Title: Managing partner Company: Austin Hill Realty LLC
Savannah neighborhood: Greenview
• Created a team of the top producing Realtors, average of $5 million-plus annually.
• One of the longest running family owned agencies in Savannah, more than 35 years of real estate marketing, sales and development.
• Re-investment in our community through the Austin Hill Realty Fund. A minimum of 10 percent of proceeds annually has been given back to education, neighborhood enrichment and arts programs.
• Graduate of Leadership Savannah
• Distinguished Sales Society, Savannah Area Realtors
• Founder, Savannah Area Realtors Young Professionals Network. 2013 co-Chair Georgia Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network.
• Historic Savannah Foundation Board of Trustees. Chair 13th Colony Society and member of development committee.
• Trinity Church Board of Trustees. chair administrative committee.
• Savannah Area Realtors, board of directors.
Questions for BiS
Q: As a proven local leader, please share your vision of Savannah’s future. What growth or challenge do you foresee by the end of 2014?
A: We need to have in place strict tourism management and strive to raise the bar for quality of life for our residents. We will have to do our best to ensure port funding.
Q: By the year 2020?
A: Jobs will come from the port as well as other industry. We will need a plan of growth for Savannah. As we grow we have to focus on education, crime, culture and landscape as well as hardscape.
Q: By the year 2030?
A: Make sure our natural resources are not eliminated. Barrier islands must be protected and with population growth, people will look to over-develop. Demands for a city that supplies the world will include innovative technology and accessibility. Fast access to major cities like Atlanta for freight and travel should be completed.
Q: How will you do business differently in the coming year or decade?
A: Real estate is becoming more of a mobile business than ever. Clients are less concerned with how nice an office you have and more concerned with what sets their properties – and your level of service – apart. The more overhead I can spend on putting my clients and their properties first, the more advanced we will be.
Q: What technological or cultural advances are you looking forward to in the coming year or decade?
A: The Georgia Association of Realtors is always moving us forward in the way of technology and being able to serve our clients. In the coming decade, I look forward to banks and municipalities improving their technology to aid their clients and citizens.
Q: What qualities or assets will distinguish Savannah and preserve/advance our local economy?
A: I am seeing neighborhoods develop strong identities, much like the Landmark Historic District has done over the past few decades.
Q: What economic drivers and business sectors promise the most growth in the next year or decade and why?
A: Our ports are going to be our largest asset, and distribution centers are already relocating here. This will engage real estate development, job growth, higher education and transportation. Aerospace and hospitality will also add to our economy and attract affiliated industries.
Q: What college degrees will be the most in-demand in the Savannah area and why?
A: Logistics, hospitality/management, nursing/medical.
Q: What advice do you have for other Savannah leaders in the coming year or decade? A: Be informed about what is going on in your community. Do not let decisions be made without your input, whether positive or negative.
Q: What innovation of yours do you hope will be remembered by future generations?
A: I want to leave the place I love in better shape than when I found it. I want to make sure that the people who share that place with me have bright futures. I want to ensure our incredibly rich history and architecture is preserved for future generations to learn from and enjoy.