When a real estate agent’s picture and contact information is displayed under property listings, it is normally only one agent who is in the picture. When you see Charlotte Price, Carlyn Voges or Katherine Smith’s photo by a listing you see the three of them together advertised as “The Mountain Girls”.
Though the Mountain Girls list more than homes on the mountain, they market luxury homes in Chattanooga.
The three ladies are originally from Signal Mountain and they now live on Lookout Mountain making their team name fitting.
After her brother passed away at age 13, Charlotte was then the oldest of her siblings and learned how to accept a leadership role. Charlotte was a tomboy and played with the neighborhood boys.
“We lived next door to a girl who was real prissy and she took ballet. She had this long hair and I told her I didn’t think that looked very good and I cut it. I played football with the boys, I didn’t like the girls, but I get along with these two though,” Charlotte says pointing to Carlyn and Katherine.
The trio has been together for about three years. Katherine, the youngest of the group, is Charlotte’s daughter. She, too, was a tom boy growing up and played many sports.
“They fight all the time, but because they are mother and daughter; it is hilarious,” Carlyn says.
“It just goes in one ear and out the other. We can get pretty loud in the office,” Charlotte laughs.
The ladies admit that all of them are pretty hyper. “We took a personality test with Keller Williams and Charlotte and Katherine got the same letter,” Carlyn says. She asked Charlotte, “What was yours?” Charlotte answers, “D – A High D.” Carlyn asked her what the D stood for and Charlotte quipped, “I don’t know …dysfunctional?”
The ladies giggle and determine that D stood for ‘determined and driven’.
“They were a strong personality,” Carlyn says, “but I was kind of calm – they called me a rule follower – which is a joke, but we just complemented each other as a team. Katherine was the strongest personality…”
Charlotte hollers out about her daughter, “Obnoxious!” and more laughter ensues.
“D is driven, and an I is an influencer – we will make the deal happen,” Charlotte says on a more serious note. “S is structure and C is conscientious. Carlyn was the S and the C. Katherine and I were a D and an I. We just took it last week and it really explains a lot.”
Carlyn adds, “Mine was the exact opposite of theirs and that is what you are looking for when you are a team.”
There are other teams at Keller Williams, but the Mountain Girls are different because it works so well. At any Real Estate Agency, you may have teams where there is a leader who makes more than the rest of the team and work in a pyramid system.
“To be successful you have to be at it all the time,” Carlyn says. “You have to advertise and we all have different strengths; we have everything down to a science. There is no queen bee and there is no head honcho. It is three partners,” Carlyn insists.
Charlotte adds, “We started off that way. I have a 90-year-old client that came out here and I met him in the parking lot, I made the other girls come meet him because he will hear from all of us before that deal is finished."
Carlyn nods her head in agreement and says, “It doesn’t matter. We do this for each other and it comes around full circle for all of us. We trust each other. If anyone calls from any of our marketing - whether it’s a sign they see or from the Internet or whatever - we split that three ways. That's true, whether it’s a listing we get that way or a buyer we get that way. We may split something three ways and I may do all the work, but it pretty much evens out with other deals. We are so over the top fair about everything – it just isn’t even a question.”
When the three go on a listing presentation, they each know their strengths and put them into play.
Carlyn will put it on the Internet and Charlotte and Katherine host the open house. “People like that there are three of us - where someone is always going to get one of us to answer the phone and they don’t have to run something past someone that would not be aware of the deal - we are all on it," Carlyn says.
Keller Williams will host what they call a Family Reunion, which is an educational convention in Dallas. Dave Ramsey will be a motivational speaker for the expected 20,000 agents.
Charlotte admits, “Now we all are going to this Family Reunion that will take four days, but we’ll have Frank to cover for us. We don’t usually all three go somewhere at the same time, one person is usually left here.”
Carlyn, vouches for the team coverage when one of the girls has to be away. “My son is in the Peace Corps and I had to take a trip to Morocco for two weeks. I didn’t worry or even look at my phone or computer --- for two weeks! I don’t know of anyone else in this building that can do that and completely trust someone to take care of everything. We really do have a great trust in each other,” she maintains.
Charlotte and Katherine have worked together since Katherine was a little girl. “This isn’t our first endeavor together,” Charlotte says. “We know how each other works. Carlyn lives where Katherine does, they share property and can literally walk through to the woods to each other’s house.”
Carlyn adds, “I am not related to Charlotte and Katherine, but we get along really well. I have had partnerships before, but this is just different.”
When dealing with a client that may clash with a personality they have someone in their group to handle it who has a personality that will match the client.
Charlotte will handle people of the older generation because she can talk with them and make friends easily.
“I have never met a stranger in my life,” Charlotte says, “even though I am really shy...”. Before Charlotte can finish her sentence the other two ladies erupt with laughter. Charlotte continues “Well I am… I don’t like a big group or parties...”
Katherine argues, “You are not shy!” Her mother contends, “You can be shy and be loud.” Pealing with laughter Katherine says, “No, you can’t!” Charlotte then concedes, “Well, then it’s another word.”
After the showdown, Carlyn takes up for the matriarch and says, “Charlotte can calm people down and talk to them, I am the ‘marketing, the numbers and the computer stuff’ and Katherine is the people-person, she likes to show the houses.”
With Katherine having had a competitive spirit in high school as she played tennis and other sports, she admits, “"I played for Baylor and Furman University and coached at Baylor and Covenant College. In being competitive, I try not to bring that side of me in this office because there are so many people who do a great job. I have been a coach so I understand team work.”
Carlyn was the shyest one of the group as a child. She hated getting up in front of people or having confrontations. “I’d rather do things myself and do it right, than to compete. Katherine has to pull me back and tell me I don’t have time to do it and to let her do it… it’s easier for me to do some things when I enjoy it and it’s stuff they may not like, and they enjoy doing the things I don’t like to do,” she asserts.
After Charlotte leaves for a meeting the two confide, “Charlotte is the bull dog of the group. She is very firm and you know she means business,” Carlyn says.
Katherine adds, “She has a ton of energy for everything that she does. She can come off as loud or bossy, but she is the kindest person.”
The threesome swears to never having had an argument even if they disagree. Somehow they always figure it out.
“Our target is that we are the luxury team but we have several listings from all ranges. We have been to two different institutes for training. One is the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing and the other is the Keller Williams Institute. We have luxury listings and even condos,” Carlyn says. “Our volume as a group was $17 million for the year.””
Keller Williams has about 120 other agents and with strength in numbers, the Mountain Girls meet their clients’ needs.
“We are together so much we are family. I don’t hold back on anything, but they know that.” Katherine says.
Carlyn concludes, “It can be a challenge, but it’s fun.”
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