Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 16, 2021

Rookie Realtor eager to make mark

Cindy Volhein’s shirt isn’t the only thing in this photo that’s green. As a new Realtor, she’s as green as they come. But she’s also eager to learn and excited about launching her real estate business at Century 21 Prestige. - Photo by David Laprad | Hamilton County Herald

Realtors don’t come any greener than Cindy Volhein.

Not only is the proverbial ink still wet on her license, when it comes to clients, she’s still looking forward to landing her first homebuyer or seller.

“I’ll jump right in and do the best job I can do,” Volhein, 58, chimes cheerfully.

By that point, she’ll have at least one training session with her broker, Marc Lundberg of Century 21 Prestige, under her belt.

“Marc is eager to teach me,” Volhein says. “Since I’m new to this business, having an experienced broker personally educate me is going to be a tremendous benefit.”

Volhein talks as she is nursing a cup of coffee and browsing the essential real estate websites on her laptop to familiarize herself with their various functions. One of her stops is the local MLS.

Realtors truly don’t come any greener.

They also rarely come more seasoned. Although Volhein has yet to show a home or secure her first listing, she does bring 30 years of experience in sales in the carpet industry to her new venture.

Volhein has spent the last 11 years selling cove base, which she describes as “the little piece of carpet that runs along the base of walls,” at Allcove Industries in Dalton.

“It’s crazy to think there’s an industry for cove base, but it’s huge,” she exclaims.

Volhein says she believes her biggest challenge in real estate won’t be learning the ropes, obtaining leads negotiating good deals, but shifting from a sales to a service mentality.

“In real estate, my job is to help someone, so my opinions will have to take a back seat,” she explains. “Figuring out what my buyers love and not letting what I love, or what I think is suited for them, get in the way will be my biggest challenge.

“Fortunately, I’m a good listener.”

Volhein is also still a sales agent for Allcove, although she insists she has plenty of time for representing homebuyers and sellers in the current market, which is still buzzing like a beehive.

“All of my Allcove customers are working from home, so I have a lot of time on my hands.”

Volhein pursued a second career in effort to be productive during her idle hours. She chose real estate for its flexibility.

“I know real estate can be demanding, especially when someone is looking for a place to live or wanting to sell their house, but there’s some flexibility involved.”

Volhein says she picked Century 21 not only for Lundberg’s training but also for its boutique feel.

“I like its quaintness; its smallness. I was interested in some of the larger companies, but I was afraid I would become lost in the crowd as I was trying to learn everything I need to know.”

Those who meet Volhein for even a few minutes might walk away convinced she’s in no danger of disappearing among her peers.

These same colleagues describe her as energetic, vivacious and cheerful, she says, and give her high marks for her personality.

Volhein is so tenaciously positive, even her age doesn’t discourage her.

“At my stage in life, there will be difficulties no matter which field I choose,” she muses. “There will be ups and downs, as well as sacrifices, but there will also be rewards. I just need to get out there and do my job.”

One thing that might help Volhein is her familiarity with her territory. She grew up in nearby Dalton, Georgia, where she lived until 15 months ago, when she and her immediate family moved to Ooltewah.

“My husband was commuting to Chattanooga from Dalton for work, and I was working at home,” Volhein says. “Now he has a shorter commute, although I’m still working from home.”

Volhein’s 100-pound Labradoodle, Baxter, keeps her company while her husband is working and her adult son is busy with launching his business.

When everyone returns home, they like to “hang out” – an activity that will soon be taking place on their 40-foot Carver yacht.

Even in those moments, Volhein’s thoughts are never far from real estate, largely due to how overwhelmed she feels as she begins to learn the business. Despite the pressure, she’s looking forward to each step forward.

“I can’t wait to see where this takes me.”