I had the pleasure of meeting Nick at the Inman Real Estate Connect Conference in San Francisco in 2012. Nick impressed me with both his great Kentucky smile and his vast real estate knowledge. Since then I’ve followed his always entertaining Twitter presence: @nickratliff.
Nick Ratliff is the Principal Broker of Cypress Residential Group located in Lexington, KY. He founded the firm in the summer of 2010. Being a lifetime resident of Kentucky and loving everything the Bluegrass region has to offer, the mission was to maintain a small boutique feel that emphasized technology without losing that personal service.
Having graduated from the University of Kentucky with both his Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Masters in Business Administration, Nick is a huge Kentucky Wildcats fan. He contributes his most valuable education to a 6 week study-abroad in Italy where he focused on business.
Nick takes great pride in being the first Realtor in the area to truly embrace social networking. Due to that, he has built a strong following on both Facebook and Twitter. He was interviewed for an article on RealtorMagazine.com in reference to learning from mistakes made on Facebook.
Nick has always been proud of his Kentucky heritage but loves to travel and experience the world. His newlywed wife would be the first to tell you, he loves to meet new people and will talk with anyone.
1) Lexington, Kentucky is known for being horse country, what else does the region have to offer home buyers?
Lexington is the 2nd largest city in Kentucky and it seems like every year the city continues to be ranked in someone’s Top List. A few of these include #25 of America’s 50 Best Cities by BusinessWeek, #9 Best Place for Retirement by Forbes, #1 of Top 10 Mid-SIzed Counties in Fourth Economy, #6 Best Value City by Kiplinger, or possibly the most importantly #1 in The Best Cities for Finding a Job in Forbes. I could go on and on, but basically Lexington is at it’s heart a small town that has just continues to grow into a small city. As a resident, you still feel like part of the community yet there is a lot of opportunities to grow.
2) How have you seen the market in your area change in the past year?
As a real estate agent, I feel overly blessed to have been living and working in Lexington. Through all of the housing crisis, our market has been fairly steady. Even with the stability overall, we’ve seen 19% increase in sales in 2012 over 2011. Every month has consistently grown over the previous year in both Existing Home Sales and New Construction sales.
3) You have a large Twitter following, do you find that Twitter helps your business or is it just for fun?
I was an early adopter to Twitter, especially for my area. Just like Facebook, I started out thinking all about generating leads and trying to find new clients. Just as the platforms have grown, so has my approach to them. Instead of simply viewing them as lead opportunities, I see them as a great way to connect with my clients, both new and previous. I find that it’s a great way to have real conversations with people without them feeling forced. Commenting on past client’s photos and tweets allows me to know how they are without intruding on their daily lives. I think the two biggest advantages that I’ve gotten from Twitter, is allow my clients to learn who I really am as a person outside of work and then to allow me to connect with some of the industry leaders in the same fashion, on a personal level.
4) What do you think will be the biggest shift in real estate in 2013?
I think in Lexington, we are going to see real estate in 2013 be the year of the listing. With interest rates where they are and most people have had a couple years of positive news, I think a lot of people will finally make the move to their next home. I’ve talked to a lot of clients and friends who are amazed at how much more house they can afford right now due to the interest rates. Locally, buyers have picked through the best deals and best qualify homes that were on the market. I know because I’ve had many buyers end up in multiple offers this year, something we didn’t see the previous years. Listings will become a premium and qualify homes that are staged properly will bring sale quickly.
5) It’s clear from your Twitter stream that you are a big UK Wildcats fan, what other hobbies do you enjoy when you aren’t selling real estate?
Having graduated from the University of Kentucky at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, my childhood fandom has grown into a supporting alumni. I am a season ticket holder in both UK football and basketball. Outside of those activities, I take pride in being a techie. I love new technology. So I spend a lot of my time researching or playing with new technology, especially if I can use it in real estate. Other than that, I just try to have fun with my three nephews and then traveling with my wife.
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