Walk into Hometown Realty and you will immediately feel right at home. The bright and comfortable office is inviting and you might even be greeted by Buzz, a sweet rescued greyhound. There will be no hard sell, because as owner Pat Harvey Palmer says, “I do not consider my job to be sales. All I do is help people accomplish their goals whether it’s buying, selling, investing or building.”
For twenty five years Pat and her staff have been doing just that, one satisfied customer at a time.
Pat came to Beaufort from an international background. “I was raised in South America. Eight years in Lima, Peru where I graduated from high school; 3 years in Venezuela, Maracaibo and Caracas and a year in Quito, Ecuador.”
She says, “ A formative issue in my life was that my biological father was killed in WWII one month before I was born. And, when I was in my teens horses, became my very best friends and support system. I was the youngest and only North American on the Peruvian Equestrian Team for eight years jumping internationally in South America. Among other issues, they helped influence my life and who I am today.”
Like so many others, the Marine Corps brought Pat to Beaufort in 1966; but not to stay and the next twelve years were spent moving to a variety of locations in the United States. She held many jobs before getting into real estate, including the Peace Corps, radio advertising and working at the Jewish Community Center in Schenectady N.Y.
In 1978, Pat returned to Beaufort as a single parent with two children to raise. She says, “It was critical for me to find a job, which happened quickly as a secretary with a local real estate company. After watching and listening to the agents, it did not take me long to realize that I had to be a part of this profession and do things ‘my way.’ Because I could not give up a guaranteed salary, l was given the opportunity to list and sell real estate part time after work and on the weekends. So, two days later I had my first sale which started me on my way to what has become 39 years of full time involvement in real estate.”
In the mid 1980’s she opened Pat Harvey Realty. But after four years of hard work, she says “I thought it would be great to just be a normal agent buying and selling and not worry about all the details involved with owning a company. So, I joined a local ERA firm. But I finally realized that I was destined to run the whole show and not just list and sell. So in 1992 I opened Hometown Realty on Lady’s Island with the goal of offering a warm, friendly, family type of atmosphere to agents interested in this profession. We have survived the ups and downs over the last 25 years and plan to continue to do so.”
She says, “Real estate does not give me time to get bored. However, I do call it the ‘Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat,’ as there are a lot of emotions involved with many of my transactions. People have changes in their personal lives that involve real estate in one way or another.”
She says “The challenge lately seems to be keeping peace with the buyers, sellers and cooperating agents as we move forward to hopefully have a successful closing. When I first started years ago things were simple- we had to get a meeting of the minds so everybody worked together to help make this happen and most closings were very happy times for both the buyers and the sellers. Now it seems like everyone knows more about real estate than those of us that have been involved 24/7 for the last four decades.”
But she says, “Fortunately, I have been involved in mediation for the last twenty years which certainly helps get over the hurdles. The most satisfying reward is having everyone happy at closing and pleased with the representation we have given them.”
Having been a Realtor for 39 years, Pat has had a lot of professional involvement, including four time Past President of the Beaufort County Association of Realtors, where she was named Realtor of the Year twice. In addition, she has served on numerous committees but mainly Professional Standards for the last 25 years or so, as well as attending Mediator Training on the state and national level.
“I think that a great number of people never find a job that gives them total satisfaction,” Pat says, “ I have been blessed to find exactly what I was meant to do in life and plan to continue to help as many people as I can for as long as I can.”
Most people know that Pat has been very involved with the Beaufort Lions Club for almost 30 years helping with all endeavors to preserve eye sight and correct vision problems by screening applications to purchase glasses for the less fortunate. She has been Past President twice, and Zone Chair covering Sun City, Hilton Head and Hardeeville for the last 4 years, as well as organizing the Water Festival Parade and the Christmas Parade every year for the last 10 years.
She is a Charter Member of the Lady’s Island Business and Professional Association (LIBPA) which was organized in 1982 and was instrumental in starting a realistic numbering system and naming the roads on Lady’s Island which led to the start of the 911 system. Pat is currently the treasurer of LIBPA. She has been a Commissioner, and Treasurer, for the last 17 years for the Lady’s Island – St. Helena Fire District. She is a member of the Lady’s Island Community Preservation Committee and was the Chamber of Commerce Business Person of the Year in 1986 and a finalist in 1999.
Pat Harvey Palmer epitomizes the heart of Beaufort through her many years of business and community involvement. She makes our world better and brighter everyday with her tireless work and ‘can do’ attitude. Beaufort is blessed to call her our own!