David Simkins Understands the Power of Tech-Driven Real Estate
Bonita Wise Has a Vision for Her Clients
“You have to have a vision. You have to be able to see the possibilities.”
Working largely in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, Bonita Wise is an agent with Keller Williams whose priority is to help her clients’ real estate dreams become a reality.
In the past, Bonita worked in new construction as well as property management where she gained insight into the real estate industry as a whole and ultimately decided she wanted to be an agent. “I wanted to be able to help people, and that was my way to be able to do it. I would see so many different things in the industry where the client wasn’t always first and that bothered me. And so I said I want to change that. And I decided to go full-time.”
Now as an agent, she makes it her mission to give her clients the best experience possible with great customer service. “Customer service is so important— the gold standard. I cannot stress that enough. This is a people business… If there’s a hiccup, it’s because someone doesn’t know how to interact, and the deal is up.”
Adapting to the Market
Working in the real estate industry for several years, Bonita has seen the many ups and downs of the market as well. Although some people are currently in a frenzy, she explains, “A lot of the things that we see in the media really frighten the average consumer; however, people are always going to buy houses.”
Especially because Bonita works with a lot of military personnel, she is mostly unfazed by the changes in the market since the peak of the pandemic. She goes on to say, “Especially in the market that we’re in here in the Hampton Roads area where we have Air Force, Army, Navy— just about every branch— there are people that are always coming in and leaving out…The houses are still moving here in Virginia.”
That being said, Bonita knows that homes that are old and in need of a lot of updates can be problematic. Fortunately, she is there to help her clients fix these issues and transform their homes into ones buyers will love.
Bonita Comes Up with a Vision
Bonita knows that it is not about the current state of the house but rather the home’s potential. One of Bonita’s recent clients was falling behind on regular home maintenance. As a result, the house was in desperate need of some TLC before being listed.
“The house was in need of repair for sure. There was an older couple who lived there and so they weren’t able to maintain the upkeep of the home. It was a mess. Like, just a mess.” With the home in the state of despair that it was, many agents would have turned up their noses, but not Bonita.
While her colleagues dismissed the house as a lost cause, Bonita had a vision for the fixer-upper. She saw its potential. “I knew that if we put a contractor on it— the right contractor— and staged it, it was going to work. Once it’s complete, once everything is done, it is going to look amazing. And it did.”
Not only was the house now in tip-top shape thanks to Bonita’s vision, but also the pre-listing updates led to a great return. “If we wouldn’t have used Curbio, then what would have happened is an investor would have come in and looked at this home and probably tried to give us little to nothing. For a home that was 3,000 square feet and with two primary masters, it was a beautiful home. It just needed Curbio to come in and fix those things because if not, we wouldn’t have gotten the asking price. And we got $10,000 over the asking price for the home after it was all completed and done.” For the homeowner, this resulted in a hefty $111,078.21 profit after project costs.
Making the Vision Come True
Although Bonita has great vision, getting these homes to reach their full potential isn’t easy. One of the first steps is finding the right contractor because any old general contractor just won’t do. Like many agents, Bonita has heard horror stories from her clients about their experiences.
Bonita explains one such situation, “I had a client who found her own contractor. She was a single mom, and he took $10,000 and never came back. He took her cabinets down. He didn’t replace them. She had to start all over. It was so sad and so heartbreaking… He kept giving her the runaround, and she found out he wasn’t licensed when she did further research.” Unfortunately, Bonita’s client is just one of many people who experience contractor fraud like this.
To help her clients avoid this same type of horror story, Bonita likes to give them options. In the case of the older couple’s fixed-upper, Curbio was one of a few of these options, but the choice was pretty easy. “The homeowner felt secure knowing the same thing— that there was going to be someone there… Even after seeing all of the other quotes that were out there, he felt more secure going with Curbio.”
With licensed and vetted contractors, agents like Bonita can feel confident recommending Curbio to their clients. “When I saw the level of professionalism and knowing that there was going to be a contractor onsite to be able to help navigate through the little quirks and things that can come up during that process— that’s what attracted me. We know sometimes contractors, they don’t deliver what they promise and that’s hurtful. So as a result, knowing that there was a general contractor that was there to manage every little part of the process, it not only made myself but my clients so comfortable.”
Not every agent is willing to put in the work like Bonita, but if you want to be successful, you need to. With 77% of buyers only considering move-in ready homes,1 many agents will struggle because most listings don’t just come market-ready. As Bonita explains, “You have to have a vision. You have to be able to see the possibilities. So that’s what Curbio helped me to do— make the vision come true.”
1. Curbio (2022). Preparing to Sell: 2022 Home Improvement Report