Rita Lee & Associates Realty Group Approaches Real Estate with a Personal Touch

March 20, 2024

In the bustling world of real estate, finding a balance between professionalism and personalization can be challenging. However, for Rita Lee, Owner and Broker of Rita Lee & Associates Realty Group, it’s a seamless blend that defines her business ethos. 

“Ultimately, my goal is to build a real estate brand that is synonymous with excellence, trustworthiness, and outstanding service,” Rita says.

For Rita, doing business in Asheville isn’t just about transactions; it’s about fostering deep connections within a vibrant community. From the diverse culture to the breathtaking natural beauty, Asheville provides the perfect backdrop for Rita Lee & Associates Realty Group to thrive and make a meaningful impact.

Check out our full Q&A with Rita below…

Tell us about your business and the role you play in it. 

“I am the Owner / Broker of Rita Lee & Associates Realty Group. I have been a full time REALTOR® since 2006 and a Multi Million Dollar Producer. I hold designations of Accredited Buyers Agent (ABR®), Short Sale and Foreclosure (SFR®) and Real Estate Negotiation Expert (RENE) . By being a native of the Asheville area, I am very knowledgeable of the area and stay current with our forever changing industry. Buying/Selling property is a big transition for most. You need an experienced Broker who will negotiate, educate and help you navigate the process. I pride myself in being a “Relentless Advocate” or “Bulldog” as you will, for my clients. As your Realtor, I’m here for you to lean on and trust that all details will be taken care of. Being available, easy to contact & quick to respond in this fast-paced, local market is how I provide my clients with superior service. I look forward to understanding your personal needs, advocating for you and finding creative solutions to challenges. Let me help you to find your next home, investment property or sell a current one. The pleasure is mine!”

How did you come up with your idea or concept for your business? How did you decide on a name?

“Coming up with the idea and name for my real estate business was a journey rooted in my passion for this industry and my desire to provide exceptional service to my clients.

The concept for my real estate business began with my deep interest in the housing market and my belief in the importance of finding the perfect home for individuals and families. I wanted to create a business that would not only help people find their dream homes but also offer them a seamless and personalized experience throughout the entire process, from buying to selling.

As for the name, I decided to name the business after myself because I believe in putting my personal reputation and integrity behind every transaction. By using my name, clients can trust that they are working with someone who is fully committed to their success and satisfaction. It’s a way of emphasizing the personal touch and accountability that I bring to every real estate endeavor.

Ultimately, my goal is to build a real estate brand that is synonymous with excellence, trustworthiness, and outstanding service. Naming it after myself was a way to communicate that commitment to my clients and the community.”

What makes your business unique in its field?

“My real estate business stands out in a distinctive way due to its unique combination of factors that set it apart from my competition:

Minority-Certified Brokerage: My business holds a significant distinction as the only minority-certified brokerage in the area. This certification not only showcases my commitment to diversity and inclusion but also positions my company as a leader in promoting equal opportunities within the real estate industry. 

Local Expertise: Being a native of the area, I bring an unparalleled understanding of the local real estate landscape. My roots in the community provide me with insights into neighborhood nuances, market trends, and hidden gems that outsiders may overlook. Clients trust me to guide them through the intricacies of the local market, ensuring they make informed decisions about buying or selling property.

Years of Experience: With years of experience in the real estate industry, I offer clients a wealth of knowledge and expertise. My extensive background means that I have successfully navigated various market conditions and have a deep understanding of the complexities of real estate transactions. This experience translates into a smoother, more efficient process for clients and a higher likelihood of achieving their real estate goals.

Personalized Service: My business thrives on providing personalized, client-centric service. I take the time to understand each client’s unique needs, preferences, and goals. This tailored approach ensures that every client receives a customized real estate experience, whether they are first-time homebuyers, investors, or sellers looking to maximize their returns.

Community Involvement: My commitment to the local community extends beyond my native roots. I am actively engage in community initiatives and give back to the neighborhoods I serve. Clients appreciate my dedication to making the area a better place to live, which fosters trust and loyalty.”

During your first year of business, what was the greatest lesson you learned?

“During my first year of business, the greatest lesson I learned was the immense value of adaptability and resilience. Starting a new venture is filled with exciting moments and challenges, and it’s during that crucial first year that I truly understood the importance of being able to pivot and persevere.

I realized that no matter how meticulously I had planned and prepared, unforeseen circumstances and unexpected obstacles would arise. These could be economic shifts, market fluctuations, or even global events like the COVID-19 pandemic, which had a profound impact on businesses worldwide.

What I learned was that success in entrepreneurship isn’t solely about avoiding challenges; it’s about how you respond to them. I discovered the power of adapting my business strategies, quickly identifying new opportunities, and finding creative solutions to problems. Flexibility became a key asset.

Additionally, I recognized the need for resilience. Building a business is a journey with ups and downs. There were moments when it felt like progress was slow, and doubts crept in. But I learned to stay committed to my vision and maintain a positive mindset. Resilience helped me push through tough times and keep moving forward.

Ultimately, the greatest lesson from my first year in business was that adaptability and resilience are not just valuable traits; they are essential qualities that enable entrepreneurs to weather storms, learn from setbacks, and ultimately, succeed in the long run. This lesson has continued to guide me in my entrepreneurial journey, reminding me that challenges are opportunities in disguise, and with the right attitude, I can overcome anything that comes my way.”

Where do you see your business in the next year? The next five?

“In five years, I envision my real estate business thriving and making a significant impact in the industry and the community it serves. 

Expanded Portfolio: My real estate business will have significantly expanded its portfolio, offering a wider range of properties to cater to diverse client needs. This growth will include residential, commercial, and investment properties, allowing us to serve a broader clientele.

Increased Market Presence: I see my business as a well-established and recognized name in the local real estate market. Our reputation for exceptional service, integrity, and expertise will have attracted a larger client base, both buyers and sellers.

Cutting-Edge Technology: Embracing technological advancements, my business will offer state-of-the-art tools and platforms to streamline the buying and selling process. This includes virtual tours, AI-driven market analysis, and digital marketing strategies that will provide clients with a seamless and efficient experience.

Community Engagement: My business will continue to be actively involved in the community, supporting local initiatives, and contributing to charitable causes. We will be known not just for real estate expertise but also for our commitment to the betterment of the areas we serve.

Diverse Team: I see my real estate team growing and diversifying to better meet the needs of our clients. We will have a team of skilled agents and specialists who are experts in various property types and market segments.

Global Reach: With an eye on the global market, my business will explore opportunities to serve international clients interested in local real estate investments. This expansion will open new avenues for growth and diversification.

Exceptional Client Relationships: Building on our foundation of personalized service, my business will continue to foster strong client relationships. Our clients will not only trust us for their real estate needs but also become our advocates and refer us to their friends and family.

Sustainability Initiatives: Recognizing the importance of sustainability, my business will incorporate eco-friendly practices into real estate transactions, promoting energy-efficient homes and responsible development.

Industry Leadership: I aspire to take a leadership role in the real estate industry, participating in industry associations and contributing to discussions on best practices and ethical standards.

Profitable Growth: Ultimately, my real estate business will achieve sustained, profitable growth while maintaining its core values of honesty, integrity, and exceptional customer service.”

Why did you decide to join the Chamber?

“I chose to join the Chamber of Commerce because I believe in the immense value it offers to businesses, individuals, and the community as a whole. 

Networking Opportunities: The Chamber of Commerce provides an exceptional platform for networking and building meaningful relationships with other local businesses and professionals. By connecting with like-minded individuals, I can tap into a wealth of knowledge, share insights, and explore potential collaborations that can benefit my business and the community.

Advocacy and Representation: The Chamber is a powerful advocate for businesses within the community. By joining, I gain a collective voice that can influence local policies, regulations, and initiatives. This ensures that the interests of businesses, including mine, are well-represented and protected.

Business Support and Resources: The Chamber offers valuable resources, including workshops, seminars, and access to experts in various fields. These resources can help me enhance my business skills, stay updated on industry trends, and gain a competitive edge in the marketplace.

Community Engagement: Being a member of the Chamber allows me to actively participate in community events and initiatives. I can contribute to the betterment of the area where I live and work, reinforcing my commitment to the local community.

Visibility and Credibility: Membership in the Chamber adds a layer of credibility to my business. It signifies my dedication to ethical business practices and community involvement, which can enhance trust among clients and partners. Additionally, the Chamber provides opportunities for increased visibility through events, promotions, and sponsorships.

Access to Information: The Chamber keeps members informed about local business news, opportunities, and challenges. This access to timely information helps me make informed decisions and adapt to changes in the business landscape more effectively.

Collaborative Growth: By joining the Chamber, I become part of a larger network of businesses and individuals invested in the success of the local economy. Together, we can work towards fostering growth, innovation, and economic prosperity for our community.”

What is your favorite part about doing business in the Asheville area?

“My favorite part of doing business in my hometown, Asheville, NC, is the deep connection I have with this vibrant and unique community. Asheville is not just a place; it’s a way of life, and being able to contribute to its growth and well-being through my business is incredibly fulfilling.

Here are some of the reasons why doing business in Asheville holds a special place in my heart:

Community Engagement: Asheville is a tight-knit community where people genuinely care about one another. Being a part of this community allows me to engage with my neighbors, build lasting relationships, and contribute to local causes that matter to me.

Local Expertise: Having grown up here, I have an intimate knowledge of the area’s neighborhoods, history, and culture. This expertise allows me to provide clients with insights and guidance that go beyond what you’d find in a real estate listing. I can help them find not just a house but a home in a community that fits their lifestyle.

Supporting Local Businesses: Asheville has a thriving small business scene, and I take pride in collaborating with and supporting local businesses whenever possible. From partnering with local contractors to recommending neighborhood restaurants, my business is intertwined with the success of other local entrepreneurs.

Natural Beauty: Asheville’s natural beauty is breathtaking, with the Blue Ridge Mountains as our backdrop. Whether it’s helping clients find a home with stunning mountain views or simply enjoying the serene landscapes on my way to appointments, the connection to nature is a constant source of inspiration.

Diverse Culture: Asheville is known for its diverse and inclusive culture. It’s a place where creativity flourishes, and residents celebrate individuality. This enriching atmosphere fosters innovation and allows my business to thrive in a community that values diversity and inclusivity.

Sense of Belonging: Doing business in Asheville gives me a profound sense of belonging. I am not just a real estate professional; I am a part of the fabric of this town. This sense of rootedness drives me to provide the best possible service to my fellow Ashevillians.”

Keep up with Rita Lee & Associates Realty Group at www.ritaleeandassociates.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.