Today we’d like to introduce you to Khari Cummings.
Khari, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am an Atlanta real estate professional with over 20 years of experience in real estate. I began managing properties at 16 years old, learning valuable lessons in the process. My real estate career continued when working in Fulton County Superior Court Real Estate Division. There I learned about real estate documents, plats, liens, evictions, foreclosures, title searches, etc. I became a licensed GA Real Estate Appraiser and ran my own appraisal company, Fair Market Appraisals, after completing my required “trainee” period with RCI Appraisals. I also had a brief stint at the Fulton County Tax Assessor’s office as a tax appraiser.
After years of networking and communicating with people who had made vast amounts of wealth in real estate, I began investing as well. My focus was buying the right property at the right time for the right price. I bought/sold many properties prior to the financial meltdown in 2008.
When the market collapsed, I decided to get my real estate license and take advantage of the “down” market. I know that real estate is cyclical in nature. The financial collapse, while it crippled the economy, allowed savvy cash investors to buy great properties at pennies on the dollar. Real estate has made more millionaires than any other profession.
As a former appraiser, I understand valuation. I know how to properly price listings and I know what to look for when searching for a good deal. As the market changes I continue to study and grow.
I have been in the real estate services business in the Atlanta, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Marietta, and Smyrna real estate markets for many successful years and will be here for many more. This longevity and confidence comes from my real estate services to a great many buyers and sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps me productive and successful.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There have definitely been many challenges along the way. I feel that the road to greatness is paved with adversity. These adverse conditions strengthen your character and make you into the person you aimed to be. It sounds cliché’, but everything really does happen for a reason. When the market collapsed in 2008, I was over leveraged and in bad investment loans at the time so I had to file bankruptcy and walk away from everything. Life will show you your weaknesses, sometimes the hard way. This was a very difficult time for me because my father, Arthur B. Cummings, Sr. had recently passed and I was dealing with depression. During this period, I also lost my appraisal license because I didn’t show up to a Commission Hearing. Chase Bank, after reviewing and approving the appraisal in question, underwriting, and AVM (automated valuation machine), approved the loan for the borrower, and a year later, after the borrower defaulted, claimed that I used an invalid comparable! The comparable in question was a supporting comparable that was used along with 3 other comparable that justified the value. It was provided by a real estate agent/builder in the area and it was in fact a valid comparable, but in the midst of the chaos in my life at the time (foreclosure, repossession, unemployment, family loss, depression), I didn’t change my mailing address so I didn’t receive the Notice of Hearing. After being licensed since as a Real Estate Agent by the same Commission, this is something that I am still working to get removed from my record. I operate with the highest level of integrity and ethics and my records should reflect that.
As an agent I also faced great adversity working with different companies and personalities in the real estate business. This business, like the entertainment industry, attracts sharks and people with no integrity because of how lucrative it can be. Being a man of integrity, I would sometimes clash with people who didn’t care about the clients, neighborhoods, people, reputation, etc. and just be in it for the money. We all want to get paid but some people will betray their own mother to get “rich”. I had to work my way through those small minded people to get to the point that I could work with a great team of likeminded professionals.
I also had physical challenges along the way. I was in a car accident in 2007 that left me with bodily injury, daily headaches, and severe pain. I am still in Chiropractic/Acupuncture/Massage treatment so I can return to optimum health. I’m better overall but it’s a process.
Despite these challenges, I am happy with my decision to remain a real estate agent/investor and entrepreneur. When it’s all said and done, I can honestly say that I stood for what I believe and faced “failure”, fear, and adversity like a Champion.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Sound Solutions Group – what should we know?
As a full service Atlanta, College Park, Decatur, East Point, Marietta, and Smyrna real estate professional, I work with buyers, sellers and investors in real estate transactions spanning all of the price ranges and property types.
I recently joined forces with the MORE (Masters of Real Estate) Team at Optimus Real Estate, a real estate brokerage/marketing company with innovative approaches to helping families in buying and selling homes. We offer services and guarantees that no other company can.
Residential Single Family – My residential single family services connect buyers with sellers every day, and I do it with professionalism and a total dedication to my clients. This property type is the majority of my market transactions, but by far not the only one in which I have expertise.
Condominiums – While condominiums are residential, they’re a very different market focus, and I am an expert in evaluating condos and helping buyers and sellers to cope with the special financing and homeowner concerns for this property type.
Multi–family – Investors are great clients for me. Multi–family properties are a very unique market. The detailed return on investment and valuation calculations investors need to evaluate properties for rental are second nature to me.
Commercial – Whether it’s a shopping mall, a small office building or a restaurant space, I’m your commercial property specialist. Contact me for your commercial property needs in the Atlanta, ATL, Decatur, East Point, Marietta, and Smyrna real estate markets.
Vacant Land – Land is a very special property class. It’s relatively easy to show a gourmet cook a wonderful commercial kitchen in a home and see their eyes light up. It’s more of a challenge to help a buyer or seller to realize the potential in a piece of land. I’m the best at it in the Atlanta, ATL, Decatur, East Point, Marietta, and Smyrna real estate markets.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
I would say determination and perseverance are the most important qualities for success. Life can become very difficult and it is for many people, but how will you deal with it? Will you allow it to break you or stand strong and rise to the occasion? I choose to stand. I may fall again and again, I may lose a billion times, but I will win in the end.
I believe you must surround yourself with positivity and encouragement. There’s a quote by Og Mandino, author of “The Greatest Salesman in the World”, that I say to myself often:
“I was not delivered unto this world in defeat…nor does failure coarse in my veins…I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd… I AM A LION…. and I refuse to walk, talk, and sleep with the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is NOT my destiny. I will persist until I succeed. I will persist. I will win.”
“The Greatest Salesman in the World” is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It contains 10 scrolls. You read and repeat one scroll every day for 30 days. It takes 10 months to complete the scrolls but it reprograms your mind for success. I would highly recommend it and other motivational books, speeches, etc.