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Front Page - Friday, March 1, 2019

Wamack takes inside approach to real estate success

Realtor and Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ Director Kevin Wamack - Photograph provided

Like other Realtors, Kevin Wamack works hard to serve his clients. But his labors don’t end there.

In an effort to return to his profession a small measure of what it has given him, Wamack also strives to serve his fellow agents, and is doing so by devoting volunteer time to Greater Chattanooga Realtors, which refers to itself as “the voice of real estate in Greater Chattanooga.”

As a director serving his second two-year term, he adds his voice to the collective voice by helping the association to promote professional standards, provide services to Realtors and advocate for property rights.

It’s a tall order for an organization that consists of more volunteers than paid staff, but Wamack says the work GCR does is critical, so he pitches in, even when his plate is full.

“We’re all busy,” Wamack acknowledges. “But the association does a lot of work behind the scenes to keep us functioning and moving forward, so I said, ‘Hey, the least I can do is give some of my time back to the industry.’ I felt obligated to be a part of something good in Chattanooga.”

In 2015, Wamack tested the waters at GCR by serving on the Realtors Political Action Committee, which supports public officials who promote legislation designed to protect homeownership.

At the time he was still a fledgling Realtor, having joined the profession in 2012, and he wanted to make more connections within his professional circle.

“It was about getting to know other agents. We’re competitors, but at the end of the day, we have to work together,” he explains. “So I started joining committees to meet people and learn about the industry.”

Wamack’s service evolved from there as his understanding of the scope of the association’s work grew. In the years that followed, he devoted time to several additional committees, including Community Involvement, Engaging Young Professionals, Leadership Development and Education.

Wamack also graduated from GCR’s Leadership Academy in 2016, and in 2017 joined GCR’s board of directors for the first time. But he’s not looking for accolades or a financial return on his investment – he just wants to contribute. “Giving back to the industry might not benefit me monetarily, but it does benefit the industry,” he says.

A Chattanooga native, Wamack attended Boyd Buchanan School, where he focused on sports more than his far-flung future. His father, Parker Wamack, became a commercial Realtor while Kevin he was in high school, but that didn’t steer him in that direction.

Instead, Wamack played soccer at Lipscomb University for one year, then moved back to his hometown and graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in business management.

“I was on the eight-year plan,” he admits. “I eventually finished up but I didn’t have any direction.”

Armed with his freshly printed college degree, Wamack found work as a property claims adjuster with Allstate Insurance. The job involved a great deal of travel, so when he married and he and his wife began a family, he followed his father and brother, Chad Wamack, into the real estate business.

Instead of becoming a commercial Realtor, Wamack dove into residential sales. “When I started selling real estate in 2012, the residential side of the business was making a comeback after being really slow for several years, so that’s the route I chose,” he says.

Wamack worked under various brokers before landing at Darlene Brown’s Real Estate Partners last June. As a North Chattanooga resident, the switch brought work closer to home, but more than that, Wamack was drawn to aligning with a strong, independent firm.

“It’s a perfect fit for me,” he says. “They provide me with the tools I need to grow my business, and they give me the freedom to do that at my own pace and on my own terms.”

“At his own pace and on his own terms” does not mean slowly. Instead, Wamack says he’s built his business on a foundation of hard work and quality service. “If I’m going to succeed, it’s up to me,” he continues. “That’s how I learned to do things.”

Wamack is referring to his days as an Eagle Scout, which planted the seeds of his work ethic at a young age. He credits his father for making that growth happen.

“My dad told me I had to earn the rank of Eagle Scout in order to get my driver’s license,” he says. “It wasn’t my favorite thing to do; I didn’t love it. But I remember my dad saying, ‘This is a good accomplishment. One day, you’ll thank me for this.’”

Wamack is thankful. His business has grown every year since 2012, and he recently reached the point where he needed help, so he hired another Realtor to serve as a buyer’s agent and assist with administrative tasks. He’s not ready to form a team, though.

“I want to maintain a hands-on approach,” Wamack says. “If somebody needs me, I want to be accessible.”

The same is true when it comes to Wamack’s family. Even when his plate is still full, he makes room in his schedule for his wife, Claudia, and their children, 5-year-old Lula and 2-year-old Parks. Their time together sometimes includes a round of golf or pool time at Black Creek Country Club, or wake surfing on Chickamauga Lake.

But even the kids know dad’s work is always in close pursuit. “Lula is always asking me if I’m going to go show houses,” he says with a smile. “It’s not, ‘Are you going to work,’ it’s ‘Are you going to show houses?’”

Often, Wamack is. But many times, he’s on a mission for GCR, whether it’s serving on the current RPAC Committee and acting as that group’s board liaison or taking his service to the state level as a board member of Tennessee Realtors.

Wamack adds he hopes the Realtors who are currently entering the business will follow the example of those who are already serving.

“We need to continually have new agents who are willing to be part of the association,” he says. “The people there do a lot of work that goes uncredited and unappreciated, and it’s important all of us do our part.”