With a Track Record That Speaks for Itself, Meet Atlanta Real Estate Agent, Lorraine Beato, Delivering Results, You Deserve!
Q: Share with us why you chose Real Estate as a career.
LB: I would say that real estate chose me. I started as a college intern working on the mortgaged backed trading floor for Merrill Lynch. I will never forget my first day at Merrill Lynch when my boss sat me down to explain “the birth of a Ginnie Mae”. Little did I know that would lead me into a lifelong career in real estate. I’ve always been fascinated by the old historic castles, palaces and monasteries in Portugal growing up as a child every summer when we visited. It amazed me the structures people could build way back when. When I graduated college, my best friend said to me “let’s get our real estate licenses” to which I said okay. Selling was not really suited for me back then and I was also hired full time by Merrill Lynch. Somehow, I came across appraising homes and turned that into my second job on the weekends while working full time in NYC. Reading the Art of the Deal I think clinched it. My love affair with real estate and negotiating began. When we moved to Atlanta 23 years ago, I thought I wanted to be a stay at home mom. Not knowing anyone in Atlanta when we moved, I looked to becoming a Realtor in Georgia and had my licensed transferred. Been an agent since 1996 in Atlanta and transitioned into real estate investing and mentoring as well a few years ago.
Q: Can you share with our audience, why you chose Palmer House Properties to work for?
LB: I was fed up with a big box broker and got tired of always being the go-to person for several of my peers and giving up a decent percentage of my commission. A friend of mine saw me as I had left that big box company, had moved to a smaller commercial firm but they weren’t doing very well. She suggested I check out PalmerHouse since I was looking for a new home. I researched the company online as well as Kevin Palmer and felt a connection since we both had financial services backgrounds. I reached out to Kevin via e-mail and I was impressed with the correspondence and decided to meet with the broker at the Alpharetta office. I loved the family feel and the fact that I could reach out to the President at any time. The company has grown tremendously, we truly are a family where everyone is accessible, and the broker support is first class. The best I have come across in my entire career and that is saying a lot. I pay a flat fee and keep the bulk of my commissions; however, PHP is agent centric and always looking for ways to train, empower and assist their agents. I have been with them almost nine years.
Q: What do you tell potential buyers who are comparing Buying Vs. Renting? What are some of the Pros and Cons?
LB: I am a huge proponent to buy rather than rent unless the buyer is in a short-term job assignment. When someone is renting, all they are doing is paying down and asset for someone else and growing their net worth. I explain some of the tax benefits and show them how to build wealth by investing in their first place and how further on down the road, they can take that asset and rent it, cash out refi to purchase a new place, short term rent it, etc.
Q: What is the current home buying trend? Are boomers downsizing? What types of homes are the Millennials buying?
LB: In my personal business, my boomer clients are not downsizing … they are upsizing to accommodate grown children who are either moving back home or now have their own families and are coming to visit with their spouses and grandchildren and they want the space. Overall though, I do think boomers are downsizing. If they are empty nesters and I am seeing several friends downsizing and moving intown and out of the suburbs to where they have less to maintain and more time for entertaining, travelling or purchasing a vacation home.
Millennials are buying condo’s in midtown! I have had several millennial clients this year and they all want to be in midtown where the walkability score is high, and they can just walk or scooter to the local restaurant, brewery or hangout.
Q: Do you typically represent buyers or sellers?
LB: I typically represent buyers and it just depends on the year. I would say I am at 50/50 for this year so far. I have a 100% referral-based business and quite often I have a client who is selling and buying.
Q: Do you specialize in certain types of properties?
LB: Single family residences are the bulk of my business both in the retail buyer/seller arena as well as the investor fix and flip arena.
Q: How has technology and social media changed the way you do business?
LB: I will be the first to say that I have a love hate relationship with technology … it’s something that is definitely needed and is great when it works the way it should! I sometimes get sucked into the vortex trying to keep up with it all. Social media has not really changed how I do business, but it has enhanced it. I enjoy staying up to date on market and design trends, having been an economics major and with my financial background – real estate is all about the numbers for the most part. Social media has allowed me to show my real estate expertise whether it’s about the changing market, home improvements that add to your value, trending paint colors or now i-buyers. I have leveraged social media as a platform where I give value and content to people which often leads to someone referring me. I also love the ability to showcase my listings for maximum exposure.
Q: What can a potential buyer expect from you in the buying process?
LB: I’ve had several first-time homebuyers this year who have dubbed me their Atlanta mom. If it’s a first-time home buyer, I take them step by step through the process and explain what happens at each milestone. I created a short brochure outlining the steps to the process as well as the different timelines we need to meet that are in the contract. All of my buyers can expect to know that they are not going to overpay for a property. My background gives me all the knowledge to properly research property values and if in a multiple offer situation, the best terms to put into a contract without overpaying to ensure my client wins the bid.
Q: Any real estate predictions for the next couple of years?
LB: I believe the market values in metro-Atlanta will continue to increase; however, they are slowing down which was necessary. Prices increased way too quickly last year, but we are still in a shortage of inventory and there is a lot of new development. We still have people relocating to metro-Atlanta along with being the Hollywood of the South. My only concern is the lack of affordable housing for younger millennials and some areas are getting gentrified so quickly with no place for those displace families to go. I don’t believe there will be a housing bubble like there was in 2008 and people will always need a roof over their head.
Q: What's the greatest fear you've had to overcome to get where you are today?
LB: The fear of not being able to control everything because at the end of the day, I get paid based on everyone else’s performance – the buyer, the seller and the loan officer.
Q: Can you tell our audience one of your most memorable moments your career?
LB: Well – I may get shot down for this one … when I met Donald Trump in person when he had business dealings with one of my former employers. Having read the Art of the Deal about two years prior and getting started in real estate, meeting the biggest real estate mogul in New York was huge for me. I will never forget it nor our brief conversation.
Q: What’s one lesson you’ve learned in your career that you can share with our audience?
LB: You never know what is going on in someone’s life. Real estate is very emotional, and people sell and buy homes for various reasons. It is important to understand that there are always two sides to a story, and we need to learn to communicate.
Q: Which woman inspires you and why?
LB: The Queen of England – having become Queen as young as she did and learn to raise a family, rule a country and keep her composure are qualities I have always admired. I believe she has led an incredible life and is doing her best to keep up with the changing times.
Q: What are some of the challenges you feel women face today?
LB: Trying to juggle everything and finding balance. In my opinion, we are still the ones that worry if the kids got picked up at school, if they did their homework, and if there are aging parents – that they are also taken care of. In the real estate investing space – it’s being taken seriously in a mainly male dominated space and learning how to talk to contractors.
Q: What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
LB: I have two daughters who are young women and I always tell them to be assertive, confident, stand up for themselves and be the best they know how to be. A strong work ethic is important as well as the ability to have strong analytical skills to be able to look at situations from multiple angles and become a problem solver. Do not be afraid to say you don’t know something, it’s better to say you don’t know but you will find out.
Q: What's your advice for women in male-dominated fields?
LB: Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Be genuine and honest but firm. Arm yourself with knowledge so you can go toe to toe with any male in the field you are in. Respect is earned and I have found that a sharp mind and the ability to speak intelligently on a topic will serve you well.
Five Things About Lorraine Beato
1. If you could talk to one famous person past or present, who would it be and why?
Like I mentioned above, the Queen of England – she has met some of the world’s most influential people, has travelled the world and raised children and ruled a country.
2. What’s the best advice anyone’s given you?
Always be yourself … people will smell a fake.
3. Where’s your dream vacation?
I would love to go to Greece and explore the ancient ruins and the islands.
4. What app can’t you live without?
Hmmm … let’s go with Venmo! It’s a quick and easy way to send money to my girls, vendors or contractors! I also love FB to keep up with my girls, family and friends … we are all spread out!
5. If you had Ten Million dollars what would you do with it?
The first thing I would do would be to pay off my home and my children’s student loans. I would then help my girls buy their first home. After that, I would take a nice vacation for a few weeks and explore the real estate market where I went on vacation for possible investment opportunities. I would also buy/invest in either single family rentals, short term rentals, multi-families or commercial buildings. I would donate some to historic preservation as well as ocean and marine conservation organizations. I would look at developing/building some workforce housing for entry level home buyers. A dream of mine would be to buy one of those old 18th century villa’s in Italy or France, renovate it and then rent it. I have a colleague who is doing this currently in France.