By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Thanks to her hyphenated last name, Cheryll Woods-Flowers has found herself busier around Valentine’s Day than the typical Realtor.
Specifically, it’s the Flowers part. She got a call this Feb. 14 from a man desperate to order a bouquet for his girl friend. At least one inquirer praised the agent on being able to peddle flowers while at the same time wrap up home deals. Even searching her name on Google brings up a national florist first.
Just to be clear, the 11-year real estate veteran is in no way involved in the floral business. It’s just that her second husband is Harold C. Flowers, an accountant at Nucor, and she retained the Woods surname of her first husband, who died in 1989.
What’s interesting, though, is she took the double name to avoid public confusion. As Cheryll Woods, she served on Mount Pleasant Town Council for six years. Then she won election as Mount Pleasant mayor and soon after remarried. She would be Mayor Woods-Flowers for eight years, 1992-2000.
Today, some people recognize her as a former mayor but many more have moved to town in the past dozen years or live elsewhere in the Charleston area and have no idea that she once was a fairly prominent elected official.
For sure, Woods-Flowers hasn’t fully resigned from governmental affairs. She serves on the town of Mount Pleasant Planning Board.
But the Realtor’s chief job since the early 2000s has involved helping people buy and sell their homes.
In that regard, she made a big move in January, joining Coldwell Banker United, Realtors in Mount Pleasant as a sales associate.
The change keeps her east of the Cooper while working for a firm that had sought her out and that she respects.
Woods-Flowers launched her real estate career in 2002, two years after her tenure as mayor ended.
She holds two degrees from the College of Charleston, a bachelor’s in business administration and master’s in accountancy, and would work at Hyland Rudd Garbett accounting firm and then as chief financial officer for Carolina Youth Development Center. But desk jobs weren’t for her.
“I realized I was not going to be happy unless I was out and about,” she says.
Woods-Flowers decided to try something new: real estate. She joined Prudential Carolina Real Estate, which would become Carolina One Real Estate. It was her first sales position, and not everyone was so impressed. “My father thought I had lost my mind,” she quipped. “I remember my first day with Prudential. I was really hoping the phone wouldn’t ring.”
Woods-Flowers got over her case of nerves while aware that real estate isn’t a cushy business.
“Every day we get up, we are unemployed,” she says, noting that Realtors are independent contractors who make the lion’s share of their money on commissions.
After five years with the market leader, and just before it would become Carolina One, Woods-Flowers jumped to Keller Williams Realty. She stayed with Keller Williams, also in Mount Pleasant, for five years before shifting to Coldwell Banker in early January.
“When I was at Prudential, relocation was a big part of my business,” she says. “At Keller Williams, not so much. I really missed it.”
Woods-Flowers says she brings benefits to the table from her mayoral experience.
“I think it helps with negotiations,” she says. “In public office, especially when you’re sitting in the big desk, you really have to be able to respond in a timely manner to the concerns of the people you’re working for.”
But being a former mayor only goes so far. “A large percentage of my business is across the (Ravenel) bridge, all over.” She’s now in the midst of closing a sale in North Charleston and two in Goose Creek.
Her coverage area expanded after the housing market slide starting in 2007. “When the market went down, Mount Pleasant was first,” she says. “I was going to go where the people can afford to buy,” which at the time included Summerville, Hanahan and North Charleston. It helped, too, that she had a GPS, she joked.
While on the job less than two months at Coldwell Banker, Woods-Flowers says she’s already in tune with the brokerage’s mindset. “Ann Whalen (broker-in-charge) is just fantastic,” she says. “The company’s got a lot of technology. I’m a tech-y freak,” she says, noting that she’s on Facebook and has three websites.
Woods-Flowers, who has lived in Mount Pleasant’s Old Village since 1993, has two grown daughters. Kristin White, 34, is an assistant principal in Boiling Springs in the Upstate. Jessica DeWeerth, 30, works for the Charleston County assessor’s office. She has two grandsons: Brayden White, 10; and Hank DeWeerth, 1.
“I like this business,” Woods-Flowers says. “I may want to be a broker or manage a team of buyer’s agents, (but) I don’t see doing anything else.”
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monica Pearson, a third grader at Pinckney Elementary School, interviews Woods-Flowers during her tenure as Mount Pleasant mayor from 1992 to 2000 (File/Staff).×
Woods-Flowers (left) talks with supporter Dan Bates in 1996 after announcing that she would seek another term as mayor. In the background is her then 13-year-old daughter Jessica (File/Brad Nettles/Staff).×