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Editorial


Front Page - Friday, July 3, 2020

Selling homes a lifeline for Boss


Getting involved in leadership also gives career boost



Bev Boss is a residential and commercial Realtor with RE/MAX Renaissance and a member of the board of directors of Greater Chattanooga Realtors. She believes community service can help to change the negative perceptions the public might have about Realtors. - Photograph provided

As far back as Bev Boss can remember, she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. Inspired by an educator she knew who lived and breathed for the students she taught, Boss achieved her childhood dream, teaching first in Mississippi after graduating from the University of Southern Mississippi and then in her hometown of Chattanooga.

But when an accident took the life of one of her first grade students, Boss was unable to continue teaching. Encouraged to pursue another profession, she became a Realtor, which she believed would allow her to continue to educate others in a different capacity.

Boss’ new career also cast her in the role of student as she learned from her mentor, Realtor Grace Frank, and later began serving on committees at Greater Chattanooga Realtors. A ravenous learner, her goal is to absorb as much knowledge and information as she can to better assist her buyers and sellers at RE/MAX Renaissance and her fellow agents.

Fresh from maternity leave after giving birth to her first child, Boss is enjoying a period of intense business activity as she focuses on her work as a Realtor and service as a director of the local Realtor association.

The latter is foremost on Boss’ mind as she discusses her life, career, nail gun skills and unconventional methods for naming her and her husband’s son.

How did you become involved with Greater Chattanooga Realtors?

“Barry Valcarcel, the owner and broker of Black Creek Mountain Real Estate, and I were brainstorming about how to put his boutique brokerage on the map. He suggested I join a committee at the association, which I did. I became involved with Community Partnerships, which works with Habitat (for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area). I love Habitat. I do builds and support them financially.”

Did you swing a hammer?

“I actually got to use a nail gun last year. It was thrilling. Everyone was like, “What are you doing? Put that down!” And I was like, “Nope!” I used it to install the railings on a porch. I enjoyed every second.”

Isn’t volunteer work supposed to be sacrificial? It sounds like you had fun.

“It was a sacrifice because it was raining and I don’t like to get wet. We were supposed to Tee Up & Wine Down this year, but we’re pushing it to 2021 thanks to – in the words of people in the South - everything that’s goin’ on, aka coronavirus.”

What came next at the association?

“I developed friendships with the different Realtors on the committee and the staff. And then (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Realty Center agent) Travis Close suggested I join the association’s Leadership Academy. I thought, ‘This is my career, so I need to put everything I can into it.’

“After I graduated from the academy, I joined more committees because I felt like it had prepared me to help.”

How did you come to join the board of directors?

“Once again, Travis suggested I run for office. But I didn’t know what the board did. I said, “You guys just show up and eat breakfast, right?” He said, “That’s exactly what we do. You should run.” I knew better!

“They voted me in, and I’ve been grateful ever since because I’ve learned so much. I’ve seen what our staff does behind the scenes and what our Realtors do for the Chattanooga community. People think Realtors give off a used car salesman vibe, but we do a lot for this community that they don’t see.

What motivated you to continue serving?

“I wanted to give back and learn more. I’m one of the nerds who always wants to learn more because I can’t do my best unless I know everything. Getting involved with the board makes me feel prepared to help other agents, too.

“Helping others who are new to the profession find their way is important to me. It’s a hard business when you’ve never done it before, especially when you receive your first offer and you have to decipher it for your seller. You have to know what you’re doing, and if you don’t, you need to be able to call someone you trust who can break it down for you.”

Was Grace Frank that person for you when you became licensed?

“Absolutely. I was able to go to her with any question I had. She was very experienced and knew what she was doing. I just watched and learned, like a kindergartener who watches a teacher combine letters to make sounds and then form words.”

Talk about your departure from teaching and your first foray into real estate.

“As much as I counseled my kids, I never counseled myself. I was having anxiety attacks when my students went home for spring break or the summer. My husband, Austin Miller, said I needed to either take a year off or do something else. The only thing I had ever done besides teach was work as a real estate assistant. I was already working part-time for Grace, so I gave it a shot.

“I fell in love with it because it’s a different act of service. I went from educating kids to educating families about how to buy a home.”

What are your areas of focus as a Realtor?

“I love helping buyers through the process of building a home because it can get frustrating. I don’t know if you’re aware, but people can get very emotional about these big purchases. It’s a roller coaster, so I try to guide them through the process so they don’t become frustrated and yell at the builder.

“A lot of people try to build a home on their own because they think they’ll save money if they don’t use a Realtor, but they won’t. They’ll either go over budget or off their timeline. I’m there to make the process easier.

“First time homebuyers is my other niche. I love seeing people get what they have worked so hard for. I remember thinking I’d never be able to afford a house, but I was so tired of living in an apartment.

“I had a rat terrier that was the worst. He’d jet out the door and nip the neighbor kids if they got near him, so he had to have a house. Thankfully, someone said, “It’s possible.” I love being that person for someone else.”

What sets you apart from other agents?

“I’m good at finding budget-friendly homes. I always ask my buyers, “What’s your budget?” and tell them we’re not going to go over what they can afford. I also make sure my buyers know how much they’ll be paying. And – knock on wood – none of my clients have gone into foreclosure in the six years I’ve been doing this.”

You said you always want to be learning. What are you learning about now?

“I’m expanding into commercial real estate with John Mitchum and Tim Coleman. They have a wealth of knowledge and have been amazing at slowing down, teaching me, and then prompting me to step up. I’ve enjoyed researching commercial real estate and broadening my network.”

Do you have time to relax?

“My husband and I love to travel. We traveled coast to coast while I was pregnant. I dipped the baby in both oceans and the gulf.

“I also love to read, both for business and pleasure. Right now, I’m reading “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” for a book club. I don’t always pick the books we read, but that allows me to grow because it might be something I never would have picked. I never would have picked “The Tattooist of Auschwitz” because I’m going to ball my eyes out.

“I also love exploring downtown. I love the city I live in.

What’s next for you?

“I would like to bring on a partner. It’s been incredibly busy. I have been thankful that, even during the pandemic, my business has been booming. I’m even more thankful my mother is back to being able to help take care of Roman. Now I can give my work 110% again. I was giving only 100%, which does not work for me.”

How did you and your husband arrive at “Roman?”

“We chose it without thinking we’d ever have kids. We liked it! I also wanted him to have my maiden name. I really like “Boss.” So, we said if we ever had a boy – which was not going to happen – his name would be Roman Boss Miller. And surprise – we were pregnant! And then surprise – he’s a boy! So what else could his name be?”

Any parting words?

“Just, Buy or sell, Bev is your girl.”