A “smaller, more personal setting” at Capital Real Estate Services—with an unusual emphasis on helping others out
By Tilly Dillehay
You could almost swear that they were just another Real Estate company.
But then, why are they all so into charity work? Why is the company itself sponsoring volunteer time for employees, and why are employees taking personal income and plugging it into local causes? Why is it that when you ask them for a professional bio, they all have almost as much to say about their favorite nonprofits as they do about their zoning knowledge and market experience?
Well, Capital Real Estate Services is, in some ways, just another Real Estate company. They have agents, a new office, and a growing list of dedicated clients. But at the same time, you’ll find that there is a refreshing—and somewhat unusual—emphasis here.
Owner DeAnna Dodd, Lebanon local, opened the doors in November of 2013. She had just a few simple desires, she says: to truly specialize in client services, and to provide a great work home to agents.
Many would argue that she has done both those things, and more besides.
“The thought was to provide real estate services in a smaller, more personal setting,” said Dodd. “Because the company is referral based, it’s about being the best, not the biggest. Let’s face it, buying a home is one of the largest investments you may ever make, so having a trusting relationship with the person who is representing you is critical.”
She compares choosing a Realtor to choosing a doctor or banker. Choose carefully, and it’s a trust relationship that should last for a lifetime. To support this relationship building, the office doesn’t have “teams” of Realtors. When you choose an agent, that’s the one and only person you’ll be working with at Capital Real Estate Services.
In the fall of 2014, the company moved to its new home at 365 South Hartmann Drive, across the street from Lebanon High School. The office décor reflects the positive, energetic environment that makes coming to the office fun for agents, as well as providing clients a warm, friendly atmosphere for slogging through paperwork on their way to home ownership.
The individuals who represent Capital are all stellar Realtors—see more information about Tammy Lankes, Claude Maynard, Caroline Hutchison, Eston Mengelberg, Leslie Denney, Vanessa Binkley, Jennifer Jennings York, and DeAnna herself on the following pages—but it’s clear that they also approach their community involvement in a totally unique way.
Capital, as a company, and through the work of the individuals in the company, is all about getting out there and getting involved.
“Every agent volunteers time and/or money to causes in our community that make life better,” said Dodd.
The agents said that one of the highlights of their year was volunteering with The 100 Box Project. This initiative, which is an outreach of Crossroads Church, feeds local families during the Christmas season. Among their other volunteers this year was a particular group of Realtors. During December of 2014, over 500 sixty-pound boxes of food were delivered to local families.
And last June, Country K-9 Rescue was the recipient of a new building to specifically house mother dogs with puppies. The rescue is funded by private donations and run completely by volunteers who work to rescue dogs and cats who have been abused or neglected.
Capital was also involved with this project. You won’t hear it from her, but Dodd earmarked a percentage of her personal commissions to pay for the materials for the building and real estate client Don Borcherding built it from scratch, volunteering his time and labor.
Then this year, Capital Real Estate partnered with Crossroads again, this time for an outreach called The Refinery. The Refinery is a place for single mothers to get education, direction, and support when it comes to raising their families.
“It’s all about providing the key ingredients to help a mother succeed when it comes to being a parent,” said Dodd. “Whether providing dental care, haircuts, oil changes or childcare, Crossroads wants to be there to provide direction and support for mothers who are trying to raise their children and give them the life they deserve. It’s about providing a hand up, not a hand out.”
Once again, Capital was involved.
Other agents, when asked, describe their involvement organizing various charities, or their involvement with the work of the World Outreach Church, Youth Villages, and local nursing homes. They come from backgrounds as varied as the medical field, the military, and stay-at-home motherhood. All in all, there is an underlying theme that is apparent among them: they care about serving people.
It’s enough to give you another double take—is this just another Real Estate company, or isn’t it?
Meet the Realtors
DeAnna graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1994 with a nurse practitioner degree while selling real estate and offering interior design services. Although very different careers, they all involve helping others, which gives her the greatest satisfaction. New construction and development are personal favorites, while commercial leasing and property management are additional client services. Favorite charities are The Refinery and Country K-9 Rescue.
Dodd offers the following tip: With the rate of growth for our county continuing to rise, there is not enough housing to keep up with the demand, so there is great opportunity for investment and development. Be watching for new neighborhoods that will cater to empty nesters wanting to downsize to smaller, but nicer homes, as well as a rental development geared towards mature adults.
Claude was recruited to be the Managing Broker of Capital in November 2013 and manages it with the professionalism of a Fortune 500 Company! Skilled in property division, he knows how to get the most return for his clients. With a vast knowledge of land acquisition, zoning changes, and knowledge of the protocol involved to get things done, he’s been able to achieve success where others have failed. He’s a great mentor to the agents at Capital and prides himself on his availability to them. A life member of the Circle of Excellence, Claude is committed to agent excellence through knowledge and integrity.
“If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess,” said Claude, “ASK!” He believes in sharing information and wants all his agents to be totally comfortable and thoroughly knowledgeable.
Claude played football for both Lebanon High School and Castle Heights Military Academy back in his school years. He managed Wynn’s Precision for 34 years, elevating to the position of V. P. of Manufacturing before leaving to sell real estate in 1992. His current interests include hunting, golf, and bass fishing.
Tammy has been in the real estate business for 10 years and also has her broker’s license. She specializes in both residential and land listings, short sales, investment properties and their management. One of her specialties is helping people get their credit turned around so they can finally purchase a home of their own. Tammy spent four years in the US Navy and continues to serve her community through the Breast Cancer Association (she is a five-year survivor), the American Veterans, and St. Jude’s. She also shows monthly support to the local emergency community and volunteers at Lebanon nursing homes.
“I wanted to become part of Capital Real Estate because it is a more personable company with a ‘hometown’ agenda,” said Tammy. “The agents care about their clients. It’s not just a job to us at Capital Real Estate.”
Caroline started out in medical management at Baptist Hospital and then went on to manage her husband’s heat and air business, Tennessee Aire Systems, so she could be more involved with their children’s activities. Becoming a realtor in 2013, she hit the ground running and hasn’t looked back. Her favorite charities are Youth Villages and Safe Haven, a shelter that keeps families together. Her parents immigrated to the United States in 1961 from Ireland, so Caroline understands the importance of home ownership in a way that most cannot. She is building her business on that same Irish heritage through trust and loyalty. (Just ask her about the Trinity Knot sometime, and she’ll give you an earful!)
Caroline and her husband David have been married for 25 years and are blessed seeing the adults their children are becoming. They have a son who is stationed in California with the Marine Corps and a daughter who is pursuing her dream of becoming an elementary school teacher at Tennessee Tech. She and her husband are using their empty nest years to the fullest, taking long motorcycle trips and treasuring each family gathering.
Growing up in the business, Eston has become involved with the many facets of real estate including property management, flipping, and home-repair. His experience as superintendent of Stacey Construction, a custom home building company, and in owning a home repair business, creates a great value for his clients when they are considering their purchases. These assets brand him as the ideal agent for those interested in investment properties or for those who are first-time home buyers. He is a member of the Lebanon Rotary Club, and volunteers in events such as The 100 Box Project. He will marry Kimbel Lea, also a Realtor, in July.
Leslie has a background in mortgage processing and property management, and also owns a design service business—Like Minds Design—so becoming a Realtor just seemed like the next logical step. After graduating from LHS, she relocated to Murfreesboro, and now focuses on helping clients find their perfect home on that side of the world. Mother to four children, she knows the importance of efficiency, organization, and paying attention to detail. She says that what motivates her in real estate is “the desire to help clients find the ‘perfect’ home and make that transaction as easy as possible.”
Her favorite place to volunteer is World Outreach Church where she is a member and small group coach, and she also teaches etiquette to 400 plus children every summer at Character Quest, a week long camp for middle school children. Fun fact: she received her certification in etiquette training from the American School of Protocol in Atlanta.
Leslie enjoys reading, ministry projects, renovation projects, and shopping for bargains.
Working with special needs children in the Sumner County for 18+ plus years, Vanessa has strong belief that everyone is created the same. “People are not defined by their disabilities, but by their abilities,” she said. “One kind word or gesture from you could affect a person in a life-changing way, so never let that moment pass.”
Vanessa changed her career path later in life, so now she is helping others build dreams by finding them a new home. Purchasing a home is a major event in anyone’s life. Her thoughts are that a family should never settle for just any house but take their time until they find the perfect one: “After all, a home is a place where memories are made that will last a lifetime.”
Her passion is helping others. Vanessa is very active in organizing and participating in benefits to help others in need—from charity motorcycle rides to auctions.
Jennifer Jennings York
Once a stay at home mom, Jennifer started in the real estate business over ten years ago as an agent’s assistant. She now applies her market knowledge and expertise in the real estate industry with her own clients. Jennifer not only has a long record of satisfied clients but also a passion for guiding first time home buyers to the closing table. Whether you are buying or selling property, she always brings energy, hard work and creative service to every detail of the real estate transaction.