By DENISE K. JAMES
Special to The Post and Courier
Though Ryan Malone has been a professional real estate agent for less than one year, he has quite a bit of experience in helping out his fellow Lowcountry residents.
As a firefighter with the city of Charleston Fire Department, Malone is enjoying the opportunity to assist the public in more than one way.
"I got interested in real estate after talking about it with a good friend of mine - my current partner, Racheal King," he says.
King has been a Realtor for about ten years, and, according to Malone, was "swamped" and looking for someone to share her workload. Currently, both King and Malone are happily working with the Coldwell Banker United, Realtors office in Goose Creek.
When asked why he was drawn to real estate as a second career, Malone humbly points out that his own home purchasing experience was "a process," and that he felt the desire to walk others through that same process. In particular, he enjoys the challenge of seeking out beautiful homes to suit his clients' lifestyles and budgets.
"As new as I am to the real estate game, I have to say that showing property is what I enjoy most," he says.
Naturally, most potential buyers come to a real estate agent with an idea of what kind of home they are seeking. Yet, Malone pointed out that if a buyer's ideas prove to be too narrow, it could result in a missed opportunity to fall in love with something different.
"I like for my clients to have dialogue with me about the available options," he says.
While he strives to show buyers various versions of their dream home, Malone is more than open to criticism if a house doesn't quite hit the mark. In fact, he considers it a positive occurrence to have potential buyers wrinkle their noses at a property.
"If clients admit to me they don't like something, it might be a negative experience for them, but it's positive one for me," he says. "It helps me continue to narrow down what they're looking for."
Malone predominantly works in the areas of Goose Creek, Moncks Corner and Summerville and is optimistic that these areas of the Lowcountry are going to continue growing.
As a firefighter who works on the peninsula, he recognizes the issue of space for the throngs of people moving to this area. Plus, there are some hot neighborhoods sprouting along Interstate 26.
"It's a good market right now, and I deal with both the buyers and the sellers," he remarks. "New developments are coming along and plenty of people are relocating and upgrading."
Malone has drawn knowledge from his career as a firefighter and has used it to his advantage in real estate. Both careers deal in service, he points out. Both he and his partner are happy to serve the community.
"Racheal has been on the board for Habitat for Humanity," he says. "With a background in service like we both have, you find yourself naturally wanting to help people."
And there are a few other useful tidbits that Malone uses in the field when he's helping others buy and sell homes, such as pointing out programs for public servants, including firefighters, educators and members of law enforcement.
"There's special financing for us," he says. "And I tell eligible clients about it if they don't know. For example, some cities do a 'hometown heroes' program, which can assist with the down payment on a house. It helps a lot."
Another topic that Malone feels he has edge on is home fire safety. He strives to educate his clients on its importance, especially in homes with small children.
"I might notice something that otherwise wouldn't be noticed during an inspection," he says.
Even though Malone said that he is undoubtedly enjoying his venture into the world of real estate, he insists that fighting fires is his true love.
"A lot of people have recently asked me whether I'll quit the fire department if I happen to become really successful in real estate," he says. "But I love being a firefighter. And every firefighter has a second job."
For more information, contact Malone at 843-572-3131, 843-276-0125 or via email at email@example.com.
Denise K. James is a freelance writer who lives in Charleston.