investors and purchases, renovates and manages her own rental properties. - Photograph provided

At 34, Realtor Hannah Legg is already wishing she had started her real estate career at a younger age. She also says the knowledge and experience she acquired as a marketing director for prominent Chattanooga firms made the success she’s experiencing possible.

Legg hit the ground running 12 years ago when she landed a business development role at Miller & Martin, one of the largest law firms in the Southeast and a 150-year fixture in Chattanooga.

Her good grades at Bryan College in Dayton certainly helped, but Legg says the confidence she displayed during interviews and her willingness to work hard won the firm over.

While promoting the practices of attorneys at Miller & Martin, Legg learned the ins and outs of managing a business.

“Being able to rub shoulders with those guys was a key experience for me,” she adds. “I don’t think I could have gotten deeper business experience at that age.”

Legg never intended to make a career out of working for Miller & Martin, so she left after five years to become the marketing director for Hunter Museum of American Art.

“I knew if I wanted to move up, I needed to move out,” she continues.

Two years later, Legg became the first marketing director at Sockwell Socks, another Chattanooga-born company. While she enjoyed tilling new ground for her employers, real estate was beginning to pull her in a different direction.

“I’d become interested in developing rental properties,” she says. “I was looking for ways to grow my income, and this is an industry in which you can set your own goals and then achieve them.”

Legg didn’t rush the transition. She already had one renovation under her belt – she and her husband had flipped their Brainerd residence – but she wanted to understand the risks and form a strategy before shifting gears.

“I did a lot of research on financial independence and multiple streams of income, and I heard a lot of conversation about there being no limit in sales,” she points out. “Then I went down the rabbit hole.”

Legg and her husband purchased two rental properties within two weeks of committing to their new venture. She then earned her license and joined Keller Williams Downtown, attracted to the high level of training the company provides new agents.

“There’s a lot of competition for investment property in Chattanooga, and I thought being able to take myself to properties and having a bit of knowledge about them would give me an advantage,” she says.

Encouraged by her research into developing multiple streams of income, Legg also began working with residential buyers and sellers. Although she juggled this work with her investment endeavors, she has put together a solid sales history during her first two years of listing and selling and houses.

Legg has sold 30 homes since joining Keller Williams in January 2018 and is estimating sales of $3.4 million for 2019. This would double her volume in 2018.

During this time, Legg has seized every opportunity presented to her, from working with first-time homebuyers who were on a tight budget to clients who purchased homes costing more than $600,000.

“Variety is good,” she says. “It keeps you fresh.”

And being busy has kept Legg on her toes. One of the keys to her success as a real estate agent has been working with investors who, like her, want to purchase properties to either sell or rent. She adds her personal experience doing these very things has opened doors.

“I know marketing,” she says. “And investors see me doing it for my own stuff and for other people’s listings and are like, ‘Yeah, you can do it for me.’”

One of the pitfalls Legg hopes to avoid is taking on more business than she can handle and then dropping the proverbial ball while working with a client. Since she and her husband now own and operate 11 rental properties and are hoping to add more, the risks are real.

But Legg has a plan. She’s limiting her work with investors to only a handful of experienced players and is preparing to outsource the management of her construction and rental properties. These things, she says, will allow her to focus on serving her residential clients.

“I’m looking to grow my business as an agent,” she says. “Things have gone well and I’m trying to take it to the next level”

Legg is doing her best to be patient and grow her business organically, but she can’t help feeling that time is of the essence in the current market.

“I just wish I had done this sooner, but then I would have missed out on working with some of the top people in Chattanooga,” she says. “Those were huge opportunities that helped me mature into the position I have now.”

As anxious as Legg is to push her business forward, she also knows it’s OK to simply appreciate what the moment is providing. “I’m enjoying this. I have a passion for it and it’s fun to take my expertise and apply it on behalf of someone who needs help.”