With help from mortgage partners, East Cooper broker kicks off new business representing homebuyers
By JIM PARKER
The Post and Courier
Considering her expertise in closing deals, it’s hard to conceive that Bonnie Sempier didn’t focus full-time on real estate until 2008.
Sempier was a chiropractor in the Upstate, where she is from, and then in the Lowcountry before switching gears.
“I got interested because it seemed like a different challenge,” she says. “I wanted to try something new.”
Her experience includes stints at Keller Williams Realty, AgentOwned, Brand Name Real Estate and Premier One. “Now I have my own company,” says Sempier, who was a Realtor of Distinction from the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors last year.
Her venture is Charleston Buyers Agents, a business focusing on the home buying side of the real estate field. “Oh, I’m excited,” Sempier says. Her goal is to expand to four real estate agents and two loan officers. Sempier, who opened an office at 409 Coleman Blvd. in Mount Pleasant, is teaming with loan officer Jarrett Hodson of IKON Financial Group east of the Cooper to handle lending. Hodson and fellow officers will be involved in securing home loans for the online company’s clients.
“It’s going to be a full-time real estate and lending service seven days a week,” Sempier says, noting that the business will also handle rental properties.
“Basically, our motto is going to be, ‘We are available when no one else is,’” Hodson says. “We work on your time; We know you are busy.”
Sempier moved into her new space in the past few weeks. “It actually is going to be state-of-the-art,” she says. The office will have big screen TVs to view new listings. She will be able to visually communicate with clients via Skype.
The venture’s goal is to reach everybody who gets in touch with Charleston Buyers Agents about purchasing a home.
“We treat everybody equally,” Sempier says, whether the client is buying a condo, large home or small residence. “We assist the first-time homebuyer.” She works with people who have credit problems and offers a credit counseling class.
“Bonnie’s a strong agent,” Hodson says. She works with all the local builders, “which gives you an advantage,” he says.
“I was so loyal to new home builders during the (housing) slowdown, they go to me,” Sempier says.
Hodson, a graduate of The Citadel, says, “What I can bring to the table is technology based. Going to paperless transactions cuts down the cost and cuts out a lot of extra fluff.”
He says, “The market has definitely improved. Now is the time to buy a home because the (interest) rates are lower.”
The online component of the business expands its scope. “Say someone is moving in from Boeing. They can see us,” Sempier says.
Sempier says she sells homes throughout the Charleston area, as well as on the outskirts in Colleton County for instance.
With the new venture, Sempier is an exclusive buyer’s agent, which avoids the conflict of trying to assist both seller and purchaser, she says.
“You can’t get the best representation if the agent (provides) representation on both sides. I always just represent buyers,” she says. “It’s a buyers market.”
Sempier says she will go the extra mile for the customer. “We offer special discounts,” she says, citing Boeing employees and first-time homebuyers as two eligible groups.
Sempier’s journey to the Charleston area from metro Spartanburg had its origins more than a decade ago. “I came down here for a chiropractic convention in 1999,” she says. She rented an apartment in 2001 and would eventually relocate on a permanent basis.
“I liked Charleston. My friends and I would come down here,” Sempier says.
For more information, call Sempier at 843-442-1977.
Reach Jim Parker at 937-5542 or firstname.lastname@example.org