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Staff photo by C.B. Schmelter / Jay Robinson poses at the Keller Williams Realty office on Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Correction: An earlier version incorrectly indicated the real estate agency where Linda Brock is affiliated.

During a record high year for real estate sales in Chattanooga, Chattanooga Realtor Jay Robinson became the first local real estate agent to both top $100 million in sales during a single year and exceed $1 billion in home sales during his career.

The 56-year-old Realtor, who heads the 10-member Robinson team for Keller Williams Realty in Chattanooga, was the agent in 230 residential property sales last year totaling nearly $110.7 million. Last year's sales activity boosted his lifetime total for home sales above $1 billion — the first Chattanooga real estate agent to achieve such a milestone for residential sales.

"Jay's performance in 2019 marks the first time any one person or team in the Chattanooga MLS area has broken such a high record," said Nathan Brown, the team leader in Keller Williams Realty. "It speaks volumes about his tenacity in the representation of his clients and also speaks to the strength of the local housing market."

Realtors in Chattanooga last year sold a record high 10,714 homes in 2019, up 6.8% from the previous year and nearly double the depressed level in 2011 during the depths of the Great Recession.

Keller Williams, which the Robinson team joined in 2014, promotes team-based selling and had seven of the top 10 selling agents in Chattanooga last year at differently owned offices across the region, according to multiple listing service totals by the Greater Chattanooga Realtors.

Chattanooga’s top real estate agents

The top selling real estate agents in 2019 for residential sales through the Multiple Listing Service were:

1. Jay Robinson, Keller Williams Realty, $110.7 million

2. Grace Edrington, Berkshire Hathaway Home Services J. Douglas Properties, $90.3 million

3. Mark W. Hite, Keller Williams Realty, $83.7 million

4. Linda B. Brock, Real Estate Partners, $79.3 million

5. Jim T. Lea, Keller Williams Realty, $67.7 million

6. Cindi Richardson, Richardson Group KW Cleveland, $63.7 million

7. Wendy Dixon, Keller Williams Realty, $57.8 million

8. Lori Montieth, Keller Williams Realty, $55.4 million

9. Jake Kellerhals, Keller Williams Realty, $43.1 million

10. Charlotte A. Mabry, Keller Williams Realty, $41.6 million

Source: Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors. Number and value calculated by sides for residential sales between Jan. 1, 2019 and Dec. 31, 2019.

"We had a big jump last year, but we've seen a steady increase from 2015 on," Robinson said.

Although the average home sale by Robinson last year was $481,248, Robinson said he sold homes last year ranging from $40,00 up to $3.2 million.

Robinson, who primarily represents home sellers and works across the Chattanooga region, is one of the top sellers of million-dollar homes in Chattanooga. But the highest average price among Chattanooga Realtors last year was achieved by Linda Brock, an agent for Real Estate Partners, who was involved in 133 transactions last year with an average price of $593,870. Brock was the top individual agent without a team in Chattanooga last year.

Robinson focuses primarily on single-family home sales, but he does do some commercial and multi-family housing projects for his clients.

"We solve problems and we tend to get a lot of complicated cases or those that have curve balls in them," he said. "That's what I think we're good at serving our clients, I certainly didn't set out to try to sell a billion dollars of real estate. I've tried to help personal referrals and past clients with their real estate needs and that has proven to be successful."

After 32 years in the business, including the past 24 years in Chattanooga, Robinson has worked with hundreds of home sellers and buyers through his career. Most of his business now comes from referrals and repeat business from those who he has helped navigate through the often challenging process of real estate transfers.

Like many young people growing up in Chattanooga in the 1980s, Robinson initially decided to go elsewhere to build his career and find his fortune.

But after eight years of selling homes in Dallas and Little Rock, Arkansas, Robinson returned home and joined the real estate business headed by the late Hugh Huffaker. His team includes his wife, Ali, and son Wilder, along with a veteran team of other agents.

Since returning home, Robinson said he has tried to give back to the community and the profession.

"While Jay is passionate about his profession, he's equally passionate about the community he and Ali call home," said KW Commercial Partner Jennie Brockman. "Jay shares knowledge and wisdom by teaching classes at our market center and Ali is a major contributor by serving on our Agent Leadership Council."

Robinson currently supports the AIM Center, FUSE, Habitat for Humanity and the Homeless Coalition. Robinson, who serves on the board of FUSE (Frequent Users System Engagement) since it started three years ago, recently participated in the annual homeless count where he and others met, talked with and counted those living on the streets.

"I'm blessed to be able to help people solve their housing problems on the high end for those who can afford to buy a house so I feel a responsibility to help those who don't have housing," he said. "I think it is a fundamental right or everyone to have a home and a safe place to stay. If we can make progress toward that, that's our goal."

Contact Dave Flessner at dflessner@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6340.

 

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