Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 26, 2021

Rolling stone gathers Moss

Roach’s varied career leads to Middle Valley

Realtor Chris Roach is RP Realty’s sales consultant at RP Homes’ Moss Landing development. He says real estate encapsulates everything he loves doing. - Photograph provided

Chris Roach says he feels like he’s living every Realtor’s dream.

Roach, 29, is RP Realty’s boots-on-the-ground sales consultant at Moss Landing, builder RP Homes’ 98-house community in Middle Valley.

Roach’s days consist of welcoming potential buyers to Moss Landing and tending to their real estate needs, whether it’s showing them a house RP Homes has already built or helping them to envision how their dream home could take shape on a patch of land located a short walk from the Tennessee River.

“Who wouldn’t want to be the listing agent for a 100-home community?” he asks.

It might sound like Roach is bragging, but that does not appear to be the case. Instead of a boastful expression, he looks astonished, as though someone has handed him the keys to a bank vault and told to him help himself, and instead of arrogance, only gratitude is evident in his voice.

“I’m tremendously happy to be doing this,” he says.

Roach says his appreciation partly stems from his innate lack of aggression. In a market in which there are more Realtors than houses to sell, he knows he’s fortunate to be working in a bubble void of anxious clients and bidding wars.

“When I started in real estate, I didn’t have a sphere,” he says. “My Realtor friends were selling to our mutual friends, and I don’t have a competitive bone in my body.”

Roach is also proud of the product he’s selling. From the quality of the homes to the amenities in the neighborhood, he says it’s a privilege to welcome people to Moss Landing and show them what RP Homes has built.

“When I was presented with the opportunity to exclusively sell new construction, I jumped on it,” he explains. “RP builds a great product that essentially sells itself.”

Finally, Roach says he enjoys providing a buyer experience that opens doors rather than closes them.

“RP Homes’ process is more buyer friendly than any other builder I’ve encountered,” he notes. “For example, the earnest money is nominal; it’s $5,000 for a house RP built and $2,500 plus 30% of the upgrades for a house you’re going to build. Most builders require 5 to 10% of the purchase price.”

Then there’s the price tags and warranties, Roach says, sounding a little like he’s polishing his sales pitch.

“Buying new construction is the smart thing to do. If you can buy a new home for the price you’ll end up paying for a resale, why wouldn’t you, especially when it comes with a 10-year structural warranty on top of the one-year builder warranty?”

But more than all of that, Roach says he’s thankful to be selling homes because real estate encapsulates all the things he says bring him joy.

To explain, Roach goes back in time 25 years to when he was growing up as the son of a builder in Ringgold.

“That’s where my passion for homes started,” he says. “I remember going to work with him and hanging out at the construction site. I wouldn’t want to leave.”

Roach earliest memories also include drawing floor plans as soon as he could grip a pencil and building elaborate homes out of Legos.

He did not, however, pick up a hammer and become a builder like his father.

“That’s not how I’m wired,” he says.

Instead, an interest in skin care led Roach to a job with Clinique after he graduated from high school. As he learned and then applied sales techniques, he developed a passion for selling.

Roach was still with Clinique eight years later when a friend asked him if he would be interested in serving as a production assistant for the designer on National Geographic’s “Building Wild,” a reality construction series.

“I said, ‘I can absolutely take six months out of my life to do something different,’” Roach recalls.

When Roach returned to Clinique after spending six months with the show in the Adirondack Mountains in Vermont, his perspective had shifted. Instead of seeing endless years of retail ahead of him, he sensed the looming death of brick and mortar and decided he was on a path that would not lead him to a career.

To escape, Roach took a job as the personal assistant of the president and CEO of a local information technology company.

It was Roach’s last stop before real estate.

“I was sitting in a sales pitch meeting between him and a potential client when I thought, ‘I want to be him. I don’t want to be the one taking notes, I want to be the one selling the service.’

“I had spent all this time working for other people and making their businesses better and it was time for me to do something for myself.”

Choosing real estate was easy. Not only was Roach’s love of homes still with him but he was also in a position financially to learn the business without pressing hard to make sales.

“That relieved a lot of the stress that comes with being new in the business, which was helpful because people can sense when you feel pressured to make your first sale,” he says.

It did not, however, alleviate all of the stress that comes with a new venture. As Roach settled in at Real Estate Partners in November 2020, he felt apprehensive and uncertain about how to get started.

In a bid to find waters into which he could drop an anchor, Roach considered joining a team as a buyer’s agent.

“It seemed like a safe way to do things because I knew they would give me leads to work,” he remembers.

The company’s director of professional development, Chris Todd, urged Roach to remain independent instead and connected him with agents who invited him to host their open houses.

Roach met his first three buyers at these events and within his first two months in real estate had sold nearly $1 million worth of houses.

He had also transformed his passion into confidence.

“Chris made me feel like I could do anything, and when I did what he said to do, it worked. This taught me to trust myself and to have faith in my work ethic.”

Roach also learned to trust Todd, so when Todd told Roach he was leaving Real Estate Partners, Roach said, “Where are we going?”

Todd moved to RP Homes in September to prepare for the launch of RP Realty, the in-house brokerage for RP Homes. When that concern launched Oct. 1, Roach was on board as the sales consultant at Moss Landing.

Looking back, Roach marvels at how every seemingly disconnected chapter in his life actually paved the path that led him to where he is today.

From growing up with a father who built homes, to developing a passion for sales at Clinique, to finding an entrepreneurial spark within him in a sales meeting, all of these diverse moments conspired to bring him to where he is today – working in a profession that captures everything he loves doing.

“For the first time in my life, I’m exactly where I need to be,” he says.

Real estate is now a constant companion for Roach, who says he rarely does anything else.

“I’ll work on my phone while I’m out to eat,” he shrugs. “Real estate is fun for me. Chris will tell me to take a day off, but I don’t know why I would. I love what I do, so it doesn’t feel like work.”

Roach says his friends do become annoyed when he picks up his phone, but even this doesn’t sidetrack him.

‘They’ll say, ‘Another email?’ And I’ll say, ‘Another contract.’”

Now Roach sounds like he’s bragging. But just a little.