Leading sales agent signs on with Century 21 Properties Plus; commercial firm adds tenant services pro

Casie Benton

BY JIM PARKER

The Post and Courier

Century 21 Properties Plus signed on a veteran agent who traces real estate connections to her youth.

The company welcomes Casie Benton, who will specialize in residential property sales in the Charleston area.

Benton, a “lifelong Charlestonian,” graduated from Charleston Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in communications and minor in psychology, according to Century 21. Her ties in the real estate business date to when she was a child, the agency notes.

After college graduation, Benton joined Carolina One Real Estate, “where she was a consistent top producer” for more than a dozen years.

She will work out of the Century 21 Properties Plus office in West Ashley. She says the move provides “an excellent opportunity to use my experience with a great company like Century 21 to serve my clients and build lifelong relationships. My goal through every interaction is to show I care, and I am excited for the opportunity to do so with Century 21,” she says.

Benton lives on James Island with husband Ryan and their two children, Autumn and Ava. An active member of her local church, she enjoys “family time (and) relaxing with a good book on the beach.”

Reach Benton at 843-277-6677. Go to www.century21properties.com.

A Charleston native and experienced commercial real estate professional recently joined the local office of a countrywide broker-owned firm.

Lee & Associates brought on Jonelle Butler as tenant services coordinator. She claims a “wealth of commercial real estate experience, combined with a set of strong organizational and communication skills,” the company says. Butler will assist the property management team in upholding the group’s positive status “for comprehensive customer service and tenant relations,” Lee & Associates points out.

Born in Charleston, she earned her bachelor’s degree from Southern Wesleyan University.

Lee & Associates, founded more than 37 years ago, calls itself one of the largest broker-owned commercial firms in the nation with more than 800 agents nationwide. The company boasts offices in South Carolina, California, Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin, as well as British Columbia in Canada.

Wayne Owens spent 28 years as a leading account developer with a sizable medical company before making the switch to the real estate field.

He’s partnered with Keller Williams Realty in Mount Pleasant as an associate and will specialize in residential property sales in greater Charleston.

The South Carolina native “has a long history of deep civic involvement in the Charleston area as a strong supporter of Charleston’s art, theater, church, music, sports and medical communities through philanthropy and membership in community organizations,” Keller Williams notes.

Owens graduated from the University of South Carolina with a bachelor’s of science in business. He enjoyed a successful career since 1988 with American Hospital Supply Corp./Baxter Healthcare Corp. as one of its top sales executives. In that role, he lived in Cincinnati, Columbia, Atlanta, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Hilton Head Island and Charleston. He developed and managed major corporate accounts and investments in each city, the realty says.

He brings years of executive leadership, organizational and relationship skills and commitment to customer service to the real estate industry. “His sense of confidence, calm and clarity of purpose will make him a valued member” of Keller Williams, the company says.

In his free time, Owens opens his home “to all with memorable gourmet gatherings.” The “strong family man” travels with his kin to beach reunions in Stone Harbor, N.J., and Key West, and gatherings in the artistic and theatrical culture of Chautauqua, N.Y.

Contact Owens at 843-708-5652 or wayne@robertwayneowens.com. His website is wayneowens.kwrealty.com.

NAI Avant now has a half-dozen professionals holding the prestigious Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designation.

Senior broker Roger Winn became the latest associate to earn the respected title, according to the Columbia-based commercial real estate brokerage.

The society counts close to 3,100 members in more than 630 cities in 34 countries.

According to NAI Avant, the certification “signifies a recognized expert in the disciplines of commercial and investment real estate.” It’s considered “the leading professional office and industrial real estate association,” the company says.

“Real estate professionals who have earned the SIOR designation are recognized by corporate real estate executives, commercial real estate brokers, agents, lenders and other real estate professionals as the most capable and experienced brokerage practitioners in any market,” NAI Avant notes.

Visit www.sior.com.

NAI Avant boasts offices in Columbia and in Charleston totaling 65 professionals. Its projects spread across South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia.

Go to www.naiavant.com.

Charleston native Lisa Morelli recently joined a local company that specializes in representing clients looking to purchase homes.

She’s an exclusive buyer’s agent with The Real Buyer’s Agent in Mount Pleasant.

Although new to real estate, Morelli “brings her lifelong knowledge and love of the Charleston area to her clients,” the agency points out.

Her professional background is in telecommunications, but she and her husband also own a music publishing company in Nashville, according to The Real Buyer’s Agent.

Morelli serves as president of the West Ashley Parent Teacher Student Organization and is a member of the School Improvement Council. She’s also an active member of the Parent Guardian Association at the Coastal Center in Ladson.

The new buyer’s agent holds a business administration degree from Charleston Southern University. She is married to Andy Morelli, whose family owns Morelli Heating and Air. The couple have two daughters and reside in West Ashley, the agency says.

The Real Buyer’s Agent describes itself as “a boutique real estate agency specializing in buyer representation.” Agents don’t take listings but instead focus on their buyer clients. Visit www.charlestonhome.com.

A local real estate agency recognized one of its agents for earning a designation to “meet the unique needs of maturing clients.”

Stephen Sutcliffe, a Realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Southern Coast Real Estate, received the Seniors Real Estate Specialist title.

The diploma goes to Realtors who want to assist seniors with their home-buying and selling issues.

“This designation shows the caring attitude that Stephen has for his clients,” says Linda Collins, owner of Berkshire Hathaway Southern Coast Real Estate.

The SRES designation shows that Sutcliffe possesses “the knowledge and ability to guide clients age 50-plus through major lifestyle transitions while relocating, refinancing or selling their home,” according to Southern Coast real estate.

Contact Sutcliffe at 843-224-6566 or s.sutcliffe@bhhsscre.com.

A year after purchasing his first home, Adam Bailey finds himself as a real estate professional.

Bailey recently joined Elaine Brabham & Associates as an associate.

“I am very happy to have Adam on our EBA Team of talented Realtors and am confident that his clients will receive excellent service when working with him,” says Elaine Brabham, founder.

Bailey grew up on James Island “and knows what Charleston has to offer,” according to the agency. He graduated from the School of the Arts and attended the College of Charleston for business. After college, he had his first real estate transaction in July 2015, buying his first house west of the Ashley. “He already had an interest in becoming a real estate agent and after going through the home-buying process, he decided to get his license and start his career,” Elaine Brabham & Associates points out.

Bailey knows the time and effort that can go into buying a home, so he “hopes to make the process for homebuyers as smooth and efficient as possible. From the inspection to the appraisal, he will guide you one step at a time so that you will feel both confident and comfortable in becoming a homeowner,” the agency says.

The agent has been successful in sales positions for more than five years, has a strong work ethic and “will go the extra mile for his clients and their needs,” the company says.

Go to www.findyourcharleston.com.

A national real estate information company presented NAI Avant with awards as the top firm for leasing and sales in the Midlands market.

The company’s Columbia brokerage team also took home individual 2015 Costar Power Broker Awards. They recognized “those professionals who perform at the highest levels in commercial real estate sales and leasing,” NAI Avant says.

Washington, D.C.-based CoStar Group honored NAI Avant as the top leasing firm and the top sales firm. Also Jeff Hein, SIOR, and Roger Winn, SIOR, were cited as top office leasing brokers; Nick Stomski, SIOR, as top industrial leasing broker; and Hein, Winn and Dail Longaker as top sales brokers.

CoStar’s research team “verifies and records commercial real estate sales and lease transactions,” NAI Avant says. CoStar delivers the power broker awards to firms and brokers “that closed the highest overall transaction volumes in commercial property sales and leases in each market in a given year.”

Headquartered in Columbia, NAI Avant boasts more than 65 professionals.

The company also has an office in Charleston.

Visit www.naiavant.com.

A South Carolina native, Justin Morris spent time in the Midlands before moving to the coast four years ago. He recently joined Summerville-based Johnson & Wilson Real Estate Co. as an agent in its just-opened second center at 1830 Savannah Highway in Charleston.

Morris, born and raised in the Midlands town of Alcolu, is a registered nurse, as well as Realtor.

According to Johnson & Wilson, he combines a “passion for community service and his real estate experience to provide clients with excellent customer service and a uniquely personal experience.”

He “specializes in assisting Charleston area residents, new and old alike,” as they find their ideal Lowcountry home, the agency says.

Morris moved to West Ashley in 2012, becoming enamored with “the Lowcountry lifestyle, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding,” the company says.

A supporter of Charleston’s local art community, his serves as a volunteer usher at the historic Dock Street Theatre and served as Spoleto Festival USA volunteer for two seasons.

Reach Morris at 843-371-7166 or mycharlestonrealtor@gmail.com.

Visit the agency at www.johnsonandwilson.com.

Set to work from Mount Pleasant and Summerville respectively, Jonathan Greene and Courtney Jones are new representatives named to showcase neighborhoods in the Charleston area.

Jones and Greene recently joined Carolina One New Homes as site agents. Jones will be based at Oakbrook Park in Summerville for new homes builder Hunter Quinn Homes, while Greene will be representing builder FrontDoor Communities at Carolina Park in Mount Pleasant.

A Lenoir, N.C., native, Greene graduated from Appalachian State University with a concentration in tourism and hospitality management. He spent a decade in hotel management with Marriott and Hilton before moving to Carolina One New Homes. Greene, an avid beachgoer, is married with two children, according to Carolina One.

Jones, previously employed in new home sales with Dan Ryan Builders, also has a background in the insurance industry with a focus on logistics and new business development.

Relocating to Charleston three years ago, Jones is a Nashville native and a graduate of Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Jones enjoys painting, hiking and paddle boarding, the new homes division notes.

Founded in 1994, Carolina One New Homes represents more than 35 new homes communities. It’s a division of Carolina One Real Estate Services. Go to www.carolinaonenewhomes.com.

A rising junior majoring in finance and German will be working throughout the warm weather months at Lee & Associates Charleston.

The office hired Stephen Grove as its 2016 Summer Intern.

Grove, who will start his third year at Wofford College in a couple of months, is a double major in finance and German. He will be studying abroad in the fall in Germany.

According to the commercial brokerage, Grove “will focus on retrieving and analyzing existing market data, assisting agents with various property-related duties to include attending showings and completing various property management tasks to give him a general overview of what a full service commercial real estate firm does.”

The company says he will gain “invaluable experience in a professional work environment,” as well as learning about Charleston’s commercial real estate market and building relationships locally.

Broker-owned Lee & Associates lists 52 locations nationwide. Visit www.lee-associates.com.

Reach Jim Parker at 843-937-5542 or jparker@postandcourier.com.