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Life & Work with Kourtney Hunter of Columbia

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kourtney Hunter.

Hi Kourtney; we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
Well, I have always had an eye for real estate but to be honest, I never thought I’d be a real estate agent.  So just being in a career that I never envisioned for myself, is a huge win on its own.  But my story begins in my hometown of good ole Columbia, Maryland! Later, I will dive deeper into Columbia.  Personally I got started in real estate in 2003.  I worked as a loan processor and document specialist in the mortgage business. That’s where I got the financial side of the business. Good thing I got it in early, too, because I sucked at math. I also searched for properties for investors to buy, fix and sell. I always thought the profit in real estate was incredible, and it still is! So much so that I wanted to do it myself. I started taking real estate courses to learn the laws around real estate. By the end of the 1st night of class, I remember thinking, “I’d be crazy not to take a shot at being a realtor.” Before then, my plan never was “to become a realtor” lol. I tend to think that’s just where my journey has come full circle.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road of this journey has been rocky! Right, when you think you’re on top of everything and have it all mapped out is when you’re tested and pushed to the limits. COVID hit my 1st year in the business. But looking back, I still sold close to $1 million in real estate during my first year in the business! (smile) It may be pennies to most, but it’s a win to me!

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I am Kourtney Hunter. Well, now Kourtney Gathers because I just got married! I am a real estate agent out of Ellicott City, Maryland.

July 2022 I started Pope Residential Group.  Pope Residential is a boutique of real estate services where we aim to meet all of your real estate needs no matter the situation. My business is key in promoting as much real estate knowledge necessary to help prepare clients for their real estate investment!

I recently applied for the Masters of Professional Studies at Georgetown University which begins next spring!  I am becoming way more comfortable with taking risks, investing in my business, and working on getting the most out of every ounce of an opportunity that will help me LEVEL UP and stand out in my career!  We are currently researching how we can get started with affordable housing projects to provide affordable housing in thriving cities for the working class.  We all should be able to afford to live where we work and I would like to be a brand that is known for helping make that happen!  Success is guaranteed for my brand and I am super excited to see what’s next for Pope Residential Group!

What sets me apart?

By 2025, I will hold a Masters in Real Estate from Georgetown University!  I not only dare to be different, I seek how to be unique and provide a service that is beyond what clients imagine!

I pride myself in being able to pivot personally as well as professionally!  I have the ability to enter a situation, name a solution and develop a plan to reach that solution that is feasible for all parties involved.  And that, is the beauty that is needed to be a success in the real estate business!

Within the last 2 years, my family has changed so much it’s hard to process at times lol. Some of those changes included sickness, promotions, getting engaged, getting married, etc.  My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in Oct of 2019. It was a time that truly turned my family upside down! What was once a home of two empty nesters became a multigenerational household which I refer to as a small privately owned assisted living facility for my parents (smile). My sister, nieces, nephews, fiancé, and I all shifted and moved in.  By May of 2021, the day before my dad’s 75th birthday, he passed.  With this transition came a lot of confusion for us because coming from parents who always did for us, the shift to now pay it back is just one I personally was not prepared for emotionally.

Aging parents and other challenging familial transitions are tough for anyone to experience.  I decided to share my story to encourage others to seek help when dealing with tough transitions.  Realtors are one of the most essential parties to have during a familial transition.  Our homes are supposed to be our refuge and place of peace. Having a real estate agent that can assist you in obtaining or maintaining your home can provide tons of stress relief.  Whether it’s the need to declutter, reorganize, restore furniture pieces, check up on household appliances, how to determine who is on title, I am that agent that can advise, and guide clients on how to jump those tough family hurdles and bridge those tough gaps and offer solutions that put clients mind at ease.  I am generating a space where people can feel comfort in having the difficult conversation of “what to do now?”.

With that said, I provide a boutique real estate experience where I provide a wealth of knowledge and a host of real estate services! I work to provide knowledge that builds financial literacy, generational wealth and supports the community through real estate!

What do you like and dislike about the city?
What I love the most about my city is its history. I admire the vision and inspiration around its creation. The city was developed by James Rouse (grandfather to the actor Ed Norton, also a Howard County native). Created in the 60s out of what was all farm land, became a town where biracial families flocked to settle and raise their families. Noteworthy minority government officials, doctors, attorneys, dentists, teachers, sheriffs, etc., were able to live in what is still a nationally renowned neighborhood and raise their families.  Interracial marriage was at one time not permitted in several areas of the country.  The Lovings, a couple who resided in Lynchburg, VA and Washington DC helped make history has they challenged the Supreme Court with addressing the law banning interracial marriage.  Their efforts led to success and would lead to cities like Columbia, Maryland having the chance to exist and thrive as a melting pot of diversity!  With this success, families would be able to have less stress surrounding the safety of their families and racial injustices that were sweeping the country during that time. Columbia is the setting of my childhood that created some of the most amazing childhood memories.  It is so much of who I am and responsible for my beliefs and ethics while operating my business.  The vision I have for my business is very similar to the vision James Rouse had, and that is providing quality housing specifically to the low and middle class.  Columbia is a place that I always come home to!  The only thing I don’t like is that I didn’t get a chance to help be part of an amazing creation because I wasn’t even born yet! LOL!

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